So let’s talk about the new kid in town, Moxie. This long awaited concept from Chef Tom Gray has been the buzz of the Jacksonville dining scene since Tom left Bistro Aix. I had the chance to give the new menu a try during their soft opening last weekend.
Yes, I left my little Riverside/Avondale bubble. Shocking, I know. Austin and I were in need of a date night, and Moxie’s soft opening was the perfect opportunity. I apologize in advance for the less than stellar pics. I wasn’t planning on doing a review, so I didn’t bring my camera. These are just some snaps with my phone.
The design of the restaurant is very modern, but I can see how the tighter spaces can be a challenge for the staff. I wasn’t crazy about the attached booths along each side (we were in one of the end round booths), but thats my personal preference – I like separation.
Both were delicious, as expected. The Asher Blue is actually the first bleu cheese that Austin has ever liked. Yay Sweet Grass! The honey comb was also fantastic.
For our entrees, we decided to split the Short Rib, Chicken Pot Pie, and a side of Mac and Cheese.
The presentation of the Short Rib was beautiful, as you can see. I was excited to try this dish because of the Dr. Pepper glaze, but unfortunately, I think that was its downfall. I like my short ribs on the savory side, and these were entirely too sweet – almost syrupy sweet. Neither of us were a fan. The mashed potatoes were very, very whipped. Again, not my preference.
The Chicken Pot Pie has loads of potential, but it lacked flavor. Definitely a missed opportunity to use some great seasonings to spice up a homestyle favorite. I did really like what the menu described as a cheddar biscuit on top (it wasn’t flaky like a biscuit or puff pastry, but it was thicker and denser like pie crust), but Austin wasn’t crazy about it.
Lastly, the mac and cheese. This is not a creamy mac and cheese, so be warned if that’s what you prefer. I consider myself to be an equal opportunity mac and cheese lover… from sticky to creamy to baked with bread crumbs or even the blue box, I love me some mac and cheese. This one is a thick, cheesy, sticky mac and cheese. Overall, it was good, but it was missing something. I actually added a little bit of black pepper to it and it helped immensely (I rarely ever salt/pepper dishes for reference).
Overall, we were underwhelmed by Moxie. The best parts of the meal were outsourced – the wine, cheese, and salami. Was it bad? Of course not. It just didn’t come any where near the expectations I had. Granted, this was the soft opening, so I’ll probably give it another try at some point. We’ll see.