Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Two Tickets to the Titanic

There are certain restaurants I have to put on my bucket list either due to price, location or exclusivity. The Moshulu in Philadelphia was one of those restaurants. Built in 1904, it is one of the world's largest four-masted sailing ships still afloat. Located on Penns Landing in Philadelphia, it has been the object of my taste buds and I've been waiting for the chance to dine at such a high end and unconventional location. Unfortunately for me, I don't have the money to afford a $35 entree so who knows when I'll get to go....I WENT LAST THURSDAY!

I love Groupon.com and Living Social.com. If you are not signed up for their emails you are crazy. They offer the opportunity to try new things you normally wouldn't be able to afford because they offer a discounted price. I received an email for the Moshulu offering a $50 dinner voucher for the price of $25. It's pretty much a free entree. It had to be used during a dinner for two, so Shawn lucked out and was invited again. I was so excited; I had the menu memorized and knew exactly what I wanted to try.  
After we ordered we were served gazpacho, compliments of the chef. Anytime you get something for free you must try it! It's an easy way to cross off your culinary conquests without spending cash. Gazpacho is a tomato based, veggie soup served cold. It was really sweet and I couldn't shake the taste after a glass of water. I'm glad I got to try it but I know now that I would never actually pay to eat it. We also received serious amounts of delicious bread to chew on, also free. On that note, our waitress was wonderful! She was very sweet, knowledgeable and always around to ask if we needed anything else. She knew about the Groupon deal and welcomed us to use it towards alcohol even though it said we couldn't. We decided no wine since our Groupon would bareley cover our  entrees, but it was a nice thought. 

So being on a ship and all, I figured it would be inappropriate not to order seafood. So I decided on the Barnegat Light Sea Scallops. It said it would be served with Yukon potatoes, crawfish and fava bean succotash and a sweet onion marmalade and lobster jus. Sounded amazing! When my order came out my potatoes did not taste like potatoes. Instead it was a creamed corn flan? My plate was already covered with corn and peas and I wanted some frigin' potatoes. The four scallops I got were tasty, but all in all not worth the $32 bucks. I've had better scallops in little Italian BYOB's off in an alley somewhere. Shawn got salmon, and the salmon tasted like salmon. He did get his potatoes though. I know it looks cool when your potatoes are in the shape of a sphere with dead trees 
sculptures on top, but what I am interested in is the quality and taste. Salmon with potatoes and 4 pieces of Asparagus again were, ok but not worth the $30. The best part about the experience was being on that old ship! It was really neat walking on the ship because you could feel the slant of the boat and bowed floor boards beneath you. The view from our table was beautiful looking out on the river. We arrived around dusk so we experienced a bright and very intimate setting. It felt like I was in a different city by being on the river. I hardly see water when I eat unless I am on the coast, so this was a real nice feature. It felt like I got two tickets to the Titanic and won a chance to experience a fine dining experience on the water meant for the big wigs and fancies.

Sum It Up
Service: Spectacular! We made a reservation and due to Philly bridge traffic, we arrived 40 minutes late. I called to change the time and they were very accommodating. Our waitress was amazing. She was very nice, cheerful and she knew a lot about the food and wine. 
Atmosphere: It was the reason I went. I can order salmon and scallops anywhere and pay half the price. I went for the atmosphere. I am a huge history buff so fine dining in what could have been the storage room for coal in 1904 was very appealing. Candle-lit tables, lights on the water, it was a very romantic and a fun experience. 
Food: Ehhhhhhhh.... it was decent. I was actually disappointed in the food considering the cost.
Extras: The wine list was pretty crazy. If I had the money I would've loved to have had a glass, especially since the waiters could recommend one. I love it when they know what they're talking about.  There was also a bar located on the deck with seating called the Bongo Bar. It could make for a fun night drinking on the sea, under the stars. Almost forgot parking. You have to pay $15 for the parking lot at the Moshulu which is outrageous!! So go early and find street meter parking.

All in all I'm glad I got the chance to go. Now I can say, "Hey, I ate there." The chance to be on the ship and read about it's history was pretty cool, but I would probably never return unless it was for free booze or free food. Just like the Titanic, its atmosphere did impress. And unfortunately my experience would also go down in history as a disappointment, but at least I wasn't frozen in the water.

Rating: 6 of 10












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