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Mar 21, 2011 07:35 AM

Business Dinner at Moo

Dinner with four guys in the seafood business and one guy in the meat business in town for the Boston Seafood show. To say they were under the critical eye was an understatement.

The good: The food is incredible. The grand shellfish platter was all very fresh including lobster, island creek oysters, crab and littlenecks. You can't go wrong with Island creek even if they are my biggest competitor. The $64 Painted Hill Ribeye was the second best piece of meat I've ever had and I've had a lot. The meat guy explained that it's grass fed but finished with corn so you get a much better after taste. For sides we had lobster mac & cheese, mashed potatoes and asparagus. All of which were devoured. Others in the group got the painted hill sirloin. I learned that a sirloin and a NY sirloin are two entirely different cuts of meat.

The bad: The ambiance of that place is a cross between a morgue and cheap south florida motel.
When I go to a steak house I want oak and lots of it. I want to feel like I'm sitting in a library in my english country manner about to enjoy a scotch and cigar after my slab of beef.

The end result: I would go back but it wouldn't be my first choice. I would take another meat aficionado there. I looked on the painted hill website and there aren't many restaurants on the East coast using their meat.

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  1. I wish I'd been at that table with you. The conversation must have been fascinating!

    But tell me ... $64 for a ribeye? Really? Worth it? That kinda threw me for a loop.

    2 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      The meat conversation was fascinating.

      $64 was worth it when your company was paying for it :) It had this amazing butter after taste. Not as good as the 6 oz of true kobe I had in Chicago but very good.

      1. re: typhoonfish

        Thanks typhoon .. a friend recently had the bone-in ribeye at Abe and Louis and said it was fairly flavorless for $42 (although it was 24 oz.) I'd pay a premium for a steak that actually tastes of something. Even better if the company is treating!

    2. Yes, you chose practically the only luxury steakhouse in town that doesn't subscribe to the "old money men's club" school of design. (Unless you count The Palm, which decorates itself with bad caricatures of local D-listers.) Mooo.... also merits mention for being the most expensive one of its kind, and owns the stupidest name.

      If you want marble, ornate plaster, brass, carved wood, etched glass, and dark paneling, try Grill 23 & Bar next time. Their beef is prime Brandt Farms, with dry-aged versions of ribeye and NY strip. It's my favorite of a category I don't especially love.

      So, how do you now distinguish between sirloin and NY sirloin? To me, sirloin is a more generic term, can mean anything from a whole sub-primal section of a beef, but when used without further clarification in restaurants usually refers to a tougher rump steak. NY sirloin refers to a big top loin cut, frequently described as a strip steak -- the less tender side of a T-bone / Porterhouse -- often served boneless.

      Grill 23 & Bar
      161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

      2 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB This site shows it pretty well.

        My understanding is that the NY Sirloin is the same as the Strip. It comes from the short loin. The sirloin is a little further back on the cow and is not as desirable or expensive.

        1. re: 9lives

          Nice site! Bookmarked that one. Love that it has a section titled "Dog Bones".

      2. Ive been there many times and the food has always been good. The room, however, is far from a cross between a morgue and a cheap motel. It's not the kind of stuffy place where you get a testosterone high from merely breathing. It's a sleek, modern open space that I really like.

        2 Replies
        1. re: C. Hamster

          Hamster, as you can probably tell from the demographic of the people sitting at the table that's exactly what we were looking for. This dinner is an annual affair. As a group we've already been to Grill 23, A&L, S&W and Oak Room.

          Our favorite so far for food. A&L is our favorite overall.

          Grill 23 & Bar
          161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

          Oak Room
          138 St. James Avenue, Boston, MA 02116

          1. re: typhoonfish

            Been to them all plus all the others in town (I think). I think the room is lovely and certainly not morgue-like or tacky. But I agree that it's nothing much like the others.

            I am partial to Grill 23 and AL, but I do agree that Moo's eats are top notch.

            I have disliked SW, but maybe it's because I took the bar exam there long ago and it dreges up bad memories.

            Grill 23 & Bar
            161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

        2. I've had Painted Hill Rib Eye and Sirloin at Les Zygomates. You are right. Delicious meat. How big was yours that it was $64? I think I paid like $32 at Zygomates.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Pork Belly

            The menu price and the online price are different.

            Dry Aged Painted Hill Rib Eye 35 Days 16 ounce 60


          2. At a lower price point, the ribeye for $34 at the Russell House Tavern is fabulous. They did seem to lessen the portion size on our last visit, but it was still plenty for us to split.

            Russell House Tavern
            14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138