When I first moved to Fort Lauderdale, The Blue Moon Fish Company was always mentioned when people talked about a special occasion venue. The 2 big deals were the 2 for 1 lunch specials and the Sunday Brunch, which was $29.95 at the time. "Oysters and Crab Cakes" I was told. I never bit on the brunch, but I did go to lunch. The gumbo made me cry, which is a good thing.
Over the years, the place has diminished to a point of delusional comedy. The brunch is now $58.95. I decided it was time for a revisit (they remodeled last year), and after checking their menu, I called to verify that they still have a 2 for 1 lunch. The lady snickered and said "Oh no, we haven't done that in a year. But we've lowered the prices and give nice big portions". Ok, we'll I'd looked at the menu, and the prices didn't seem much lower to me. I'm usually not into eating 2 entrees anyway, so I figured I'd go down and get a $12 bowl of gumbo, which was $3 less than the old 2 for 1 price.
There's a strip of spots just across the street from the parking lot; the valet is $3 so you're looking at $5 with tip. The meters are $1 per hour; I don't need to pay $5 to have someone drive my car 20 feet.
Upon entry there's a big oyster bar on the right.
$4 each for Blue Points. The delusion begins.
The first thing that caught my attention was that the place was empty. There were some people on the enclosed patio, but not a sole in the dining room.
While that's not unusual for lunch time in the Summer in Fort Lauderdale, it is unusual for the Blue Moon. When they did the 2 for 1 lunch, the place was filled.
I took a seat at the bar; there was one older couple; the kind of people who drink wine and spend $100 for a lunch; you know them. And one GoodFella type dude on his cell phone. You know him too.
I recognized the bartender as someone who has worked there for many years. I ordered a tea and checked the menu to see if anything was new.
I took a quick glance and the first thing that caught my eye was the Lobster Roll, since I'd just had one yesterday. $23, and they call it a "Rock and Roll" Lobster roll, because they've downgraded it by adding some rock shrimp. Ok, So last year this was $21, was all lobster meat and was 2 for 1. This is the most expensive Lobster Roll in the city.
I ordered the gumbo; the bartender asked if I liked "spicy", as if she hasn't tasted it in 5 years. "yes", I said. I should be so lucky. I wondered if it would come in a larger bowl. But when it came out; same bowl as before. So instead of $7.50 it's now $12.
I tasted it; no heat. Every time I get this it has less stuff and less heat. There was 1 shrimp, 1 little crawfish, a few pieces of sausage and no okra. Still better than the stuff they serve at Shuck and Dive, but not nearly as good as that first visit.
After a couple of spoonfuls the bartender asked if I wanted some bread; that's one thing that's new. Bread was $1.50 extra with the 2 for 1, so I figured I'd take advantage. This bread service was better than the last time.
The dip was pretty aggressive with a load of garlic. I like it garlicky, so no complaints from me on this.
By now 4 of the goodfellas dude's buddies had arrived and the TVs were on horse racing. It was starting to feel like lunch at Frankie and Johnny's.
My server asked how I liked the gumbo: "It's not as spicy as it used to be". She seemed surprised, and offered me some Tabasco. "Noooo" I said, "that would ruin it". She then offered some "Texas Pete's". I dripped a bit on a spoon and tried it. Not bad. Not as vinegary as Tabasco.
I finished up and cashed out, armed with all of the info I needed.
This place is a far cry from packed restaurant with the "ladies who lunch" doing the 2 for 1 deal. When you nearly double your prices, there's going to be some fallout.
I never understood why anyone would come here for dinner, but there is a shortage of "elegant" restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. Their brunch has almost become a local joke "how much are they charging now?", much the same as the $69 brunch at Council Oak.
What's happened here is that you have a place that was unique 10 years ago; a nice restaurant with interesting recipes in a town where getting a good meal is a challenge. But much has changed, and Blue Moon has failed to adapt. Add to that the fact that the food isn't as good, and that they've dumbed-down the recipes, and you have a place that needs to re-focus their approach. This is a classic example of people who found a winning formula in 2004 and is still trying the same thing in 2016. It's a different world, people. You need to adapt.
When you're charging $4 for a Blue Point oyster, it takes a lot of stupid people to fill a 200 seat restaurant. Back in the day that was no problem, but there's a lot more competition now, and a lot more information about competitive pricing.
Blue Moon Fish Co Fort Lauderdale
Blue Moon Fish Company is a seafood restaurant that offers waterfront dining just east of the Commercial Blvd bridge. Its sort of a fancy place, and you get a mix of people who are dressed up and the very casual who wander in from the nearby beach community. jump--> One thing you get here at lunch is a lot of people drinking alcohol; in this neck of the woods, this restaurant is very high end. At lunch they have 2 for 1 entrees and appetizers, and even if you come by yourself they'll take off the lower cost item if you have 2 apps or an app and an entree.
There are a handful of metered spots available, but its most likely that you'll have to valet. Just about all of the spots by the restaurant are reserved for valet parking. I don't like this sort of setup, as I have electronics in my car and while they want you to use the valetjump-->, they don't want to be responsible for anything that comes up missing. Its most annoying when half of the valet reserved spots are empty and there are no others. Its one of the reasons I avoid the forced valet places (hello Benihana).
Its a pretty nice place, with a snazzy bar in the back with a few tables, a waterfront dining area, and an inside dining room with vaulted ceilings and etched glass partitions. The service here isn't terrific; the servers seem busy socializing and doing things other than worrying about their customers. There's usually a wait at peak hour, even for lunch. Its just one of those places.
Blue Moon Fish Co Dining Room
The first time I had the gumbo here I left the place crying; but they've since abandoned the spice in almost everything on the menu. The gumbo I had today was fair at best; not thickened properly and I can't say that I noticed any andouille sausage or okra at all. Blue Moon still lists Brian Cantrell as their Executive Chef, but he's left to run the kitchen at Thasos.
Blue Moon Fish Company Gumbo (2012)
A sad remnant of what used to be a great bowl of soup. >
I also ordered the mussels; a pound and a half of well-steamed PEI bi-valves, in a broth that he menu claims includes white wine, pancetta, rosemary, lemon and butter.
Blue Moon Fish Co Mussels
The mussels themselves are great, with only one unopened. The broth was particularly bland, however, and there were tomatoes in the broth and no hint of rosemary or butter. The broth had no dipping value at all.
Blue Moon Fish Co Bread
Something new at the Blue Moon is an 18% tip, which they add BEFORE deducting the 2 for 1s. You can look at this 2 ways; either it's a forced 30% tip, or you're really only getting an 82% discount on the second item. Good for servers, but bad policy.
While they've kicked-down the spice in their food, they've kicked up the price of their Sunday brunch from $29.95 to $48.95 per person. It's the ultimate in high end, with a raw bar, carving stations, entree from the kitchen and unlimited bloody marys or mimosas as well as desserts. It's the opposite of value-adding, which seems backward in a bad economy. Like the $55 brunch at the Hard Rock; you have to be really, really hungry to get your money's worth at this one.
All in all, a nice place with decent food that used to be better. Lunch is a good deal; but like many places in this town; bad policies and bland food blunt the overall experience.
Review 6/24/11 Blue Moon Needs to Kick it Up
The first time that I went to the Blue Moon Fish Company in Lauderdale by the Sea I had the Big Easy Seafood Gumbo; a file based rich brown soup loaded with authentic Andouille sausage, shrimp, crawfish and rice. I left the place crying; the gumbo was so spicy it made my eyes water. It's the way Gumbo is supposed to be.
Today I went to Blue Moon for lunch craving some spicy Gumbo, and when they brought out the massive bowl I could only smile inside. My instincts cause me to blow on my first spoonful to keep from burning my mouth; but this was only luke warm. Warm is ok, but after a few spoonfuls I realized that the gumbo wasn't spicy at all. I don't mean that it wasn't eye watering spicy; it was bland. It still had lots of good stuff in it, but it had no kick.
The soup was pretty filling regardless, but then my server reminded me that lunches are 2 for 1, so she suggested a dessert. I figured it was an opportunity to try something else on the menu, so I ordered the "firecracker oysters". I wanted some spice; some of that good ole New Orleans kick. The breaded and fried oysters arrived with a "cajun remoulade.
Blue Moon Fish Company is a seafood restaurant that offers waterfront dining just east of the Commercial Blvd bridge. Its sort of a fancy place, and you get a mix of people who are dressed up and the very casual who wander in from the nearby beach community. One thing you get here at lunch is a lot of people drinking alcohol; in this neck of the woods, this restaurant is very high end.\r\n\r\nThere are a handful of metered spots available, but its most likely that you\'ll have to valet. Just about all of the spots by the restaurant are reserved for valet parking. I don't like this sort of setup, as I have equipment in my car and while they want you to use the valet, they don\'t want to be responsible for anything that comes up missing. Its most annoying when half of the valet reserved spots are empty and there are no others. Its one of the reasons I don\'t come here often.
The food is good here, and the prices are high for dinner; for lunch everything is 2 for 1. I find the lunch menu much more interesting. Their lunch items are between $12 and $20. Most places with 2 for 1 lunches require 2 people; mainly because they want to you buy 2 drinks or hope you buy an appetizer. Here you can get 2 appetizers,
or an entry and dessert, and they\'ll take the lower priced item off the bill. It\'s a pretty good deal. They serve lunch until 3pm; they stay open but only serve their raw bar from 3pm to 6pm.\r\n\r\nIts a pretty nice place, with a snazzy bar in the back with a few tables, a waterfront dining area, and an inside dining room with valuted ceilings and etched glass partitions. The service here isn\'t terrific; the servers seem busy socializing and doing things other than worrying about their customers. There\'s usually a wait at peak hour, even for lunch. Its just one of those places.
The chefs here have a caribbean flair, but the menu seems more Cajun/New Orleans to me. The gumbo is very good here; $14 for lunch and its just about enough for a light but satisfying meal.
They have salads and meatloaf on the menu also; I'm not sure how the meatloaf fits in.
For dinner they have raw shellfish, New Orleans spiced appetizers, salads and a bunch of fancily prepared fish and meat dishes. They have the full gamet of Tuna, Halibut, Salmon, Swordfish, grouper, mahi and lobster along with a Filet Mignon, chicken and rack of lamb.\r\n\r\nThe crab cakes are a particular treat here, but they are pricey. For $14 at lunch and $17 dinner, you get a pretty small cake.
blue Moon Fish Co Crabcake
It's not really just a crab cake; it has crawfish as well, and its really quite good. The salsa that comes with it isn't much of a salsa; black beans and corn and red peppers without much holding it together. But if price is not an issue its a very worthy appetizer or light lunch.
The lobster roll is the most expensive in town at $21; but with 2 for 1 it's really quite reasonable. Gumbo and a lobster roll for $21? Are you kidding me?
Blue Moon Fish Co Lobster Roll
simply made with big chunks of lobster on a buttered roll.
They also have an all-you-can-eat Sunday Brunch starting at 11:30 with shrimp, oysters, clam and mussels, an omelet station and their special crab cakes. The brunch is $29.95 per person and includes one Bloody Mary or Mimosa. Reservations are suggested. Word is that it can be quite a squabble at the buffet table, so you might consider elbow pads.\r\n\r\nAll in all, Blue Moon Fish Company is a nice place for good seafood with a flare.
Bring your wallet and remove the valuables from your car before you leave home.
Blue Moon Needs to Kick it Up (06/24/2011)