418 N. Country Rd. St. James, NY 631-584-2058
Cozy and ambitious, Mosaic also is imaginative and spirited in a new American way. The approach is easygoing; the food, a bit whimsical. The outside gives no hint of what awaits. Their five-course menu is frequently updated. Winning dishes: a tasting of duck, sea scallops in parchment, sunflower seed-crusted king salmon, "cheesecake deconstructed" and a little box of L.A. Burdick's chocolates.
Cooking classes are also available on Mondays when the restaurant is closed.
Cost is $110 a person and includes meal and drinks.
"Cooking can be intimidating," says chef and co-owner Jonathan Contes, whose demonstration lessons include topics such as brining, poaching and braising. He makes sure to use accessible ingredients so the students can replicate what they have learned for use in their own kitchens. Classes start with an aperitif or a glass of wine, followed by a demonstration of an appetizer, a main course and dessert.