Thursday, May 01, 2008

Preview: Mo's Irish Pub

Popped up to the new Saxony development in Noblesville last night for a pre-view service at Mo's Irish Pub, the latest venture from the Milwaukee/Indianapolis crew who brought us Mo's, A Place for Steaks and the third of their popular Irish pub concept. Owners and managers were putting servers -- and the kitchen -- through their paces last night in their first service -- with a planned opening on Friday at 11:00 a.m. I have to confess, I love to be a guinea pig. (I loved Escoffier at CIA for the same reason with the chef students often halting, stopping, and starting over on their formal presentations.) There's just something about being part of the overall process that makes me a forgiving, happy customer. But even on a regular night, I would have been happy with this place.

Decor is comfortable pub style with lots of dark wood, fireplaces, upholstered chairs and barstools imported from Ireland, and solid, bright colored walls. Somehow, it skips the forced "stone" feeling other Irish pubs seems to feel is important. Three main seating areas plus a large outdoor patio ensure this place should have room -- although in this neighborhood, I suspect it will fill up fast.

The menu, modified some from its sister restaurant, Mo's Irish Pub in Milwaukee, focuses on flavors that will keep customers coming back. Corned beef/sauerkraut/swiss cheese Reubens come in a variety of forms including quesadillas, sandwiches, and "shalaylees" stuffed egg roll style and sliced. Along with the traditional favorites -- corned beef and cabbage, burgers, and a salmon boxty, salads like a California-style Cobb and a classic Ceasar look appealing, too. The hit at our table was the triple grilled cheese with bacon, tomato and avocado and oven roasted tomato soup. Another soup -- a cream of mushroom with brie -- was rich but oh, so, good. Desserts were basic -- but good. An apple crisp topped with creamy vanilla ice cream, a giant chocolate chip cookie with chocolate dipping sauce and ice cream, as well as a rich but strong Bailey's cheesecake. Don't miss the signature Mo's bar service -- always excellent.

Chef Ken Arnone, the consulting chef for the Mo's family, will be in the kitchen for the rest of the week ensuring the staff is up to speed on his well-thought out menu. (Some of you will recognize his name as both a CMC and Chef Professor at CIA from '99 to '05.) Mo's will host a pre-opening benefit, open to the public, tonight from $6-midnight. $20 includes food and drinks with Dave and Rae. (Proceeds to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Central Indiana.) After a ribbon cutting on Friday, they'll open for lunch with 5 After 5 playing Friday night and The Last Good Year on Saturday.

Mo's, A Place for Steaks regulars would know Johnny V. and Jeramiah, but might not know operating partner Randy Cramer. My prediction with this restaurant team, the location, the food, and space, I just can't see how these guys don't have a hit on their hands. I suspect they'll find a welcome audience between nearby Geist, Deer Creek, and Noblesville neighborhoods. Congratulations on a new venture!
More pictures of the interior and space at the Feed Me/Drink Me Flickr group.


Anonymous said...

Did anyone meet the new owner of Elements last night. This guy is totally going to ruin what Greg and Mike built. Good luck retaining your staff.

braingirl said...

I have not yet but am trying to pull something together on this today.

Anonymous said...

i thought it wasnt't for sale. looks like the joke is on us.
love, the staff

Anonymous said...

Where is Greg going?!

Chef Jeff said...

I worked with Randy Cramer when he was the managing partner for Carrabbas in Southport. Incredible customer service guy. He never failed to impress.