My Near-Miss With Mo

As everyone knows by now, tonight was my date with Mo (well, okay, Mo’s restaurant). My mother, sister, husband and I piled into the car and drove to New Rochelle.
I was anticipating a possible sighting of Mo, of course, but it was exciting enough to walk in and see the hostess wearing this.
“Hi, we have a reservation for 7 o’clock,” I told her. With the no-nonsense approach of the restaurant’s namesake, she quickly turned and led us to a really private corner table in the main dining room. Yes, there were framed photos of Mo himself everywhere I looked, including an amazing shot of him coming in from the bullpen (you can practically hear “Enter Sandman”). Right above my seat at the table was a photo of A-Rod with the inscription: “To the best closer in baseball and an even better friend.” At least that’s how I remember if after drinking a large pour of their delicious Pinot Noir.
We ordered lots of food – steaks, fish, the Yankee Burger, apple pie, side dishes, you name it – and everything was tasty and reasonably priced, relative to restaurants in Manhattan. The atmosphere was festive and everybody seemed to be in a celebratory mood. But by the end of the meal, what I really wanted to know was: WHERE IS MO? I struck up a conversation with Stephanie, the Assistant Manager who was doubling as our waitress. The lighting is dim, but hopefully you can see her pretty smile.
So Mo stops in for dinner on SUNDAYS, NOT SATURDAYS? Bummer. And I missed seeing the entire team signing autographs at Steiner Sports just down the street? Double bummer. It would have been fun to say hi to Joba, too. But all was not lost. Stephanie brought out Gary Fosina, the Executive Chef at Mo’s, to chat with me. It was sweet of him to take time out of his busy Saturday night in the kitchen. “Want to see the back room?” he said. “We’re doing a party there.” It turns out, a Yankee she-fan was giving her husband a 40th birthday bash, complete with a disk jockey and dance floor.
You can hear Lady Gaga in the background as I talked to Gary.
See what interesting things I learned about my favorite Yankee? He likes his water at room temperature. He eats carrot cake. He goes to church every Sunday with his family. And he asks guests how they became Yankee fans. I might just have to ask Mo to marry me and get it over with.
Seriously, I loved Mo’s New York Grill. What’s not to love? Great food, service, atmosphere and photos of Yankees on the wall. I give it 42 stars, my highest possible rating.



    You are one funny Lady Heller ! All the angel and dodger fans at work not happy with me wearing my Yankee shirts every day for 5 days after the Series Win. Too Bad . Hope things are good Jane!

  2. Jane Heller

    Put it on your calendar, ibrenne. It’s only a half-hour trip from the city.

    I bet your co-workers aren’t loving your Yankees gear, Brendan, but if either the Angels or Dodgers had won, you would have been forced to look at their shirts for weeks too. That’s just how it goes. Things are good here, but I sure do miss the California weather.

  3. scofid

    I will definitely have to put the restaurant on my Bucket List! It sounds like a great place! Mo has long been my favorite Yankee, and I’ll always be grateful that I was able to see one of the greatest Yankee legends play. Yeah, the CA weather is having a good time while you are away! Don’t worry, I am taking advantage of it for you!


  4. Jane Heller

    Mo’s is the perfect Bucket List destination, Scott. And you just reminded me to make up a list of my own. I, too, feel lucky that Mo’s talent was on display during my lifetime. The weather here got better in the last hour – it’s not raining; woohoo – so I can’t complain too much.

    Sorry you’re not feeling so hot, Peggy, and had to skip the walk. You’re smart to be careful and not get worse. I read about the signing in New Rochelle. Sounds like it was a zoo, especially getting to A-Rod. I wish they’d all come into the restaurant while I was there. Dammit. Thanks for the good thoughts and take care of yourself.

  5. Jane Heller

    I was thinking the same thing, Peggy! We could take over the back room on a Sunday, work it out with Gary that Mo would stop in for a hello, and have ourselves a blast. Great idea. Will let you know when I’m coming to NY again – with more notice than this quick trip – and maybe we can organize a meetup.

  6. peggy3

    Hey Jane ….

    I’m happy you had a great time at the restaurant AND you were able to see the back room. When I went the backroom wasn’t in use and thanks to Joe Fosina we were able to take our time to enjoy looking at all the pics. There are so many terrific pictures all over the restaurant but I particularly loved the back room since that was the Championship room. It certainly was a bummer how you just missed out seeing Joba at the place and the Yankee signing down the street…boo hoo. I read Alex’s auto went for up to $475…that’s a hefty price…one I could never afford. Joba & Joe G were there as well as Wells, Coney & Larsen…the three Perfecto’s. Thanks for the info about Mo usually coming on a Sunday …the next time I go I’ll definitely plan it for that day with hopes held high of meeting MO !!! I have been there 3 previous times but never on a Sunday I know …Sundays are Mo … :o).

    I didn’t go to the walk at the Stadium today as I’m not feeling too well and didn’t want to take a chance of getting
    worse. If I was actually doing the walk I definitely would have gone but I was only going as a cheerleader for my group so I didn’t feel as bad not attending.

    Your Mom (from the video) is as adorable as ever. I hope the rest of your trip is going well … ENJOY !!!

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  7. peggy3

    I have an idea Jane …the next time you come to NY maybe we can do a blog meetup at Mo’s for any who would like to attend. That would be fun … :o). We could let the Fosina’s know ahead a time …maybe Mo would show … (wisheful thinking). In any case it would be nice meeting other readers. What do you think?

    Go Yankees 2010 !!!

  8. Jane Heller

    That would be pretty funny if you did that, Paul. Knowing what a good sense of humor Mo has, I bet he’d laugh. Do it!

    I feel the same way you do about autographs, Melissa. The whole idea of them seems lost. I know that Steiner serves a purpose, but back in the dark ages when I was a kid the excitement about getting an autograph had to do with spontaneity and the thrill of an accidental meeting with a player. Now it’s about spending ridiculous sums of money and standing in line forever. Not my thing.


    Sounds like a fun evening Jane, even if you didn’t get to see Mo. Maybe next time!

    $475 for an autograph? It’s just crazy. I would think the original purpose of an autograph was to show that you actually were near the famous person. When people started buying them, it all went downhill. And now you can’t get anything Yankees without Steiner Collectables getting a cut.




    On the book: Your attendance at the midge game, while a nightmare (even seeing it on TV was horrible, maybe worse since we could actually see the little bugs) was great because it has gone down in infamy. It is still talked about with Joba becoming and expert on midges and Joe Torre regretting that he didn’t get the team off the field. I wonder if the Yankee organization was angry at Cleveland for not telling them about bug spray. What a mess that was. The other thing I remember are the gulls – maybe that was during the regular season – but it is like going on safari there.

    I’m so glad you got to talk to Jon Miller. I love him and almost always watch the Sunday night game, even when it is the National League. People even on your blog have slammed him and Joe but I think they are great and Jon is funny just like you. I’m also glad that John Sterling became your buddy always wanting to take care of you. It makes me like them more and I’m sure that is the case for you as well.

    It’s sad to read that the Indians put Yankees Suck on the score board. I grew up in Ohio and my first team was the Indians so I feel a special connection. I have been to games in Toronto and Kansas City and I have found people very nice in both those towns.

    When I lived in Manhattan (’77,’78), I lived at 91st and Lexington, very close to the your hotel. I also took the 86th Street subway to the stadium. I can still picture that area -I bet it has changed a lot and stayed the same a lot.


  11. Jane Heller

    Oh, Laurie. I remember the “midges game” as if it were yesterday. Such a nightmare. I remember at Torre’s press conference announcing he was leaving the Yankees when he said that his biggest regret was not taking the team off the field during that game. I sure wish he had. Jon Miller was a sweetheart. He and I emailed after the book was written and he couldn’t have been nicer. John Sterling was such a supporter and continues to be to this day. Interesting that you lived right near our home away from home. Such memories. I’d do the trip again in a heartbeat.


    Movies – I got a new DVD player and went a little nuts at Blockbuster but another Denver snowstorm and husband on the road again is my excuse. Anyway, I watched the Renee Zellweger movie “My one and only” and it is best to say it is uneven. Parts were good, especially those with the actor who plays her son. She is actually the bad part of the movie. I was thinking maybe she was the producer because everyone had to comment about how beautiful she is. She has never been beautiful, which is OK, but she looks like crap, her face all puffy and blotted with her dried plum expression. She looks like an alcoholic. But it is, at times, clever, light, funny, poignant and worth seeing on the cheap and in the dead of winter when there is no baseball. I’ll let you know about the others I got after I watch them.

    I have an idea for the blog movie – Sugar. I was going to get it but decided to wait. We could pick a weekend (maybe the Thanksgiving long weekend) for everyone to watch it and then talk about it on a Monday.

    What are you doing today in Westchester County. I also lived there in Crompond, near Peekskill. In fact my old college boyfriend owns the Croton Egg Farm. Have you heard of it? It’s probably too far north. Another college roommate grew up in Tuckahoe.



    Sounds like a lovely evening even if you didn’t get to see Mariano. When are you heading back to the left coast?

    We went to a 75th birthday party last night. It was for the mother of one of my husband’s dearest friends and we had a great time. The only reason I bring this up is that there were many very happy Yankees fans there so we all got to re-live a very happy W.S. experience. And also, the birthday girl’s late husband was a huge Yankees fan and had several occasions to meet and spend time with the likes of Mantle and DiMaggio — there are pictures all over the walls of their party room — some of them are pictures taken with our friend’s father ith such historic Yankees — and almost all of them are clearly autographed. Unbelievable. That room is worth its weight in gold for sure.

  14. dj2jd5jm7

    I was thinking the same thing just before I read Peggy’s post. That we should all go to Mo’s party room and celebrate after everyone meeting up for a game. It would be so great to meet everyone and to take in a game with fellow she-fans.

    Thanks for the interviews with Stephanie and Gary. It was great to hear what they have to say about the restaurant and Mo himself.

    I agree with yours and Melissa’s points on how autographs used to be about spontaneity and actually meeting the player. My only encounter was 10 or 11 years ago. My dad and I were in Minneapolis for my first MLB game (the Yankees were playing the Twins). We were walking downtown before the game and noticed Andy Pettitte and Scott Brosius. I somehow got up the nerve to say hi and shake Pettitte’s hand and ask for an autograph (he said he doesn’t do photos). I was so in awe that I didn’t even say hi to Brosius! I regret that so much. But I do have a cherished possession of Pettitte’s autograph on a map of the Nicolette mall in Minneapolis!!

    Hope you are enjoying your time with your family. Have a safe trip back to sunny CA!

  15. Jane Heller

    Laurie, your review of “My One and Only” sounds very much like the ones I read, so I’ll take your advice and see it only if there’s nothing else going on! I reviewed “Sugar” last year. It was shown at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and I was all excited because it was the only baseball-related film. Some people here may remember the discussion about it. But I’d be glad to see it again, unless we can come up with another choice. I’m in Bedford, where my mother has lived for 30+ years. We just took a spin over to Borders to buy a brand new book written by my step-brother. Very exciting for us now that he’s an author too! He’s an evolutionary biologist at UC Riverside – the true genius in the family – and his book interprets Darwin’s theories for the layman. I don’t know much about the Peekskill area since it’s north of here. And Croton and Tuckahoe are on the west side of the Hudson (we’re on the east side). What I do know is my high school used to play their high schools in sports!

    Diane, I’m flying back Monday morning, so it was just a long weekend for us here. What fun you must have had looking at all the pix in that party room. Wow. Sounds like a Yankees museum! I guess we were both lucky to be seeing autographed photos last night. Glad you had a good time.

  16. Jane Heller

    DJ, we are going to make that meetup happen! I would like nothing more. That’s such a cute story about running into Pettitte and Brosius when you were little – exactly the kind of spontaneous encounter I was talking about. I know you’ll remember that meeting – and Andy’s autograph – forever, especially because it wasn’t purchased for hundreds of dollars. Think good thoughts for my flight tomorrow. I’m dreading it already.

  17. enternight

    Hi Jane,
    First time commenter. Love your blog, love your sense of humor (hoping to get the She-Fan book for Hanukkah…), and I love that you love Mo as much as I do (maybe more, if that’s possible).
    Interesting discussion of autographs/player encounters …my only meeting with a Yankees player, thus far, has not resulted in an autograph. My dad and brothers and I stayed a night at a hotel outside Manhattan a few years ago, after coming in to watch a night game. On our way out, we got on an elevator that was occupied by Jeff Nelson (I guess it must have been 2003, then). I recognized him immediately and said nothing (being in the presence of a Yankee at age 12 was enough to render me speechless); my dad made an “offhand” comment on the previous night’s game; and a random guy who was also on the elevator mentioned that his daughter wanted to meet Derek Jeter. …All in all, it was an awkward moment. And an awkward story! But oh well.
    I’d love to check out Mo’s some day, although I’m sure that if I were to meet Mariano I’d be absolutely star-struck (in the giggly, incoherent sort of way). A 42-star rating is hard to argue with…
    Looking forward to your updates (and more analysis from your mother!),

  18. Jane Heller

    Hey, Ana. So glad you’ve been entertained by the blog and felt moved to leave a comment today. I hope to hear from you again so you can join the party here. I also hope you get my book for Hanukkah! Start dropping hints if you haven’t already. 🙂 Funny story about being in the elevator with Jeff Nelson. I totally understand how you feel about being star-struck. But I’ve gotten bolder over the years, as you’ll see from the book. I’m also good at spotting players wherever they are. A few years ago, when Scott Proctor had just joined the team from the minors, I saw him walking in Manhattan. I said to my husband, “That’s Scott Proctor.” He said, “No it isn’t.” I went with my gut and stopped Scott to say hello and welcome him to the Yankees – as if I were some sort of Welcome Wagon! He thanked me and seemed very grateful to be recognized. Those are the encounters I treasure most.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s