If you can withstand an interior about as self-consciously “funky” as a 1987 Lionel Ritchie video and, if after discovering not a single chocolate option for dessert - an almost unforgivable sin - you can keep yourself from flouncing past the clueless/beautiful hostess into the parking lot, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at Mozaik’s reinvigorated menu and epicurean improvements. While not quite reaching the truly sublime, Mozaik’s new chef has – thankfully – given denizens of Tallahassee’s food scene new hope. After a slew of disappointments, Mozaik now appears firmly sited among the select few decent-to-good dining options in the region.
For starters, our party enjoyed the wild boar sausage appetizer (a smoky and appropriately rustic and original option), the bruschetta (an indulgently rich shared dish which was quickly devoured and re-ordered), and the deceptively understated scallops appetizer (which provided a briny sophistication rivaling the mussels at Cypress).
For the main course, I ordered the requisite pasta item (wide tagliatelle noodles that well suited the accompanying shrimp and pancetta), and while this dish was serviceable and fairly hard to screw up, I’d recommend the Sashima tuna entrée instead (a sushi-grade cut with well prepared Asian-inspired rice), or the lamb or chicken entrees enjoyed by some of the less adventurous members of our group.
And while I’d like to extol the virtues of Mozaik’s dessert course, I am sorry to report that these confections really suffered by comparison to our savory entrees. As previously mentioned, the only chocolate item on the menu was white chocolate, really an excessively sweet, anti-chocolate version of its classic cousin. And while in my opinion, that misstep alone is a deal-breaker, the dour apple crisp pushed me over edge, burdened as it was by a dense and overly doughy crust and flavorless interior. The other desserts ordered by our table came and went, without much fanfare or enthusiasm.
Still, Mozaik impressed me. Our options in Tallahassee are few and far between, and Mozaik has genuinely stepped it up a notch. As a backup to Liam’s or Avenue Sea or Cypress, this restaurant is worth considering.