Mozaik - When Fancy Falls Flat

The concept of Mozaik is an interesting one - serve up a menu that changes daily with dishes composed of diverse elements in an artful, imaginative setting. The restaurant tries hard to be an exact definition of its very name. The atmosphere itself is punctuated by various pieces of artwork, vases and mirrors that are beautiful, colored mosaics. Believe you me, the mosaic theme isn't very hard to miss. But the problem with mosaics is that if they're not exactly done right, with exactly the right pieces, they turn out to be an ugly mess.

Every time I've eaten at Mozaik it's been a completely underwhelming experience. They try so hard to be fancy and eclectic, but it usually ends up downright ordinary. Our meal started out very promising, so I was hopeful that I would be proven wrong this night! But by the time we bit into our entrees, my previous experiences were confirmed.

We were promptly brought fresh bread with a red pepper and sour cream dipping sauce. It had a spicy tang matched with a refreshing coolness that was simply irresistible. And the bread was soft, light and airy. Hubby and I ate every single piece of bread and soaked up every last drop of that dipping sauce!

Next, we decided to split their Greek Salad - a combination of baby spinach and field greens, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, feta, tomatoes, caper berries and a garlic rubbed crostini topped with a creamy white balsamic vinaigrette. We had them hold the red onions and anchovies (ew, gross!) though. Now, normally when we split a salad, it all comes on one plate, but they were gracious enough to split our salad on two plates and gave each of us a crostini - which I broke into smaller pieces and used as croutons (delish!). The dressing on this salad was absolutely spectacular! It was not as oily as regular greek dressing and not as garlic-y either. It had a nice consistency with a slight zest that made me keep going back forkful after forkful.

We asked our server for recommendations for entrees and she suggested the Tagliatelle and the Gulf Grouper and Jumbo Hopper Shrimp, so we ordered one of each. Hubby tackled the Tagliatelle (above) - which is Mozaik's house made pasta in a poblano-almond pesto cream sauce topped with grilled chicken. Well, I'm not sure you can really tell from the picture, but it came out looking like green slop in a bowl. I mean, that's just waaaaaaay to much sauce, right? And I've had pasta in a pesto sauce before, so it wasn't the color that bothered me. It's just that it was so drenched that the pasta got a bit soggy. Plus, it was a bit bland too. And the grilled chicken was just that - grilled chicken. No flavor, no spices, no nothing. Snoozefest. Zzzzzzzzzz...

The Gulf Grouper and Jumbo Hopper Shrimp looked absolutely amazing on the plate, so I was excited to dig in. But again, it was a let down. The grouper was just lightly breaded in what tasted like a simple cornmeal and the shrimp were just seared without any sauce or spices at all. There were 3 dipping sauces on the plate - an eggplant-lemon aioli, charred tomato jus and what I think was some sort of balsamic. But because the seafood itself had no inherent flavor, the sauces couldn't do much to combat that. It was also served with a house made ricotta that tasted very pungent and bitter. Alas, this mosaic was not a masterpiece.

While the meal got off to a strong start, it ultimately crashed and burned, leaving a bad taste in our mouths. But dang, if everything could taste like that Greek salad, they'd be in business!

Tally Foodie Rating:
Atmosphere - A
Taste - C+
Presentation - B+ (everything besides the pasta looked beautiful on the plate!)
Service - A
Price - $$

Restaurant Info:
1410-D1 Market Street
Tallahassee FL 32312

Mozaik on Urbanspoon


About this blog

This blog is dedicated to giving you honest reviews of local restaurants in Tallahassee and the surrounding area. I won't hold any punches, you'll hear about it all - the good, the bad and the (hopefully infrequent) inedible!

This blog was written from July 2009 - August 2010 and is now retired. I currently live in Sarasota, FL...stay tuned for more on my adventures there!