Mozart's - which is celebrating its 15-year anniversary this weekend - is still going strong even though business has closed down at Mozart's Bexley and Indianola branches. I know this because I live within short walking distance of the original N. High Street location and I pop into its quaint little velour-draped dining room often for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up cup of espresso, and I sometimes indulge in (more often than I should) one of Mozart's terrific Austrian-influenced and hence not-too-sweet confections.
OK, Mozart's dessert expertise is no big secret (try the beautifully crusted European coffee cake made with walnuts, marzipan and raspberry jam; for something richer, try the Viennese hotel special called the Sacher Torte - like a multi-layered, thickly frosted chocolate cake with leavening apricot jam in it). But did you know that Mozart's excels at some savory dishes, too?
I'm a fan of their version of Goulash and, especially, their Wiener Schnitzel. The Goulash ($3.50) is more stew than soup and a hearty winter warmer-upper with big chunks of potato and beef dunked in a bold broth exhibiting deep flavors from the meat plus onions all perked up with paprika.
The wiener schnitzel ($14, or $12 if made with chicken) stars a pounded-to-ideally-thin piece of plate-filling and tender veal. That beauty gets even prettier with a light breading and pan frying in clarified butter until golden brown and dreamily crispy. It's served with comforting spatzle (stubby German-style noodles) and a vegetable side dish (recently it was cross-cut zucchini and carrots cooked with butter and oregano).
This weekend, Mozart's Cafe will be celebrating both its 15-year anniversary and the birthday of its namesake genius (he'd be 254, but who's counting?).
So on Saturday, Jan. 30, friends and neighbors of the bakery are invited to stop by from noon to 10 p.m. to whoop it up Amadeus-style and share in complimentary canapes, a giant piano-shaped birthday cake and petits fours, and to enjoy live classical music. The cake-cutting ceremony will be at 5:30 p.m. and the guest of honor will be NBBJ's Friedl Bohm, honorary consul of Austria. Prost!
On a serious note, Mozart's - which is expecting 1,500 people to attend this event - will also use the occasion to collect much-needed donations in a help-Haiti fundraiser.