Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Large Dessert Portions at Cosca

Cosca on Urbanspoon
I had the opportunity Tuesday night to try three of the large-portioned (but $8) desserts at Cosca. This is the third and last review post for the January Food Bloggers dine-out at this restaurant. In the previous two posts, I talked briefly about the restaurant and staff that night, and the pastas we tried. Finally to the good stuff: Dessert.

No chocolate cake! Argh! They even ran low on tiramisu, which our Food Blogger organizer/host and EATMarketing principal Ronald Lee has long raved about as being the best. He even bragged about having discovered the "secret ingredient" in the recipe -- something so classified he'd have to kill you if he told you.

Uh, yeah. Okaaay Ronald.

Only three desserts were available that night. There's no dessert menu -- ask your server. If I remember correctly, they were $8 each on the final bill, before tax and tip.

The Bananas Foster here has chocolate drizzled over it. Very quickly the one big scoop of ice cream melts and takes the chocolate with it, leaving a black pool in the dish. If you don't eat it quickly, it looks ugly. Not very sweet, and the chocolate presence wasn't that great, in my opinion.
Yes, chocolate and ice cream can make a nice combo, but it seemed to me it was wasted here, especially when the banana can't really soak it or scoop it up as the melted ice cream is too liquid. I've had a nice table-side service Bananas Foster before, at the now-closed William Tell, formerly at the Georgian Court Hotel. For a few dollars more, it was still much better, even if you omitted the included-in-the-cost showmanship.
Pass on this. With chocolate to compete with the other flavours, it's not a "proper" Bananas Foster anyway.

The tartufo is a simpler version of the dessert (no chocolate shell or nuts, single sliced strawberry simply sitting on top), but quite tasty without too much sweetness or richness. The Cosca version is a very large round (between the size of a tennis ball and a baseball) of very smooth chocolate ice cream, cut into four slices and allowed to fall open. On this is soft vanilla ice cream. The chocolate ice cream had a pleasant softness to the bite and velvety smoothness in texture. Italian gelato can be even softer than that, but I think here the idea was for the chocolate to hold its shape on the plate.
The tartufo is very nice and not too heavy feeling for a chocolate-based dessert. Conceptually it probably seems a bit simple for $8, but the portion size is large, especially if you are eating it alone.

Finally, the tiramisu. The most recent one I had was at Nicli Antica Pizzeria, and it was a very nice dessert. Light, fluffy, almost delicate-seeming. Properly strong with cocoa aroma and flavour.
Mostly the same here at Cosca, except it was wetter on the inside. The ladyfingers that go into a tiramisu are soaked in expresso or coffee, and possibly a liquor. The mushy texture on the inside of the Cosca tiramisu suggests a very thoroughly soaked ladyfinger.
It also stood up more reliably, even after being chipped away into just a fraction of its size. The Nicli Antica Pizzeria one, being fluffier, collapsed after a while.
The portion size varied visibly. If you got a cut from the middle of the batch, it would very possibly be square and 4 inches to a side, on top of being almost the same in height. If you got a side or corner piece, probably depending on how they divided it initially, it might be as much as an inch less on one side. Still a good-sized portion, of course.
Overall I'd say the tiramisu was very slightly inferior to the one at Nicli Antica Pizzeria, because of my personal preferences. It did not sacrifice flavour and experience by not having soaked the cake into what clearly felt mushy in the mouth. However, the ladyfingers there were not as clearly visible as with the Cosca cake, if you seriously score on aesthetics. (For food porn pictures, don't get a side piece because the cross-sections don't look as nice.)


Three pastas in the platter combo, three desserts, and one glass of wine by one of our team of three came out to $38 per person (x3 persons) after tax and a moderately generous tip (for the free appys and excessively generous make-up dishes).

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