Moonfish, Cape May - Don't do it !
Against my better judgment I took a party of 8 to Moonfish last night. I've had a couple really good meals after it changed over from Daniels a few years ago. Last night's experience was arguably one of the worst culinary price:performance experiences I can recall. Despite interesting names for menu items the food was a complete disconnect...dry, uninspired and ridiculously expensive for what was delivered...and I don't mind paying premium prices for great food.
Included in the lowlights were a Singapore Fish Taco appetizer that I swear was an Old El Paso four taco shell with a Gorton Fish Cake inside..a chopped salad that was exactly the same consistency and flavor as pepper relish or fresh salsa without the tomato..I think it was actually "chopped" in a food processor. Three in our party ordered salmon with an oatmeal "crust"...which ended up being oatmeal mush after sucking all the juices out of the medium-well salmon....I've had salmon smoked for 8 hours that was moister....The salmon was accompanied by some weird rice dish with no cohesion between its mystery ingredients...Sushi was average but presentation was good....Leek and crab soup was passable....Cuban mashed plantains were dry and had consistency of a cookie dough...I've been to Cuba and I have no clue what this dish was modeled after. Oh, one of our guests loved the $25 baked chicken....The bean stuffed ravioli was OK and the filet mignon was done to order.
For dessert, we shared a mediocre bananas foster in crepes...and a flourless chocolate cake that literally took two hands to cut thru... 20% gratuity automatically added to bill....Despite the food the wine selection was excellent keeping in mind of course that it was BYOB :)
As a hopeless foodie, I have to say one of the highlights of the week was numerous visits to Seaside Cheese (over on Park Blvd by the CVS in West Cape May). The owner has great passion for his cheeses and is very liberal with his sampling if he knows you share that passion. Lot's of good commentary about the cheese's origin and seasonality. I found myself building my dinner recipes based on the cheeses I bought as ingredients.
Also..for an excellent lunch or dinner for less that $10 get the falafel or the shawarma (a steak sandwich of sorts) at Louis Hot Dogs. Despite the frankfurter in the name their middle east fast food selection is excellent !!
Good to know.I almost went there last week but ended up at Union Park instead where we had a really good meal. They had a Thai crab soup special that was so good I almost ordered seconds. It was seriously one of the best bowls of soup I've ever been served. Followed it with a kobe beef burger on brioche with a boursin cheese and pan roasted potatoes with a chipotle ketchup that was really good, although I could have used a bit less cheese. The burger was big and perfectly cooked. My friend ordered the petit filet with mashed potatoes and haricot verts. Not particularly adventurous but also perfectly prepared. We didn't get around to dessert this time but I have had good ones there. We got out for about 65 bucks including a 25% tip, of course you can spend a lot more too but we just weren't that hungry. Also BYO and you can see the ocean from the dining room and porch.
Also avoid Copper Fish. We went last month and the emphasis seems to be on how many ingredients can be included in a single dish. The food wasn't terrible. It just didn't hang together. They seem to be enamored of dishes that contain a long list of ingredients, not all of which compliment each other and/or have the effect of masking any particular ingredient to the point that nothing shines through. Its a shame because it was quite a good little restaurant when it first opened under the original owners.
This is interesting. We ate at Moonfish Grill a couple of years ago, and we liked it very much. The chef who used to work at Moonfish is now chef and owner of...Copper Fish. Not sure what to make of all of this, but it's interesting nonetheless. It's a shame that Moonfish couldn't keep up the quality.