Belmont has a small slice of Europe sitting right in its backyard.
The light-filled corner cafe with an emphasis on friendly service offers a limited yet authentic selection of French, Italian and American breakfasts and lunch favorites, including what’s been touted as the “best French toast in California.”
Even the name, Cafe Mossant, evokes a hint of French culture; Charles Mossant was a well-respected French hat maker during the 19th century, and the cafe name and accompanying logo represent an interpretation of the famous French poster by Leonetto Cappiello, depicting three tipping hats. Co-owner Lara Mokhtar explains how the poster sums up the cafe’s warm reception of its patrons; “It means ‘Hats off to you---welcome!’”
Mokhtar has created an inviting dining space from what once was the charred remains of a rundown Nepalese restaurant on the site.
“We took it down to the studs,” she said, “and we carefully selected every element of the restaurant decor, right down to the design of the chairs.” (Which are exceptionally comfy and on rollers for easy in and out.)
Large windows trimmed in honey colored wood are the cafe’s signature feature from the outside. Once inside however, guests will immediately notice the pleasant flow of the tables, bar and ramp leading to an adjacent dining area at the rear of the restaurant. Amber pendant lights offer a contemporary, yet warm feel, and the bamboo floors are at once snazzy and eco-friendly.
Great care was taken to make the restaurant ADA compliant; special doors, wide spaces, large restrooms and a centrally located ramp make Mossant Cafe one of the most “handicap-able” restaurants on the Peninsula.
Conveniently located at the corner of El Camino Real and Broadway, Cafe Mossant starts each morning off with freshly brewed Lavazza Italian coffee and a constantly changing selection of pastries for those on the go. A full, sit-down breakfast is available daily from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (except for Mondays when the restaurant is closed).
“Our focus is providing good service, good ambiance and good food,” said Mokhtari.
The cafe’s cook Michael Vougi agrees. “We believe quality is more important than quantity in any good restaurant,” he said.
Vougi once commented to a diner that his French toast was “the best in California, but then again, I’ve only been to California.” After enjoying her platter of French toast, the woman announced that she had been all around the world and proclaimed that, indeed, Vougi’s specialty was, “the best in the world.”
In addition to world-famous French toast, breakfast items include waffles, omelettes with a variety of fillings, fresh fruit and assorted pastries.
The lunch menu features a soup de jour, a variety of salads with a nod to French favorites such as Nicoise, and an interesting Italian prosciutto with egg salad. For the American palate, hamburgers and Philly cheese steaks are available, but for the more adventuresome, Mokhtari may suggest the chicken olivieh, veggie frittata, or the prosciutto and brie sandwich with truffle oil.
Hot and cold entrees also come with a European flare: butternut squash ravioli and caprese salads highlight the hot and cold lunch offerings.
And what would a European style cafe be without a daily selection of patisseries? End your meal or compliment your morning coffee with an authentic French or Italian pastry.
Additional touches such as free wireless access and full bar service make Cafe Mossant an ideal respite for a solo working breakfast or lunch, or the an Belmont meeting spot with friends.
The authentic European dishes and contemporary decor successfully combine modernity with cafe tradition at Cafe Mossant.
1400 El Camino Real at Broadway in Belmont
Open Tuesday through Sunday 8 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.