As the world's oldest and largest floating square-rigged sailing vessel, the Moshulu has been a stalwart backdrop to the Delaware Waterfront. It's the only restaurant venue on a Tall ship and has been serving diners since 1975, though with a well-executed and modernized menu. Other claims to fame? After being confiscated by the U.S. Navy during WWI, Mrs. Woodrow Wilson herself re-named the ship, the Moshulu. And nearer and dearer to Philly's heart? It's featured during one of Rocky's workout sequences!
Moshulu's well-known for its holiday brunches, where you'll find a myriad of options to satisfying any diner's cravings, from carving to omelette stations. And during the summer, the deck is where it's at. There's no better spot to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of champagne a la Andy Samberg because, yes you're on a boat.
Speaking of champagne, I stopped by with the GF to check out Executive Chef Anthony Bonett's new spring brunch menu and were greeted with a few flutes of bubbly. I've got to say that service is top notch here as I saw several tables celebrating special occasions, with the managers and servers similarly elevating their experience.
During brunch, expect a sweeter touch for bread service. The housemade coffee crumb cake is crumbly indeed, served with a pat of whipped butter. Butter + coffee cake. Who knew? The Moshulu did and I'm glad. Great texture and buttery, yet with a nice lightness from within.
Shrimp & Crab Bloody Mary Cocktail [$13]
Cucumber, avocado, tortilla chips
The GF started off with the shrimp and crab cocktail, enhanced with a bit of kick from the Moshulu's Bloody Mary recipe. The sweetness of the crab and the snappy shrimp was contrasted nicely by the texture of the ripe avocado and the crispness of some shredded lettuce underneath. Easily enjoyed with some of their just-fried tortilla chips.
Crab Mac n Cheese [$12]
Truffle bread crumbs
If mac n cheese is on the menu, you know I've got to order it. And I'm so glad I did. Moshulu's version was especially creamy, with the base of the cheese sauce coating the al dente cavatappi noodles. There were wonderfully sharp notes from the cheddar, along with an innate sweetness from the bits of crab studded throughout. Loved that Chef Bonett didn't inundate the actual mac with truffle oil and deftly accented it with truffled bread crumbs instead. Long story short? Get the crab mac. Hopefully it'll make an appearance on a Happy Hour deck menu!
Bloody Mary [$10]
Brunch is always better with the punch of a good Bloody Mary. And Moshulu's got three iterations to cater to your inner lush. The GF went with the regular vodka Bloody, which showcased their house-made mix - clearly fresh and had a spicy kick that didn't uncomfortably linger. Definitely not the sugary tomato juice mix from the store. I enjoyed the sweet smoke that came from the bourbon in my Kentucky Bloody. And for fans of tequila, check out their Bloody Maria!
Pro tip: For $14, the Moshulu offers bottomless Bloodies and mimosas. There aren't many places in Philly that can say that - or at that price!
Charcuterie & Cheese
Chef also sent out a gorgeous charcuterie plate, which included house-cured salumi - coppa, bresoala, and luxurious duck prosciutto that simply melted upon mastication. Adorned with pickled pearl onions and carrots, crostini, mustard, and pickles, the smorgasbord was paired with a half-wheel of baked brie with roasted golden raisins, honey, and Marcona almonds. I know I'll be baking my brie at home with golden raisins from here on out!
Creamed spinach, chive hollandaise, Canadian bacon, English muffin
For my main, I went with the crab cake benedict. I'd highly recommend you do the same. A healthy portion of lump crab cake is without much, if any, filler. It sits atop a crisp English muffin and Canadian bacon, with the heft of the dish amplified by creamed spinach, perfectly poached eggs and a rich, creamy hollandaise. Served with Moshulu's tender hash potatoes and some acid provided by well-dressed greens, you can't go wrong with this dish if you're a fan of eggs bennies.
Peanut butter, toasted peanuts, chocolate chips, double cut bacon, maple syrup
The GF opted for a bit of sweet with their hearty multi-grain banana pancakes, which were studded with ripe banana slices, chocolate chips, and dusted with powdered sugar. It was also served with amazingly thick and crisp bacon to provide that perfect marriage between salty and sweet. The only way to enhance the bite? A healthy drizzle of maple syrup.
For you carb lovers out there, try their potato hash - lightly crisped on the griddle and creamy within, topped with chives.
Dark chocolate mousse, cherry vanilla chocolate chunk ice cream
Don't neglect the dessert menu! If you're looking to end your meal with chocolaty decadence, my money's on the luxe cake. Adorned with a disc of milk chocolate and gold leaf, the moist cake has a dark chocolate ganache and chocolate butter cream. The accompanying cherry vanilla ice cream had a great mouth-feel and broke up the richness of the cake.
Along with the great food and execution by Chef Bonett's kitchen, the service was top notch. Unsurprising because this is a Marty Grims / Fearless Restaurants operation. So if you're looking for the perfect venue for a riverside brunch, look no further than the Moshulu. They recently renovated the deck, with plans to offer a la carte dining up top. There's even got a retractable roof for inclement weather. Be sure to be on the look out for their Happy Hours as well!
FTC Disclaimer: Thanks to the Fearless Restaurants and Moshulu for hosting us. Regardless, my opinions are mine alone and, therefore, unbiased.