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Mosca's

c
ccfoodie Sep 13, 2010 06:56 PM

I will be in the area for my 40th high school reunion. It's been 38 years since I've eaten at Mosca's.Is it still worth a visit?

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Mosca's Restaurant
Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

  1. s
    sanglier Sep 13, 2010 09:03 PM

    Don't go there before the reunion (I mean, within 48 hours), unless your body has the ability to process and expunge massive doses of garlic rapidly! Seriously, I don't like it because I simply believe the dishes all taste the same, i.e., garlic, garlic and more. But I know I'm in the distinct minority. Most other posters are exuberant about Mosca's, and it is a wonderful old place to still have on the restaurant landscape.

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    Mosca's Restaurant
    Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

    1. p
      piglet3000 Sep 14, 2010 11:47 AM

      It may have been an off night, and I was so prepared to LOVE this place but we had a horrible, horrible time. Almost everything was charred to death, the 'chicken' was drowning in oil, and I say 'chicken' because it was unidentifiable; hacked up crosswise, etc. And I think there was seriously a backbone in there which is not usually what I want to chomp on.
      We were with a group of dear friends, the company was great, and to this day it is a never ending joke. So I guess that counts for something.

      1 Reply
      1. re: piglet3000
        j
        JazzyB Sep 14, 2010 12:15 PM

        I used to love it many (20)years ago. We went a couple years ago so my son could experience it. Left us wondering "what were we thinking"? Haven't been back since.

      2. k
        kibbles Sep 14, 2010 01:48 PM

        i never had it before 4 years ago, and have been a couple times now. "Eh.." the lighting and decor is horrible. the food was only OK. the crab salad was seriously weak, had all the other stuff but the only thing that i went back for more of was the oyster casserole or whatever it was. but just not worth it for the drive or effort, imo.

        for italian id much rather go to Eleven79, or Domenica, or (my favorite) Del Porto in covington.

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        Del Porto Restaurant
        501 E Boston St, Covington, LA 70433

        Domenica
        123 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA 70112

        5 Replies
        1. re: kibbles
          s
          shanefink Sep 14, 2010 02:54 PM

          Funny, I have a reservation at Mosca's for the 40th birthday party. We have a limo so I thought the ride would be fun. Some say it's amazing, but I've seen a lot of negative reviews on Chowhound lately. Anyone want to speak in its defense???? Would it be fun for 12 40 year olds? And I'm assuming they have the oysters mosca on the menu despite the lack of oysters around town.

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          Mosca's Restaurant
          Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

          1. re: shanefink
            BayouTeche Sep 15, 2010 07:00 AM

            Okay, I'll give 'em some love. I like Mosca's, always have. Maybe it's nostalgia, maybe I know what to expect and am happy with that. So, with that in mind.....

            Atmosphere - It's an old road house, "renovated" post K. It's not fancy...it's not cozy...it's most certainly not stylish....the lighting is harsh. But it's Mosca's, and it "feels" right. It's definitely best experienced in a large group. Dishes are served family style.....large platters, holding large portions.

            Food - Lots of garlic...lots of olive oil. My favorites:

            Crab Salad - Iceberg lettuce, giardiniera and lump crabmeat....that's it. But, damn good.

            Spaghetti Bordelaise - Pasta, olive oil, butter and garlic. A must on the table.

            Chicken a la Grande - A whole chicken chopped up (yep, the back bone is probably in there too) roasted w/ rosemary, whole garlic cloves, olive oil & white wine. I've been making my own version of this for years.

            Italian Sausage w/ roasted potatoes - House made, sells out quickly.

            Filet Mignon - Most don't think of steak when they think of Mosca's....they should. It's a thing of beauty.

            Pineapple Fluff - I'll get hammered for this one. Heavily whipped cream and canned pineapple. Yep. That's it. And I'm a believer.

            I personally am not a fan of the Oysters Mosca. I find it too heavy on the bread crumbs.

            Items that I've not had, but have heard good things.....roasted chicken, chicken cacciatore and Shrimp Mosca.

            Service is friendly. Decent enough chianti. Hot sesame bread. Cash only. Cheers!

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            Mosca's Restaurant
            Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

            1. re: BayouTeche
              k
              kibbles Sep 15, 2010 09:45 AM

              one note -- "stylish" and "homey" (or even "comfortable") are different things. wanting something comfortable doesnt mean expecting stylish. mosca's is neither, imo.. just garish. probably would have been better in the mid 20th century when lighting was softer.

              now, id certainly put up w/ that if the food rocked...but for whatever reason its not resonating. im an absolute nut about crab yet even the crab salad was a bgi disappoint. maybe they were just low on crab the times ive been..

              but thats funny - i think i like best was your least, the oysters mosca!

              1. re: kibbles
                BayouTeche Sep 15, 2010 10:14 AM

                Different strokes, eh kibbles?

                I'm not going to argue the decor/lighting. I mean, jeez, fluorescent lights? How about a dimmer switch and some candles.

                Yeah, every time I go, someone gets the oysters, I try them, and still don't care for them.

                One of the reasons I like the crab salad so much is the enormous portion of sweet, lump crabmeat. It's been at least 2 years since I've been. It'd be a shame if they started skimping on the crab.

            2. re: shanefink
              Suzy Wong Sep 17, 2010 10:34 AM

              as an fyi re oysters, they aren't currently missing from area menu's as far as I know....Many places didn;t even stop serving them...(Even P&J though totally! scaled down, still sold oysters)

          2. p
            piglet3000 Sep 15, 2010 12:54 PM

            I forgot we had the crab salad too! (this was maybe 2 years ago???) It literally looked like crab from a can. It ALMOST looked like fake crab meat ! I totally didn't care about the harsh lighting and lack of atmosphere; (between visits, I count the days until I can sit under the harsh lighting at Liuzza's.) I just wanted it to be delicious !!! Now you've gotta go, ccfoodie and see if you can prove us all wrong !

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            Liuzza's Restaurant & Bar
            3636 Bienville St, New Orleans, LA 70119

            14 Replies
            1. re: piglet3000
              c
              ccfoodie Sep 15, 2010 06:20 PM

              I will be there with my husband of 38 years, my 60 year old brother, and my 86 year old mother on Saturday. We will celebrate what was , what is, and what could be!! Yes, that means we will also have wine. New Orleans area dining will prove to be, hopefully, a memorable time!!

              1. re: ccfoodie
                s
                Shiloh Sep 16, 2010 09:22 AM

                enjoy. count me among the fans of mosca's. i say you can't go wrong with either of the chicken dishes (la grand or cacciatore). i'd recommend getting both, along with an order of the oysters and the spaghetti bordelaise. (i can take or leave the crab salad.) feel free to top your spaghetti with a bit of the deep, thick red sauce that clings to the chicken cacciatore, and don't forget to sop up that and the chicken la grande's garlicky olive oil with torn pieces of sesame-encrusted bread. hell, you may see me at the table next to you now that you've got it in my mind.

                1. re: ccfoodie
                  p
                  piglet3000 Sep 16, 2010 02:39 PM

                  Wonderful !! Cheers to you all !

                  1. re: ccfoodie
                    s
                    Shiloh Sep 17, 2010 08:09 AM

                    ccfoodie, just noticed you last dined at mosca's 38 years ago and you've been married for 38 years. coincidence?

                    1. re: Shiloh
                      c
                      ccfoodie Sep 19, 2010 07:54 PM

                      We did go there on Saturday night. My family (85 year old mother, 89 year old step-father,brother,husband andI I) had a GREAT meal. We started with 2 orders of Oysters Mosca followed by spaghetti Bordelaise(sp) and chicken cacciatore. It was great!!

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                      Mosca's Restaurant
                      Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

                      1. re: ccfoodie
                        paz5559 Sep 20, 2010 03:05 AM

                        I think the ultimate trick with Mosca's is to go with appropriate expectations. It is a wonderful, old-world, family-run homey place. Not cutting edge, not elegant, but traditional, almost a throwback to a different time. Kinda like Uglesich's used to be.

                        Neither the crab salad nor the pineapple fluff are things you would ever try elsewhere - but here, they just work.

                        1. re: paz5559
                          s
                          shanefink Oct 3, 2010 04:54 PM

                          Mosca's was the perfect place to go with a group of 11 40year old guys when you have a limo. Everyone had a great time and the dishes were enjoyed by all, even the New Yorkers that have great Italian at home. I agree that with paz5559 completely. It just works. I wouldn't recommend it for a party of 2 or even 4, but with large groups or families with lots of kids, it's worth the trip.

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                          Mosca's Restaurant
                          Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

                          1. re: shanefink
                            b
                            Bigrayok Oct 5, 2010 02:05 PM

                            People always say one should go to Mosca's in a group. I have been there twice by myself and enjoyed it both times. I eat a lot and do not mind spending money when I am on vacation by myself. I have been to most of New Orleans's "name" restaurants by myself. I am not self conscious about eating alone like a lot of people are. The last time I went to Mosca's I had the crab salad, Spaghetti Bolognese, the chicken, and the pineapple cake. I ate all of it.

                            I can see why some do not like Mosca's. It is out of the way, the wait can be long, the employees are not overly friendly (Although they have been friendly to me), and they do not accept cards unless that has changed. I have enjoyed my trips there.

                            Bigray in Ok

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                            Mosca's Restaurant
                            Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

                            1. re: Bigrayok
                              s
                              shanefink Oct 5, 2010 04:07 PM

                              If you ate all that, you are definitely living up to your moniker. The only reason I say to eat there in a group is so that you can easily sample the six or seven things on the menu. I think it's the best way to order there. We didn't even accept the menus, just told them to bring it on. BTW, they still don't accept ccs.

                              1. re: shanefink
                                k
                                kibbles Oct 6, 2010 08:05 AM

                                anytime i see a successful business not taking credit card i immediately think theyre cooking the books for the IRS. no idea if its true, of course. but w/ sam's club offering 1.5% processing its hard to imagine not wanting to make it as easy as possible to ring up more sales.

                                anybody have thoughts?

                                1. re: kibbles
                                  h
                                  hazelhurst Oct 6, 2010 08:31 AM

                                  The New Orleans houses--and some I can think of elsewhere--caved in when they were turning away too many credit card customers. Local places used to open a house account for the guy without cash, have him pay up, then close the account. the main objection was the fee charged by the credit card companies, with American Express being the real Villian. Early on, some places took Visa and MC but drew the line at AE. Cash also gets you great seafood in the early morning hours because the vendor gets his dough (at least from some places) right away.

                                  1. re: kibbles
                                    s
                                    shanefink Oct 6, 2010 03:36 PM

                                    Anytime you are a cash only business, you are much more likely to get audited. Mosca's is old school and I think keeping it cash makes it feel that way. That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if they were fudging the numbers a bit. Other places enjoy the extra revenue stream they get from the ATM machine. Total credit card processing for a restaurant should be around 2.3-2.4% of the credit card sales, including AMEX. Strangely, though, I just got back from San Francisco and almost no one there accepted AMEX- Visa/MC only.

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                                    Mosca's Restaurant
                                    Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

                                    1. re: shanefink
                                      k
                                      kibbles Oct 7, 2010 09:40 AM

                                      its not uncommon to not take amex, they are the most expensive to merchants. discover as well. interestingly, amex is the only one not settling w/ the government's recent charges of unfair business practices; visa/mc decided to change their policies related to the case.

                                      as for "old school feel" via cash, im not really sure what that means. i think of old school as a combination of aesthetic, service and menu, but i have a hard time equating whether im putting down bills or plastic into that bucket. antoine's, galatoires, plenty of old school dames out there...payment's payment. making it more difficult for customers to pay is just annoying.

                                      the rumors id always heard about mosca's was the chicago thing -- capone's cook opened it, used for laundering money, etc. no idea how much or little of that was true, and if so how long its legacy would have lasted.

                                      but as for present day cc charges, there are some pretty competitive options out there now. Square Up has some good no-merchant-account rates, and Sam's Club has some very attractive rates (<2).

                                      1. re: kibbles
                                        h
                                        hazelhurst Oct 7, 2010 09:55 AM

                                        The version I heard back in the 1960's, is that Mosca's was at (or was) the old marcello hunting camp and that Carolos set up his driver out there. But I have heard similar stories in other countries.

                                        What I miss about the old school places, such as they are in my memory, was the new money one got in change at lots of cash-only (or house account) places

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                                        Mosca's Restaurant
                                        Hwy-90 W, Westwego, LA 70094

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