We finally made it to Donna Crivello’s newest venture, showcasing Southern Italian cuisine. Cosima sits behind the blue neon Mill No. 1 sign you pass on the Jones Falls Expressway (83), among the labyrinth of the burgeoning Woodberry area west of Hampden.
The atmosphere was chic and cozy, the entrance unique. If you’re not paying attention, you’ll miss the it as it takes you down a steep, narrow driveway leading to an old stone building with a parking garage. There is no parking out front. Simply pull up to the front door for complimentary valet.
Our server, Mike, told us his parents always come here to get the Insalata Di Polpi (grilled baby octopus over a salad of potatoes, celery, red peppers, capers, lemon anchovy vinaigrette)- also his favorite dish. My hard-to-impress date tried this as well and thought it was “very good.”
The week before our visit, the Pizza Cape Sante e Pancetta (smoked baby scallops, smoked mozzarella, basil, caramelized bacon and onion) was the pizza momento (pizza of the day). Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? It was so popular, they put it on the regular menu.
I can’t vouch for the aforementioned pizza myself; I had my eyes set on something else- Coniglio Agro Dolce-Sicilian sweet and tangy braised rabbit, green olives and oranges, over stone-ground polenta. It was as amazing as it sounds. The rabbit was tender and not gamey. Polenta can be hit or miss and this was a hit. Perfectly textured, creamy, not gritty. I also had the Insalata di Cavolo (kale salad with tomatoes, lemon, olive oil, pine nuts, raisins, ricotta salata, lemon vinaigrette). It was predominantly lemony and vinagery, but the raisins and pine nuts managed to cut the acidity and give somewhat of a balance.
We also tried the Pesce Spada grilled swordfish, caponata, saffron risotto, salsa verde. Not a fish person myself, but my date thought it was very good. I am, however, a risotto fan and the saffron rissoto was tasty, though not as good as my coniglio.