Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Silver Moon Supper Club

I know that I've talked a bit of shit about the food in Fargo but I had a great meal tonight at the Silver Moon Supper Club. WifeRat and I had been shut out there a few weeks ago, so we actually made a reservation this go 'round so we could take my in-laws there for dinner.

My in-laws were and are fans of Monte's Downtown in Fargo and apparently know the namesake (as well as the blood, sweat, and tears) of the operation. As it happens in the restaurant business Monte left to open his own place, the Silver Moon. So the second we walked in the door Monte greeted my Mother-in-law warmly with a shout and a hug before he whisked away our coats.

One of the things that I figured out over the years is that I love the art deco and art moderne styles. Our building in DC has some art deco touches that WifeRat incorporated into our renovation and I've always felt like stainless steel appliances had a kind of deco feel to them. Additionally, BigDaddyRat is from Miami and I've always loved the colors and feel of the city, especially South Beach which is art deco out the wazoo.

This fucking restaurant is gorgeous! It is equal parts spacious, elegant, sleek, and stylish with a strong art deco feel to it owing to the tons of brushed steel accents. The dark wood floors are a perfect compliment to (what looked like) lucite covered metal chairs and the many beautiful light fixtures that look like dozens of wine glasses hanging from their stems. The dining room is cradled between two banks of gigantic clam shell booths which serves to highlight the centerpiece of the room, an amazing custom-designed chandelier that the whole restaurant seems to revolve around.

Our 7:30 reservation was for the second seating in one of the clamshell booths, so we weren't surprised when we had to have a drink at the bar while the first table of the night finished up. I'm not much of a oenophile, so I can't really speak to the wine selection but they did have a whole page of different champagne cocktails! Is there anything more festive and holiday like than a champagne cocktail? I think not, and I started off with a classic champagne cocktail that was quite delicious and followed that up with a "French 75" that featured Bombay Gin, lime juice, and sugar and was equally good.

Once we were shown to our table WifeRat took over and ordered a bottle of cabernet for the table. I guess I'm spoiled with the house-made charcuterie of places like Eve, so when a beautifully presented but rather pedestrian assortment of meats (salami? C'mon) and cheeses (brie? You can do better than that) was presented to me I was a bit disappointed. There was some sort of funky, tasty, sweet chicken salad with no mayo kind of thing on the plate as well. WifeRat had the smoked salmon tartar that was pretty serviceable; a nice ring mold of chopped smoked salmon topped with chopped egg and capers.

We were presented with a nice little scoop of cranberry sorbet between courses that was exactly what I needed before took on a massive serving of short ribs served with sweet potato puree, zucchini, and an herb laced bechamel. The short ribs were perfectly cooked, flavorful, and fork tender, but a touch on the dry side. A small flaw that I am willing to overlook when I get two big ass pieces of short rib that made sure my greedy ass was satisfied.

I know I'm being a little picky about the food and there's one person who I blame for that: Cathal Armstrong. I'm lucky enough to be good friends with one of Chef Armstrong's bartenders at Restaurant Eve and consequently I go there rather frequently. The bar food they serve at Eve is better than what they put out for their best meal at 80% of the restaurants in America, so places suffer by comparison when I talk about food.

The trio of chocolate desserts was perfectly sized, three small portions of different chocolate desserts. I like dessert as much as anyone, but after a big meal like that the last thing I want is one of those Texas Cheesecake Depository-sized pieces of cake or something. I need a little something sweet to change the taste in mouth and to go along with my coffee, a few bites and not much more.

With the wonderful food and sophisticated atmosphere at the Silver Moon Supper Club, it's easy to forget you're in Fargo until you get the check. Again, I'm jaded by DC prices in restaurants so I was ecstatic when the bill came. Even compared to other places in Fargo like the HoDo or Monte's, Silver Moon is a pretty good deal.

I'm an easy grader, so I give the place 3 out of 4 stars.


Anonymous said...

So you liked it, or not?

Hill Rat said...

I thought 3 out of 4 stars was pretty unambiguous, but yes I liked the place very much.

clara said...

You have great description skills!

Anonymous said...

What an interesting blog -- this is the first time I've seen it. My wife forwarded the link to me and I have no idea where she finds these things. I am intrigued by the sophisticated discussion on the one hand and the four-letter words on the other. Is your generation so bereft of descriptive adjectives that the **** items are used as filler? I'm not sure what they add to your commentary. I would assume that you wouldn't want Baby Rat to talk this way, but then maybe you do.

What I do know is that folks from the Fargo-Moorhead area get a little tired of people coming in from the big city and telling everyone that their restaurants aren't as good as those in the BIG CITY. Frankly, the restaurant scene in FM is about as good as it gets for a city of its size.

Sorry you have to live in the boondocks and that it is such a burden for you to bear. But then if you were such a hot shot, what would you be doing in Fargo?

Hill Rat said...

@Anonymous 12:33

First off, thanks for reading and commenting. No matter the opinion expressed, I'm always grateful for anyone who takes the time to comment. With the obligatory pleasantries out of the way, I'll get to the business at hand: ripping you a new orifice at the bottom of your alimentary canal (look Ma, no cussing!).

Your condescending tone and use of the phrase "your generation" leads me to believe that you are a typical, insufferable, self-righteous Baby Boomer. If my friends and I cuss too much, it's mostly because we're products of the world that you and your generation made for us. It is a world of low standards and lower expectations, filled with cockamamie ideas like "open classrooms" and teachers that don't correct spelling.

Scarface came out the year I started high school and I believe it still may hold the record for the most uses of the word "fuck" in a motion picture. No one in "my generation" had anything to do with the making of that movie, but we were influenced by its unabashed nihilism and violence. As far as your comment about BabyRat goes, it's really too stupid to address.

You make a valid point about the restaurant scene in F-M. Even so, the term "fine dining" means something specific and if a restaurant isn't up to the challenge of meeting all of the criteria of a fine dining restaurant then they shouldn't market themselves as such. I won't lower my standards simply because I'm not in a major metropolitan area, that strikes me as being condescending.

I'm not the "hot shot" (an archaic term that provides another indication that you're an old fogey) in the family, WifeRat claims that title. WifeRat and I took the opportunity to move to Fargo for her sabbatical after she received tenure from the university where she teaches. Originally we had wanted to move overseas somewhere, but given the current geo-political situation we decided we were better off staying in the US. We settled on Fargo because that's where her folks live and we wanted to give BabyRat an opportunity to spend more time with her Grandparents.

Rather than seeing living in Fargo as a burden, I saw it as an opportunity to get out of my snarky, big city, East Coast, latte sipping comfort zone. Living in Fargo was an amazing experience for me. I got to hunt and fish, go kick it at a cattle ranch in Montana, and coach a college rugby team. These are all things I almost certainly would not have done if we had stayed in DC.

I'm not quite sure what your deal is or why you would choose to first compliment and then insult me. But there's my response to it.

Thank you, come again!


Doc Mara said...

Glad you liked your experience. I'm pretty happy with the food scene here (and yes, I'm also pretty aware of food scenes in much bigger scenes, so I wouldn't put it at the tip-top of any list). I love the decor and have a lot of affection for particular dishes. I think they are uneven, but make up for it in style and earnestness. If I could make up a Frankenrestaurant in Fargo from my favorite haunts (the decor at this place, the friendliness of the staff at the HoDo lounge, some of the dishes from both Ushers House, WF Maxwells, Green Market and here and top it off with the Pastries from Nicole's) I think we would have a place that could compete with the middlebrow places in the big leagues.

Thanks for your review.

Anonymous said...

I believe that I waited on your table this particular evening. I'm very grateful for your review of my former employ. I agree with almost everything you had to say, and I absolutely have to agree with your opinion of food in Fargo. There are restaurants that are trying to create an east coast appeal not realizing that they cannot charge east coast prices. I have since left Fargo and am living in what I consider to be "food capitol U.S.A.", New Orleans, Louisiana. I have a hard time living in a city where the food is so fantastic but the ambiance is such shit.(within the restaurants of course) My opinion is taken lightly because I am from Fargo thus they believe that I cannot possibly have had any "real" fine dining experience.
Anyhow, my point is this, I am grateful for people such as yourself who are giving unbiased reviews on restaurants that are truly trying to create an experience of elegance, even in Fargo, North Dakota

Hill Rat said...

@Doc Mara

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I've started following you on Twitter.

@Anon 12:15

I'm no fan of W., but he was really onto something when he spoke about the "soft bigotry of low expectations." Usually that concept is used in the context of things a bit more important than going out to dinner, but it definitely applies here too.

Anonymous said...

Come on Hill Rat, you can do better than blaming your propensity for cursing on the prior generation. Weak, man.

sparkleboomer said...

Interesting comments about the SMSC. I am coming to Fargo this week and will probably go there.

I am always amused when I read anti-boomer rants. Moronic, sophomoric, stereotyped, yes, but also confused and filled with drivel. Your anti-boomer rant does not disappoint.

ingrid_joy said...

I realize that you posted this blog in 2008, but was wondering if you remember how much the food costs approximately...? I'm a poor NDSU student and have a gift certificate valid if I buy 2 entrees. I'm not sure what I'd be getting myself into if I tried using it.
Your input would be great. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

your a douche bag, that is all! I would probably punch you in the face and then vomit food that costs more than your car on your fucking face! Yes, I hate piece of shit, fucking, hipsters, and lets dance the fucking charleston assholes like you! I also work on k street and am from fargo!

Hill Rat said...

Hey Anon 4:12, I'm not sure what your problem is, but if you *really* think you can kick my ass you're more than welcome to try.

Don't just sing it, bring it!!!

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