Desserts at Mosaic in St. James are deconstructed but delicious.

Desserts at Mosaic in St. James are deconstructed but delicious. Credit: Joel Cairo

Mosaic is going out with a bang. After a weeklong Valentine’s Day celebration, the St. James restaurant that’s been a fixture on Newsday’s Top 10 Fine Dining list will close for a renovation-expansion. Jonathan Contes, who owns Mosaic with his co-chef Tate Morris, hopes the work will be done by the end of March.

When Contes and Morris opened in 2005, they barely changed the décor from Barbera, the small restaurant they replaced. Even as Mosaic evolved into a singular, tasting-menu-only restaurant, the look of the place was strictly suburban Italian.

Now, Mosaic is taking over the former podiatrist’s office next door and will double in size. The original dining room will become a bar with seats (a first for Mosaic) and the new real estate will be transformed into the dining room.

Mosaic currently seats 30 and, Contes said, “we won’t be adding more than three tables — the bar is the big news.” That and the fact that, for the first time, the partners will be able to design and decorate a restaurant to their own taste.

The one area that’s not getting a makeover is the kitchen: It will remain the tiny laboratory in which the chefs create every day’s menu from scratch.

Mosaic’s usual five-course tasting menu is $75 but, from Wednesday, Feb. 14, to Saturday, Feb. 17, only the special Valentine’s Day menu will be served. It costs $145; $195 with suggested wine pairings.

Highlights include French onion-potato-croquette sliders with pickled green apple; carpaccio of venison with shaved blue cheese and horseradish-juniper mignonette; and a surf and turf of slow-roast filet of beef with tomato-butter-poached seafood.

The complete menu is available here. If it interests you, act fast. Tables are filling up.

418 N. Country Rd., St. James, 631-584-2058,

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