Mo·sa·ic/Mōˈzā-ik/ (noun) - A picture or pattern produced by arranging together small colored pieces of hard material, such as stone, tile, or glass.
In Tallahassee, Mozaik is a restaurant that advertises itself as "never the same, always amazing!" That bold statement is based upon a menu which changes daily, and uses fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. When a friend of mine told me he was moving to Tampa, we decided to meet at Mozaik for lunch.
The restaurant is located in the northeast part of Tallahassee on Market Street in the same plaza as Narcissus and Momo's. Parking at the height of the lunch rush was a challenge, but I was able to find a spot at the far end of the lot.
Mozaik's interior is broken into two parts. To the left is the main dining room with tables clad in white linens, surrounded by light stained wooden chairs. The chairs were upholstered in a geometric mosaic fabric. Along the windows and inner wall a ring of booths provided additional seating. The walls were painted a slate blue, and lighting that mimicked flowers climbed towards the ceiling. Behind the hostess stand was the bar area. Several additional tables were located here, and colorful mosaic tiles lined the space behind and under the liquor bottles.
We were seated at a booth near the window. As I took a seat I noted a long gash in the brown vinyl seat. This appeared to be the only flaw in an otherwise well maintained interior. A waitress arrived immediately with two menus. Drinks followed soon after as we weighed our choice. There were soups; salads; sandwiches; wraps; and larger plates. I decided to try a cup of their Tom Ka Gai (Thai coconut soup), and a salmon quesadilla.
The Tom Ka Gai arrived in a square bowl. Pieces of poached chicken and shitake mushrooms swarm in a silky coconut milk broth. A slick of chili oil mingled with basil and cilantro leaves. The sweetness of the coconut contrasted nicely with the spice of the chilies and the fresh bite of the cilantro. It was the best thing either of us ate during our lunch and was a steal at $4.00.
As I finished my cup I considered ordering another. That thought was brushed aside with the arrival of my salmon quesadilla. The quesadilla consisted of a tortilla filled with provolone cheese; red onions; roasted tomatoes; and chunks of salmon. Two small cups accompanied the quesadilla wedges. One contained a green tomato chutney, while the second was full of grilled scallion sour cream. The bite of the provolone and red onions melded nicely with the salmon and roasted tomatoes. The green tomato chutney was tasty, while the sour cream needed additional scallions to give it a more prominent onion flavored punch.
Throughout our meal our waitress was attentive. She kept our drinks topped off and was there to answer any questions we had. She made our lunch an enjoyable one, and I look forward to visiting Mosaik again to try another of their interesting dishes.