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Review: Mozart’s Bakery and Piano Café’s food slightly out of tune

Madison McNary / Lantern reporter

When I think about having tea, uncomfortable silk dresses and white gloves come to mind. I didn’t get that vibe when I stepped into Mozart’s Bakery and Piano Café. I didn’t automatically want to have a cup of tea, but I was definitely intrigued.

On any other day, I would have probably walked right past this restaurant, located at 2885 N. High St. in Clintonville.

Its appearance on the outside isn’t as unique as I would have thought it would be. But once inside, Mozart’s atmosphere offers something that isn’t usually expected. People of all ages were in the restaurant, which was encouraging because I would not have wanted to be the youngest person there.

“We get a lot of older people, middle-aged people, a lot of kids and adults with kids,” said host Sonya Afanasyeva, from St. Petersburg, Russia. “A lot of college people as well.”  

Before I was even seated, my eyes immediately gravitated to the baked goods and pastries behind a glass counter. There were so many of them and they all looked delicious.

Breakfast pastries are made fresh every day, said waitress Jessica Loconti, 26, of Circleville, Ohio.

Since I arrived at dinner time, spoiling my appetite with scones and carrot cake would not have been the best option. I grabbed a seat near a wall and soaked up the atmosphere.

I assumed the menu was going to be littered with finger food like cucumber sandwiches and egg salad, but I was wrong. The menu had something for all types of food palettes, including hummus plates and smoked salmon platters, but I really wanted something to fill me up.

I didn’t want to get anything that I could have gotten at Panera Bread or Potbelly Sandwich Shop, so I planned to bypass the salad and soup section, but as I glanced at the typical soups, I came across a soup named Hungarian goulash. The waitress said it had meat and potatoes with a paprika base. It sounded like something out of a can of Campbell’s, but I decided to give it a try with a club sandwich.

While I waited for my food, I kept dwelling on my decision to get this goulash, so I asked the opinion of the restaurant’s pianist.

“The best dish that I think they actually have is the goulash, which is a meal in itself and it’s just delicious,” said Mark Werling, 65, who plays the piano for Mozart’s every day at lunch and dinner.

I was really hoping his opinion of the dish was going to satisfy my hunger, but once it was in front of me, I wasn’t excited to eat it. It really didn’t have the taste and consistency I was looking for.

There was a ton of meat but not many potatoes and I didn’t really taste any paprika. Perhaps since I have not had many Hungarian dishes I didn’t know how it was supposed to taste. I didn’t taste anything that I imagined I would.

The club sandwich, for sure, redeemed the meal for me because it had a good helping of ham, turkey and bacon, as well as provolone and cheddar cheese. So, finished the meal with just enjoying the club sandwich and a side of chips and washed it all down with water.

Mozart’s offers a different experience at a decent price, but I wasn’t impressed with the $8.53 goulash and club sandwich.

Grade: C

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