North Texas has Moxie

On a warm winter night, my husband and I wandered just south of Highway 121 into Plano territory for a night out on the town. One might think the current pandemic would put a hitch in our plans, but Moxie’s Grill & Bar proved to be the perfect place. With masks up and hand sanitizer at the ready, we were greeted with a modern, upbeat vibe as we walked through the door.

Honey-colored wood blended with pops of green and sprinkles of red in sleek, geometric form. The décor was edgy, yet fun and welcoming. A wall of soft, green moss nestled in a quilt of wood drew us in, and I confess I couldn’t help but touch it – after sanitizing of course! A brown plaid, upholstered bench flanked the grey brick wall to the right. We walked past a room of lime-green and grey quilted booths, with chairs perfectly placed at geometric angles. A wall of windows and a well-lit glass wine cellar added a glow to the bursts of lime and honey in the room. Circular lights hanging from the ceiling added an edgy and modern touch, but lest things appear too serious, a lighted sign above the wine cellar playfully beckoned, “I will if you will.” Our hostess led us into the next room, where every seat was elevated – literally. Lime and grey quilted high-boy booths sported metal footrests and were on-level with the black and honey high-top tables and bar stools. Geometric black and white tile moated the bar of lighted liquor and flat-screen TVs. In the back, clear glass revealed the kitchen, where the stainless-steel walls seemed quilted too.

Before we could linger, we ventured onward to the outdoor patio, where the fun and edgy vibe continued. Our hostess ushered us to one of the high, grey wicker booths, on-level with the bar stools inside. Red pillows were placed at perfect angles on each cushion, geometric chandeliers cast a modern light and black and white striped umbrellas added an element of whimsy to the whole scene. Our waitress pointed out the QR code link to their menu, and we began the hard process of choosing a drink from their many options. Inspired by the sunset and the daily Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m., I opted for a sweet cocktail to kick off the evening and my husband chose the Old Fashioned, with a peel of an orange and a spear of a cherry, which the waitress had recommended.

For starters, I tried the Poutine: fresh-cut fries, hot beef gravy, cheese curds and chives. These heavily seasoned fries definitely required a fork! As the temperature began to drop a bit from the sun’s absence, these potatoes were just the bit of warmth and flavor I needed at the moment. But as appetizers go, the pot stickers my husband ordered undeniably stole the show. The presentation was beautiful and not at all what we were expecting from the menu description of pork dumplings with chili ponzu and fresh pineapple salsa. Served on an elongated plate, eight elegantly furled dumplings innocently sat on a bed of chili, sprinkled with a confetto of corn, pineapple and mango. It was almost too pretty to eat … but that didn’t last long. Each dumpling provided a kaleidoscope of textures and flavors with just a touch of crunch in the beginning, followed by the tender pork and then punctuated with a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. What a fabulous way to start the evening!

After indulging in the delicious appetizers, it was time to work our way to the main event. Moxie’s menu choices were categorized into Steaks, Mains, Bowls and Handhelds. Soups and salads were offered as well, but we were here to get the full experience. Steaks consisted of a 12-ounce prime New York, a tenderloin filet or steak frites. Mains included various selections of chicken, salmon and ribs. Bowls touted beef, chicken or vegetarian themes. Handhelds ranged from a French Dip to an array of burgers designed to satisfy all dietary preferences. My husband’s half-rack baby back ribs were truly fall-off-the-bone tender, as promised, and the small house salad and jasmine rice he chose as sides helped to balance the weight of the meal. Based on my husband’s rate of consumption, which served as a high compliment, the entire meal was reduced to mere bones in no time. For me, the chipotle mango chicken with lemon quinoa sounded intriguing, but I substituted baby potatoes for the seasonal vegetables and I was glad I did! They helped squelch the heat of the sweet and smoky dry rub on the two chicken breasts that arrived perfected stacked on a bed of lemon quinoa and potatoes. Topped with salsa fresca, slices of avocado and mango puree, this entrée definitely delivered a medley of flavors and spice levels to keep my taste buds entertained!

Somehow, after all that entertainment, we miraculously found room for dessert. So strange how that happens! We looked at our options and both laughed because we instantly knew what each of us would order. Key lime pie happens to be one of my husband’s favorite desserts and I’ve been known to have a huge weakness for brownies. So, the decision was easy! But what we received was far from the norm. I snuck a bite of my husband’s key lime pie and I vehemently agreed it was one of the smoothest key lime pies we’d ever had. You can’t beat a graham cracker crust, of course, and the whipped cream infused with pecan
bits and lime zest topped it off with an unexpected twist. One bite was all I even attempted because I knew my husband was going to fully consume that little slice of heaven!

Fortuitously, I was in for my own surprise when my brownie made its appearance. Yes, the menu had touted it as a white chocolate brownie with warm chocolate sauce, vanilla bean ice cream and real whipped cream, but somehow, I was shocked by what I saw. Perhaps I had been mentally blinded by the word ‘chocolate’ … an effect I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing, but a yellow brownie was not what I was expecting to see! I’ll admit, the fact it was called a brownie and was sitting on a bed of chocolate is what really drew me in. I almost had to close my eyes to get past the visual illusion, but a deliciously warm brownie is what I tasted. Oh my, was it good! I offered a bite to my husband, which he
declined, perhaps because he was experiencing his own key lime ecstasy by that point, so I was left to happily consume the whole thing! 

By the end of our dining adventure, we weren’t sure we’d be able to gracefully navigate our way out of the elevated booths, but we didn’t care. We had been thoroughly entertained and more than satisfied!

Our dinner out – in the middle of a pandemic – had been a success! It was so refreshing to experience a bit of normalcy in the midst of abnormal times. We quickly realized our annual Valentine’s Day dinner could be accomplished after all! Imagine our delight when we learned that Moxie’s also offers a brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. After our server’s glowing recommendation, this brunch sounds like something that shouldn’t be missed either! French toast covered with Crown Royal strawberries, syrup and whipped cream, anyone? Or maybe a brunch burger topped with egg, bacon and cheddar is what you’re looking for? Either way, it sounds like there is something for everyone at Moxie’s. If you happen to experience Moxie’s on a Wednesday, you can enjoy their half-priced wine bottles all day long. But if the rest of the world discovers the hidden secrets of Moxie’s Grill & Bar and the crowds make reservations difficult, you can still savor their flavors through their delivery and pick-up options.

Regardless of how you choose to experience Moxie’s Grill & Bar, you’ll be treating yourself – and your tastebuds – to a fun, culinary adventure! That little slice of normalcy just might help ensure your sanity and the continuance of Moxie’s for years to come!

Frisco STYLE Magazine dining reviews are not scheduled with or paid for by the featured restaurant. All reviews are completed for the purpose of helping readers know and enjoy local dining options.

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Amy Richmond is a writer who relishes faith, family, intriguing conversations and inspiring words. She wishes time could be saved in a bottle because one lifetime is not enough.