Fishermans' Wharf generous with quality and quanity


November 07, 1991|By Mary Maushard

Mo's Fishermans' Wharf Restaurant at the Inner Harbor boasts of having one of the area's largest seafood menus. While that would be difficult to prove, it is certainly one of the biggest I have seen.

The menu lists more than 20 fish, not including shellfish. They can be had broiled, fried, poached, stuffed, Cajun-style or with marinara, bearnaise or hollandaise sauce. Lobster? The menu lists five dishes. Surf and turf? Three, not including the night's "special" cuts topped with shellfish and bearnaise.

Space limitations will not allow me to detail Mo's crab, shrimp and scallop dishes (five, four and three, respectively); nor its chicken entrees (four) or the ''Italian specialties'' (six); and certainly not the specials, which the night my husband and I were there included grouper Sicilian-style -- a large filet of grouper with shrimp, mussels and scallops in a light sauce over linguini.

Not only did my husband get a delicious supper from the Sicilian grouper ($19.95), but he also had a huge leftover for lunch the next day. And that seems typical of Mo's -- gigantic portions amid complete meals.

With the grouper, Mo's served a beautiful house salad and a healthy portion of crisp-cooked cauliflower, carrots and broccoli cut in attractively large pieces.

I, meanwhile, opted out of the ''which fish?'' dilemma and had the Fisherman's Salad Bowl ($11.95), described somewhat vaguely as ''fresh greens topped with a delicious selection of fresh gems of the sea, served with your choice of dressing.''

The ''gems'' were just that -- what looked like a half-pound of lump crab meat plus shrimp, scallops and crab claws. The cold seafood was tender and flavorful. With the house pepper Parmesan dressing on the side, there was nothing here to disguise the true taste of this high-quality shellfish. Like my husband, I took home plenty of leftovers.

We had begun our dinner by splitting an appetizer of brie baked with almonds and served with garlic bread ($4.95). Brie-lovers could, with a small salad, make a meal of this warm, creamy dish.

Desserts were the weak link. The selection was large, but our waitress said that only the cheesecake was made in-house. Everything else, she said, came from Ms. Desserts. Nothing wrong with that, though the mousse ($3.25) we shared was not VTC up to the rest of the meal.

With alternating layers of cake and chocolate mousse topped with a cream topping, the dessert seemed like a mousse cake, but our waitress assured us repeatedly that it was ''mousse.'' Whichever, it was dry and didn't have much taste.

Our waitress, though certainly polite and attentive, did seem to miss a beat or two. As in the seeming confusion between mousse and mousse cake. Earlier in the meal, we had been surprised to hear another waitress describe several specials that were not among those that had been recited for us.

But we really had no complaint about the service. We were shown promptly and courteously to our table and quickly attended to. Our courses came at comfortable intervals and, even though the place was virtually full on a Monday night, we never felt that our waitress was rushed.

With two cocktails, two glasses of wine and two coffees, our bill came to pennies under $60. For the quality and quantity that had been put before us, it was a most reasonable tab.

One more nice thing about Mo's is the view. It's on President Street across from Scarlett Place on the western fringe of Little Italy. The Baltimore outside Mo's wide windows is a lively place, full of the hustle of a bustling city. Cabs arrive to discharge tourists dining here. Semis speed by on their way to Fells Point and East Baltimore. Lots of cars. Lots of pedestrians. Lots of light. Lots of life.


Worth mentioning . . .

The Hotel/Motel Association of Greater Baltimore is holding its fourth annual Food For All, a benefit tasting for The Maryland Food Committee on Sunday at the Hunt Valley Inn. At least a dozen chefs from area restaurants will serve international dishes as this year's program, "Ports of Call," honors the Pride of Baltimore II's European voyage. For $40 per ticket, diners can sample exotic fare ranging from German to Japanese. The association is hoping to raise more than $25,000 to feed Maryland's hungry. The benefit is from 3 to 7 p.m. For ticket information, phone 947-4441.


Mo's Fishermans' Wharf Restaurant

219 President St.

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday; 11:30

a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Reservations: Recommended.

Credit cards: Major credit cards accepted.

Handicapped access: Downstairs accessible.

Smoking: Separate areas designated.

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