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Dec 12, 2007 10:07 AM

Less Disappointed in Tallahassee: Mozaik Revisited

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.

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  1. Thanks for the update! For a Saturday lunch, would you vote for Mozaik or Food Glorious Food? (I didn't mention Sage because we're saving that for dinner).

    5 Replies
    1. re: mikeh

      I'd say Mozaik although Liam's has a European breakfast that looks interesting.

      1. re: mizrachi

        Have you tried the Brioche French Toast at Avenue Sea? IMO there isn't a brunch in the entire state of Florgia that compares.

      2. re: mikeh

        My two cents- stay clear of FGF, the service is horrible, and the food is totally hit or miss, mostly miss. The last time I went there was clay in my salad which the waitress tried to tell me was a mushroom, and then conceded the lettuce may not have been washed, and then asked what I wanted her to do about it. When we asked for the manager, one never came and there was no apology or explanation or anything. The time before that my husband's steak was about 20% edible. The rest was fat or overcooked. Its so sad because it was really good back in the day.

        1. re: masala maci

          I took two of my friends to FGF today for brunch. Now, I've never had their brunch, but I've had their lunch and dinner and was impressed, but today I was embarrassed and disgusted with the place.

          When we arrived, we got seated immediately, but did not see waitstaff until I said, "we've been sitting here for ten minutes and haven't been helped" to the hostess. In all honesty, it felt like Ferris Bueller's Day Off (you know, with the "snooty" French maitre d').

          The waiter was fine and helped one of my friends through the menu. We ordered the pulled pork, the stir fry, and the eggs benedict. The pulled pork was the best dish, the stir fry was way too laden with butter (it became a salty mess), and the eggs benedict convieniently had a sizeable piece of eggshell attached to it. Apparently, one of the line cooks got lazy...

          I don't think I'll return to FGF until someone convinces me otherwise.

          1. re: saintme

            Saintme- I agree regarding FGF. The server was too cool, as though we had no clue. The pulled pork sandwich was really good though. I would go back just for that. The pork was moist, tender, and very flavorful. I really enjoyed the coleslaw ontop of the pork, the two flavors and textures worked really well together. The major dissapointment for us were the fish tacos. I felt like I was at Applebees or something. The dish was american standard fish tacos. Two huge fried shells, mushy rice with overcooked black beans, nothing special salsa, and the salmon was "strong". But would recommend the pulled pork sandwich.

      3. So I took your suggestion up and tried it again. Mizrachi-I think that you may have been out of NYC for too long and your palate is adjusting to the local Tallahassee fare. Or, you were there on a better night than I.
        I had a pasta dish that was supposed to be a puttenesca....but, alas it had no flavor, no spice, no anchovies, hardly a tomato, and oddly enough...finished with butter, not the requisite olive oil. The soup I had first was riddled with dried herbs making it taste like a sachet of potpurri. We ordered dessert and the server brought us out something completely different. But I thought the wine list was concise and nicely priced. The server was very attentive, sweet, and unobtrusive (barring the one mistake, we felt too bad to tell her). We didn't get her life story and that was refreshing.