NYC Restaurants

Café Mozart
154 West 70th Street
New York, NY, 10023
(212) 595-9797 Map

Cuisine: European

Menu:   View the Menu

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Cititour Review:
Change can be terrifying. It can also be necessary. Not to mention wonderful. After nearly 15 years, Café Mozart is trying to change its image -- in a big way. And this Upper West Side eatery's first step has been to hire 28-year-old chef Jason Scott Titner, already a veteran of such high-profile eateries as Danube, Ilo and The River Café. This creative young man has replaced much of Mozart's more pedestrian fare with highly sophisticated, European-inspired cuisine.

Supreme among the starters are a "duet" of tarts: homemade herb-infused dough filled with goat cheese, one topped with a marvelous mélange of truffled mushrooms and onion marmalade, the other topped with slices of roasted Roma tomatoes and whole nicoise olives. A cold soup of honeydew, coconut and just a touch dried cranberry, a special on our visit, was a delightfully refreshing way to start the meal -- although it could serve equally well as a dessert. The same can be said of another appetizer, a plate of baked brie paired with perfectly poached pears and strawberry compote.


Both visually and texturally interesting is a bowl of nicely cooked black linguini crowned with sautéed shrimp and napped with a delightful yellow tomato "marinara" that's more chunky than saucy. Titner's summery take on the French winter staple cassoulet pairs slices of meaty monkfish and ultra-flavorful chorizo with white beans, mushrooms, cherry tomato and fennel. More conservative palates can settle on simpler options, including steaks, chicken schnitzel and a variety of enticing salads.


Another significant change has been the expansion of the wine list under the direction of the house's charming sommelier (and general manager) Ian Nal. Be sure to ask him which vintages to pair with your meal.


Titner has also added some upscale desserts including a Grand Marnier crepe with cherries and a cardamom tea panna cotta. However, I suspect few diners will be able to resist the tantalizing array of cakes, pies and pastries that have been Mozart's signature all these many years. See, the old and new can co-exist happily.

Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Neighborhood: West 70s


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