The Des Peres location of Mosaic Modern Fusion finally opened its doors last month, bringing its smallplate experience to West County. Like many new restaurants out west, the new Mosaic is located in an outdoor mall development. But the space, which was designed by Space Architectural Design Studio, belied that fact. It was on the end of the development and took up the entire corner, which helped give it an almost stand-alone feel, further enhanced by a striking, angular portico for outdoor seating. And the abundance of parking was a most welcome feature. The interior was also well thought out, with onehalf reserved for dining and the other for the bar, the two sections separated by a wall covered with the restaurant’s trademark mosaic tiles. The tall ceilings made the space feel expansive, and the decor was elegant and understated. The only thing we took issue with was the presence of a flat-screen TV in the dining room. It was distracting from the overall ambience.
The menu at the new restaurant was identical to the Mosaic downtown with the same eclectic tastes. We decided to dive in and sample several different taste sensations.
The Flight of Soup ($6) during our visit was butternut, posole and chili, and provided a really nice variety of flavors. The butternut was so creamy and sweet, it could almost have been featured on the dessert menu, and the posole and chili were by turns meaty and savory, and were a tasty hint of the coming winter months. The Compressed Watermelon & Goat Cheese ($9), on the other hand, was a delicious last gasp of summertime taste, with fresh endive and arugula and a mild citrusmint vinaigrette.
The Creole Lobster & Crawfish Risotto ($12) was billed as “classic New Orleans,” and we’d have to agree. The risotto was perfectly cooked, and there was an abundance of fresh seafood in the creamy roux.
The local slider trend shows no signs of abating any time soon. Many restaurants do their take on them, and Mosaic’s version is the Short Rib Mini-Burgers ($10). Ours came with crunchy and creamy potato croquettes that almost stole the spotlight from the tender, tiny burgers.
The items we had were all perfect for two to share, with the exception of the Truffled Frites ($6). There were enough of these delicious chips for two more diners to dig in. The combination of white truffle oil, shaved parmesan, and the garlic aioli dipping sauce on the side made them positively addictive.
The Local Shitake & Organic Mushroom Tart ($9) was a subtle combo of said mushrooms, flaky pastry dough and heirloom tomatoes. The apple saba it came with was a sweet, though not overpowering, addition.
We finished up with the Mosaic Hot Chocolate Tart ($7). We were a little disappointed in the crust, as it wasn’t flaky and seemed almost processed, but the fresh fruit, cinnamon and chile inside it made for a nice combo of spicy and sweet, as well as a good pairing with a little bit of pinot noir.
With quality food and plenty of room, we think the new Mosaic will prove to be the anchor of the Des Peres dining scene.
Butternut Squash Soup
2 ea Butternut Squash (Cut in half, seeded)
1 Vanilla Bean (split and scrape out pulp)
2 Cups Spring Water (filtered water)
½ Cup Heavy Cream
2 oz Butter
Agave Nectar (or sugar)
Roast butternut squash halves at 350 degrees on an oiled (vegetable oil) sheet tray or pan until soft. When cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh and transfer to a small pot. Add water and vanilla bean pulp to pan. Bring to a simmer, transfer to blender. Puree on high speed in batches if necessary. After 30 seconds add the butter and keep blending until smooth. (2-3 minutes) Transfer puree to soup pot and hand whisk in the heavy cream, agave nectar (to taste), and salt (to taste).
Water may need to be adjusted to obtain the correct consistency.