Momo's Bistro, Columbia, SC
- north2south Aug 11, 2008 06:26 AM
I'm interested in getting people's impressions of this place. Food, service, atmosphere? More desirable alternatives? Thanks very much.
Yuck. It's overpriced and overpretentious and I would say the food is so-so at best. I would go just about anyplace else. Motor Supply, Garibaldi's, Mr. Friendly's, Gervais & Vine ...
Ambitious menu, reasonably well executed. Not likely to appeal to the typical ham and grits crowd, fortunately as too often new restaurants start with a unique offering and quickly migrate to the "same old thing available elsewhere in Columbia." Definately pricy. But if you want something more often found in Atlanta, Washington DC, or other large cities - give it a try. As good as Motor Supply, imaginative like Gervais & Vine but a distinctly different thing. 8 black ties out of 10
I just went to Columbia last week and Motor Supply Co was stellar, we ate there both nights. I also had lunch at Mr. Friendly's, it was good food and service. Service was top notch at both places.
Hampton Street Vineyard is by far and away the best restaurant in Columbia. The wine list is at the top of Wine Spectator's ratings every year.
I wouldnt go as far as atruebluedevil to say it's overpriced. It's pretty much on par with Columbia. MoMo's is a very consistent place. I think it's one of the better places in Columbia with well cooked and executed cuisine. As far as other places in Columbia go, if you don't go to Gervais and Vine go here. Save Motor Supply for lunch. Best in the city.
I went. It may be the best "New American" type restaurant in Columbia. I would need to go a few more times to confirm this judgment. I have been to Gervais & Vine, Motor Supply, Mr. Friendly's, and Terra each a few times. I have not been to Hampton Street Vineyard or Solstice Kitchen and Wine Bar. Are there other restaurants in this category that I am overlooking?
Service was competent, well-informed about the preparation of dishes and the sourcing of ingredients, willing to offer specific opinions about dishes (and not unhelpfully say, "oh, it's all good"), unobtrusive yet available when needed, and able to anticipate some of the wishes of the diners. On the downside, I did not like having to wait for my table at the overcrowded bar, despite having reservations, but sometimes delays happen. I also did not like having to close out my bar tab before heading to my table, instead of being able to pay for everything altogether at the end of the evening.
The food was consistently very good. Scallops were cooked perfectly and vibrantly seasoned. Pork was tender and juicy, and full of flavor. Strawberries took the place of tomatoes in one interesting and delicious salad. All of our dishes that evening were quite good.
Atruebluedevil, unless I caught them on an unusually good night, it is hard to see how "Yuck" applies to this place. It is not as down-to-earth as Mr. Friendly's or as lounge-like as Gervais & Vine, but it is not much pricier than the other restaurants in its class (if it is), and its pretension-level didn't strike me as out of whack, either. Rather, Momo's struck me as the kind of place that could survive in a larger city, such as DC or Boston. It wouldn't be in the top tier of restaurants in those cities, but neither would any other restaurant in Columbia.
Momo's seemed better than Motor Supply, to me. On paper, Motor Supply Company has everything going for it -- great name, great location, daily menu changes. But in reality I have been disappointed. Our service there has been, well, not unprofessional, but immature. The food is wildly uneven, with some dishes coming out dry and overcooked. And many of the daily menu changes are just culinary musical chairs. Motor Supply reminds me of what these kinds of restaurants were like 15 years ago. The field has moved on. That's not to say it is a bad place. It can be good, it turns out some delicious stuff on occasion, and I'm glad it is here in Columbia, but it is not my favorite.
Terra compares more favorably to Momo's than Motor Supply does. I've really enjoyed my food there. However, I've gone with some people who have been rightly disappointed with what they've ordered. So at Terra, so far, consistency is a problem. Perhaps, with more visits, I'll end up feeling the same way about Momo's.
But for now, I heartily recommend it. Go, and then report back.