Food, atmosphere not to be eclipsed
By Christopher Malone
Blue Moon Grill, you caught me eating alone, with a deadline I take to heart, with my love out of town.
Call me lucky for going early and grabbing a seat at the bar in the Fulton restaurant. On a typical weekend night, the place has a tendency to fill up quick. On the evening I went, there was also a large party reserving several tables. People, parties trickled in steadily after 5 p.m.
Where Blue Moon Grill doesn’t stand out with huge, lavish signage — the sign on the brick wall faces South Second Street but feels tucked in a little bit — it has a cozy spot in Fulton’s Canal Landing plaza next to B&T Sports.
For regulars, depending on how frequently they go, Blue Moon Grill is at least an “everybody knows your face” place. Even for the restaurant’s virgins, such as myself, the friendliness experienced proves there’s no preferential treatment. My feet maybe took three steps down the long corridor to get to the barroom before I was greeted with a wave and a “How are you doing?” from my soon-to-be bartender and server Chrissy.
There aren’t too many places in Oswego and even in Central New York that serves escargot ($11.95). It was a no-brainer (to me) to kick the meal off with snails.
Sure, some of you reading this now are either on board or completely disinterested, and the latter is OK. For those who haven’t had escargot, try it, especially if you enjoy clams, mussels, oysters, et al.
Escargot isn’t slimy. They won’t foam in your mouth, if that’s a fear. They’re not gritty, overly chewy or salty; at least these weren’t. I think they have the same consistency as tortellini. And the garlic sauce they were sitting in just added to the whole eating experience.
There were plenty to share but there were only three pieces of crostini. Maybe Blue Moon Grill tailors the appetizer depending on how many people are in the party. That can be determined at a later date.
The other appetizer, which I dislike calling an appetizer, was the fried ravioli ($13) — a special of the day. The ravioli, which sat in a garlic cheese sauce, weren’t deep-fried — just lightly. The seven-piece small plate would have been tougher to chew and their cheesy interior would have not been as delectable.
And the ravioli seasoning wasn’t overwhelming, nor was it salty, which leads me to express my appreciation for the lack of dependency on the salt. It’s certain those tiny, opaque, coarse grains are used. It’s just not dumped in.
Another special of the day, the bolognese pasta ($18) came with a soup or salad, and I opted for the soup special, the zuppa Toscana ($4/cup, $4.75 per bowl).
The light, white broth soup made with heavy cream was filled with sausage, kale, onion, and cubed chunks of potatoes. It’s a much lighter option than going the salad route and it’s a bit more flavorful.
The bolognese had a more traditional approach. Instead of standard red sauce with a variety of meat, there was a slight creaminess to the sauce. More often, I feel thick and hearty sauces are commonly served. But the creamy, lighter sauce wasn’t watery or runny by any means.
Normally, for me personally, I know when to stop eating a hearty bolognese pasta entrée; yet, I didn’t feel like stopping. Rest assured, there were plenty of leftovers.
There was also Blue Moon Grill’s seafood pasta bake ($21.95), which featured crab, shrimp and scallops. The pasta also came with three pieces of crostini. The white garlic sauce, also not watery, dressed the pasta and seafood.
The price of the entrée had me wondering whether the crab was imitation — it was. When picking through for pieces, they were slightly chewier, stringed and not flaky, and slightly saltier.
Before tip, the meal came to $82 and change, which included a draft beer ($6.50) and a 3% charge for using a credit card. The surcharge, as it was mentioned to me, was to offset incurred costs due to the current economy.
The overall experience at Blue Moon Grill was very enjoyable, considering the atmosphere, staff and food. I have to give compliments to Chrissy, who was an incredible host. And it was also a pleasure meeting new co-owner Mat Overton, who took over ownership this year with his wife, Stephanie. I wish them the best of luck with this hidden gem.
Blue Moon Grill
122 Cayuga St., Fulton
Sunday and Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 4 – 8 p.m.
Wednesday – Friday: 11:30 a.m. –
1 p.m. (lunch), 4 – 8 p.m. (dinner)
Saturday: 4 – 8 p.m.
Top image: Seafood pasta bake features crab, shrimp and scallops. The white garlic sauce dresses the pasta and seafood.