My blog has bee dedicated to helping the home cook, shopper, or gardener. Chef Robert Irvine has been dedicating a lot of his time to helping the local restaurant. I have been watching his show “Restaurant Impossible” since it’s debut. The show does a wonderful job of showing the difficulties in running a restaurant and the mistakes that are commonly made. A lot of the mistakes are the same things that I am encouraging the home chef to correct, so I can appreciate what Robert is doing. I haven’t reviewed one of these shows before, but I decided with my beloved Good Eats about to end, I could use another show to talk about. So let’s give this review a try, so how it works out.
As a fan of the show something I did not until this week is that Food Network posts recipes from the show on their website. So you have a chance to make a restaurant quality meal (that is actually on a restaurant menu) in your home. I will talk about these recipes a little later in the review, but first I want to take a look at the resturant
Moss’ of Elyria, Ohio | Click here for the restaurant website
Moss’ has been a stable in Elyria, Ohio since 1958. It’s current owner purchased the name and recipes, and moved the restaurant to a new location. Numerous problems lead to this once happening place to fall on hard times. Their decor was rather dark and dirty. Their food was bland, serverly lacking in seasoning. This is a problem I have seen over and over again on this show. I think this same problem carries over into the kitchen. People will just toss a chicken in the oven without adding anything to it. This seasoning neglect leads to bland food that is then over salted at the table. In Moss’ case they cooked a beauty prime rib. Cooking a piece of beef to perfection is the hard part, which they were able to do, but they failed on the easier part of adding flavor.
Another issue this place had was that their owner was taking her frustrations out on her employees and her customers. But as the episode unfolded, we saw that the owner wasn’t a mean person, just someone who had been down for so long, that she built up her defenses. Once those defenses came down, she was able to humble herself and follow Robert’s advice as well as in call her brother for help. I gave her a lot of credit for that.
In the end, Robert and his team were able to create a more colorful, inviting space, with a simple menu full of good food. You can look at their menu on their website.
1. Herb Crusted Prime Rib | Click here for the recipe
The Prime rib was the signature dish for Moss’. However their prime rib, although cooked perfectly was not flavored perfectly. Robert taught their chef how to add flavor with an herb crust consisting of fresh herbs – parsley, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme. This kind of herb crust would work on other beef roast as well. I am going to try it next time I roast a piece of cow.
2. Fresh Pesto Shrimp Pasta | Click here for the recipe
Robert ate one of their pasta dishes and found that the pasta was overcooked so much he could turn it into paste with this fingers. Also their pasta dish was lacking in seasoning. So Robert showed them how to make a pasta that included shrimp and a house made pesto.
Reviews for the restaurant has had pretty positive reviews after the show (including this one). Despite that it wasn’t enough to save the business. On April 2nd they made this annoucement on their facebook page: “With much regret and a very saddened heart, today we have been forced to make the unfortunate decision to close Moss’ of Downtown Elyria. As of April 13th we will be closing the doors for the last time. It has truly been a pleasure to serve our great friends and customers. Over the past eleven years, so many of you have come into Moss’ as a customer and now we are so very proud to have turned those relationships into a great and lasting friendships. We do hope that over the next week and a half that many of you will stop in to say “arrivederci” as we all at Moss’ begin the next chapter of our lives.”
Sandi, Sam, Gary (chef), Grant (server, cook), Richard (server), Jody (bartender), Rob (dishwasher), Collin (cook)
This cookbook contains 111 recipes many with complete timelimes and several that are gluten free. An example of the kind of recipes you will find are Lime-Cured Shrimp and Roasted Corn Chowder, Porcini-Dusted Pork Chops with Cremini Mushrooms and Golden Raisins over Horseradish-Scented Potatoes.
In this book Robert shares his personal stories (including cooking for First Lady Laura Bush) and cooking philosophy. There are also recipes to be had like Black Angus Beef Tartare with Toasted Brioche and Fried Quail Egg, Roasted Duck with White Bean Ragout.