Cafe Mozart is a respectable casual dining option before a concert at Lincoln Center, in a neighborhood where many of the restaurants are over-priced. I was there last night with two friends.
I loved a Duo of Goat Cheese Tarts ($9). One of the tarts was made with herb-roasted Roma tomatoes and Niçoise olives; the other with mushrooms and onion marmelade. Plenty of restaurants would charge over $10 for that appetizer. An accompaniment of salad greens was entirely superfluous.
Pignoli and dijon crusted salmon ($22) was a far less happy affair. The fish was too dry, and it was not rescued by an overpowering tomato sauce or dull risotto. One of my companions ordered, I believe, a chicken caesar salad in which the chicken was barely more than a rumor, but my other friend was pleased with her choices.
My friend tried to make a reservation, but she called repeatedly for several days, and the restaurant never answered. The host was surprised to learn this was the case. Luckily they weren’t busy last night, but I hear the place fills up on weekends. Service at Cafe Mozart isn’t fancy, with the crew who deliver the plates not knowing who ordered what. We had two different versions of the menu between us, each with different spelling errors. However, wines by the glass are under $10, and that at least is something.
Both the website and business cards promise “World’s Finest Desserts.” We were too full to test that claim, but we noted that there are more desserts than appetizers and entrees put together, so it’s clear where the restaurant’s priorities lie. The decor is unpretentious, but adequate for a casual restaurant.
Cafe Mozart (154 West 70th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, Upper West Side)
Service: Acceptable, but sometimes careless