Saturday, February 11, 2012

Undercooked? Flatbread at Cosca

Cosca on Urbanspoon
There's something funny about the flatbread at Cosca. I think the dough is undercooked.

I rallied a couple of friends to go to Cosca to try the flatbread again after having gone once before with the Food Bloggers in January to sample the pasta. I'd had flatbread there too, and the diners at our table immediately remarked how undercooked it was. At the time, I thought it was a fluke. Well, when both our pizzas came with undercooked dough last night, I guess it's some new pizza fashion.

Yes, I actually carved the dough open and touched the inside, which was clearly still sticky, though not so much as to have a raw dough look. The result in your mouth is a slightly gummy experience that can stick to your teeth. The taste of the ingredients isn't so strong to begin with, and this experience is now compounded with a texture/feel in your mouth from the dough that dominates.
If they keep this up, I recommend skipping it and going to a neapolitan pizza joint. Nicli Antica Pizzeria, is one I tried quite recently, and the pizza experience there is way superior. Heck, even Pizza Factory would give you a better pizza experience.

Also, Cosca uses a long rectangle shape, which means the area:perimeter ratio is lower than using a circle shape, which in turn means more edge crust. The pizza is maybe 12" x 4", you get quite a bit less area (and hence ingredients) for a $10-$12 pizza/flatbread than a $2-$3 more neapolitan pizza. If you don't mind frozen pizza, then it's no contest versus Western Family thin crust pizza, recently on sale at Superstore at a bargain basement price of $3.98!

The two pizzas we tried were Cosca (basil, pomodoro sauce, fresh mozzarella, parmigiano; $10) and Funghi Selvatico (wild mushroom medley, pecorino – romano; $11). Honestly, for the price, go to a neapolitan pizza place, which has comparable price but, if VPN certified, MUST use the highest quality ingredients as well.

Which is not to say Cosca doesn't have good food. It's just better to get flatbread elsewhere.

On to desserts (all $8 each)! This totally saved dinner.

My friends had actually read my review of the desserts at Cosca and decided on the Tartufo. I had gone with my eye on the torte, a hazelnut cherry chocolate torte, and was not disappointed. Not the huge portions as the other desserts, but it's rich and chocolatey enough that you'd be overwhelmed anyway. Two thirds of the way through, it started to give me a mild burning sensation in the back of your throat, which always turns me off the rest of dessert. I think I get that way from too much chocolate!
The torte sits on a ~5mm crust of what looks like finely crushed nuts. The cherries are syrupy, like maraschino cherries, and you get a couple of samples on your plate along with some whipped cream. The rest is embedded into the chocolate torte slice.

At $8 I think this is slightly overpriced, and I don't think I'd choose it over their delicious tiramisu. But if you need to end dinner with chocolate, this definitely satisfies your chocolate craving.
If you don't like syrupy cherries, they are easy enough to spot in the torte, even in the dim candlelight of the room, and you can give them away.

On your way out of the restaurant, look on the wall for a surprisingly dense Wine Map of Italy. It's also marked with where the chef is from.

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