Moxie Kitchen & Cocktails

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.

Moxie Menu

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.

We started off our meal with wine (malbec for me, cabernet for him) a plate consisting of Sweet Grass Dairy‘s Asher Blue and Creminelli‘s Wild Boar Salami.

Moxie Cheese Plate

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.

Dr Pepper Short Rib

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.

Chicken Pot Pie

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.

Mac and Cheese

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.

Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails on Urbanspoon

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11 thoughts on “Moxie Kitchen & Cocktails

    • Thanks, Jason! I definitely think Moxie is worth giving a try, and we’ll probably go back eventually to see if it’s improved. Enjoy!

  1. Great minds must think alike. We had the same exact entrees (short ribs with buttermilk mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie with sage and the mac ‘n cheese) yet we enjoyed them immensely. In fact we agreed the short ribs with mashed potatoes were the star of the evening and didn’t leave a single morsel on the plate. Ours were just the right amount of sweetness so maybe you had a heavy-handed drizzle of the glaze? That said, it’s their first week in business and Tom Gray has been doing this for years and is a fantastic chef so I’m confident your next experience will be better. Mike raved about the mac ‘n cheese, saying it was better than Orsay’s (my favorite, but it’s different since it’s cavitappi pasta, and uses different cheese and truffle), and he’s an avid mac ‘n cheese fan. I’m with you — nice to have such a cool atmosphere in town and with the two stories and inside patios it’s a great addition to our town!

  2. Thanks for the candid run-down. I had to miss the soft open but I hope to get there in the next week or so. Based on your experience I think I’ll skip the short ribs and try the Rainbow Trout – or maybe a burger. I need to check out that Mac n Cheese though – looks JUST the way I like it.

    • Thanks, Nancy! I try to be honest and fair, even if other’s don’t always like it or agree with me :)

      PS – Enjoy your new camera!

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