I'm in the minority evidently - and I have no idea who Mario Batali is - but Osteria Mozza is one of the worst restaurants I have ever been to. You can buy into the hype (of which I was also ignorant) and pretend that you are enjoying this place even while being ripped off mightily. Or you can easily find plenty of restaurants where customer care and atmosphere have not been kicked to the curb.
The bad vibe begins as soon as you walk into Osteria Mozza from the relative calm of Highland and Melrose. It's like walking straight into the blast of a jet engine. This place is painfully loud, killing all chance of substantial conversation.
The menus arrived quickly, but it took more than 15 minutes for the friendly waiter to take our order. The food was also a long time coming. In the meantime, another waiter carrying a tray of sliced bread around the venue gave us a slice each. But there was no butter or oil to eat it with. Just a sad little piece of bread sitting on the plate. Are bread baskets not hip enough for this place?
The food was a mixed bag. The best thing about the Burricotta with radicchio was the tasty, sweet walnuts. We did not care for the Smoked Bufala Mozzarella with Prosciutto di Parma. Maybe I'm just not a mozzarella person. Total cost $35 - pretty much what we'd normally spend on a full meal. Ouch.
My wife had the ravioli ($22) for the main. The portion was puny even by her modest needs. My salmon ($30?) was slightly bigger, very nice, but I was so hungry after more than an hour at this painful joint that I wolfed it down in a few minutes.
We also wanted to get the hell out as soon as possible, asked the waiter to bring the bill ($99 - no alcohol either) and took it straight to the counter because we knew the exit would be another tedious process.
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