COSMO TAPAS

November 9, 2012 · 0 comments

Posted in: RESTAURANT REVIEWS,TAPAS

Vodka Infused w/ Young Coconut & Pineapple

 
Hannah: Cosmo hasn’t been on my radar since we went, like, 3 or 4 years ago.

Edward: At the time, I thought it was OK, but I wasn’t blown away. I think it was still fairly new.

Hannah: So, recently I had a work-related happy hour, and someone suggested that place for their “sooper-fun drink menu.”

Not being a fan of sweeter drinks, my main concern was that they have a normal bar too. Which they did!

Edward: They have a pretty good bar! I’m not much of a hanging-out-in-bars kind of guy, but I would go back there for happy hour drinks ‘n’ snax.

Hannah: Nice lighting, nice seating?

Edward: Reasonably priced happy hour drinks, and an interesting cocktails menu with things like infused vodkas, Pisco Sours, crazy specialty drinks…

Hannah: Yes! But that’s not what we’re here to talk about…….. DUN DUN DUUUHHNNNN

Edward: Yikes!

Well, our experience this time around was very different. I don’t know if the menu changed, or different chef, or we just made better choices this time…

…actually I KNOW we made better choices this time.

Since those choices included their Jamón Ibérico plate amirite?

Hannah: Do you remember what we ate last time??

Edward: I only remember two dishes from last time, the sardine bruschetta and the mussels in broth.

Hannah: Wait, first, in case anyone doesn’t know, Cosmo = tapas place.

Edward: Tapas, but more international (hence the “Cosmo” — cosmopolitan).

I remember liking the sardines last time, but they were different — not nearly as awesome.

Hannah: They have larger entrees, but I don’t think we’ve had them. And I don’t know that I would until I’ve worked through all the tapas first.

Edward: The smaller plates are a good way of seeing what a restaurant can do.

Hannah: So, as we moved from the bar to the dining room, we had 4 small plates and a Jamón Ibérico platter.

Well, not as we moved, more like after we moved.

Edward: That would be pretty funny if we were like, give us food now, we can’t even wait until we get to the table!

We also scavenged a couple of lamb sliders from your happy hour table.

Hannah: I didn’t scavenge anything! I ate one, but everyone was still there and eating!

Edward: Well, I guess I scavenged, since I wasn’t officially part of your happy hour work buddies table.

But it was pretty good — a small but thick lamb patty on a brioche bun, with some peppadew salsa and feta cheese.

Hannah: Very flavorful patty.

Edward: And pretty juicy considering I don’t know how long it was sitting there on your table before I arrived and started my scavenging.

Hannah: Well they arrived shortly before you did, and after I left the table, because they were surprise sliders.

Edward: The best kind! And the fact that they were free (for me) added some spice to that food.

Hannah: But who cares I want to talk about what we ate! Because WE ATE WELL

Edward: Indeed!

Hannah: I don’t have the names of the menu items in front of me, so I think of them like this: tostones, anchovies, blood sausage, empanadas, jamón.

Edward: OK well first of all, I had a cocktail — I went with one of their infused vodkas, with young coconut and pineapple, shaken and strained in a martini glass with some simple syrup.

Hannah: Oh, yeah. The ghost of a Piña Colada.

Edward: It was delicious — not overly sweet — like a “mature” Piña Colada.

Hannah: I was delicious even for me. (Who doesn’t like sweet drinks.)

Fried Plantains w/Mojo Fried Plantains w/Mojo

Edward: What did you think of the tostones?

Hannah: Tostones needed more sauce. And maybe a creamier one. What was that sauce? I loved how tangy it was. They were a bit dry, needed a bit more salt.

Edward: It was a mojo. Garlicky, sweet and tangy!

Hannah: The sauce was delicious, it was just too scant — although pouring it on was my genius idea.

Hannah: I would have those tostones again. I liked how the waiter warned us they weren’t sweet. I wonder if they get complaints?

Edward: And we were like, “Mofo, this ain’t our first plantain rodeo!”

Hannah: LOL — though, we, of course, didn’t call anyone “mofo.”

Edward: Or refer to a “rodeo.”

Hannah: To their face.

Edward: Actually, I guess we just said, “Oh, I see.”

Hannah: What did you think of them?

Edward: Well, they weren’t sweet! I liked them, but they weren’t my fave of the night. Too dry, not enough sauce.

The batter was a little heavy for me — I would have liked more of a flaky texture.

Hannah: DUDE

They’re not battered!

Edward: They’re not???

Hannah: No, they’re just super starchy. That’s kind of funny…they make their own batter.

Edward: Holy crap I really thought they were battered! I mean it tasted like a thick, chewy batter.

Hannah: Huh! Nope, that’s how fried green plantains get. They’re cut, smashed a little flat, put in oil.

Edward: Wow, that is some crazy starchy stuff. In that case, I guess what I should say is they were overcooked.

Hannah: What we eat w/Cuban food is platanos — softer, sweeter.

Puerto Rican tostones are made from unripe ones. But you’re right, they get easily dry and hard if they’re overcooked.

Edward: Interesting! I am used to softer, ripe plantains. All right, then I retract my accusation about heavy “batter” that was in fact not batter. But I would definitely want more sauce.

Beef Empanadas Beef Empanadas

Edward: Next: Empanadas! These were pretty awesome, would you not agree.

Hannah: Very much so.

Edward: It’s like, what do you want from a fried thing. You want crispy. You want oily — but not greasy. That’s basically the absolute minimum. So then if you get that, AND a tender, flavorful beef filling, it’s like…
 

 

Hannah: Sometimes empanadas are too….doughy.

Edward: Yeah, like chewy.

Hannah: These were not at all too doughy, they were crisp/flaky. And the inside was extremely flavorful. Not plain beef or whatever. They were humble, but I think they were my second favorite plate.

Edward: I just Googled “Cosmo empanadas,” and apparently in 2010 there was an empanada eating contest WHAT UP

Hannah: Oh man!

Edward: If we had known how good they were in 2010, I would have signed up FOR SHORE

Edward: Oh no! They had one this year — in July!

Okay, well next year…EMPANADAMANIA

Because I seriously could have eaten about a dozen.

They’re like what a fancy gourmand who had never eaten Hot Pockets would think Hot Pockets were.

Hannah: Not microwaved though! That’s for sure!

OK, humble empanadas perfectly executed.

Boquerones Bruschetta Boquerones Bruschetta

Edward: What’d you think about the anchovy bruschetta?

(Boquerones Bruschetta – white anchovy fillets on toast with some little pickly onion bits and capers)

Hannah: OK I’m glad you asked. I wanted to order that because I know you like anchovies, and I’m a little timid when it comes to small strong fishes.

When I took a bite of that, it was like a flavor explosion.

It was a small strong fish, yes, but it combined so beautifully in my mouth with all the bits on top, I had a little revelation about why people like them.

So oceany and clean and tart and yum.

That’s all.

Edward: Well, I love those small oily fishes! Until we met and I started eating fancy, I had only eaten fish like anchovies and sardines out of cans. Anchovies were strictly for pizza!

Hannah: You started eating fancy! LOL

Edward: Hm!

Hannah: Did you like the bruschetta?

Edward: So much! The tender, delicate fish on top of the crunchy toasty bread…
Then you got those little crunchy onion bits and the capers…

Hannah: It was so delicate.

Edward: I’ve gotta find these white Spanish anchovies!

Hannah: They’re available at Cosmo!

Edward: True, why am I busting my ass trying to find these things when Cosmo is perfectly happy to do the work for me?

(Busting my ass = doing an Amazon.com search)

Now to what were for me the two most exciting dishes, in terms of foods I had not previously sampled!

Hannah: MORCILLAMADNESS

Edward: YIKES

Black Pudding Sausage Morcilla (Black Pudding Sausage)

Hannah: Grilled morcilla on slices of potatoes.

Edward: We have never had blood sausage before. It didn’t seem very appetizing to me — I mean, sausage made of blood? Cooked congealed blood: YUMMO

Hannah: I didn’t know what to expect at all, but people seem to love it, and I realize that blood and fat are what make flavor…and sausage.

So, full blood steam ahead!

Edward: 50,000,000 Vampires Can’t Be Wrong!

Hannah: Uh, what did you think?

Edward: I was pleasantly surprised!

Hannah: Yeah, me too.

Edward: I was expecting something more…blood-like? Like some kind of rust pudding. But this was very mild-flavored and meaty — really fairly subtle for a sausage.

Hannah: Not too salty, but I found it rich tasting. You didn’t?

Edward: It was rich, but not really powerfully seasoned, which I think is what I’m trying to say.

Hannah: Yes, not heavily seasoned.

Edward: I thought blood sausage was more like some other kinds of sausages that are just a way to make food out of something you’d normally discard — you know, season the crap out of it to make it palatable. But it really is delicious.

Hannah: I think it was my top dish of the night.

Pretty straightforward — a hunk of grilled sausage on a slice of potato. But so delicious.

Edward: Now I want to try all kinds of black pudding and boudin and what not.

I SHALL BECOME A CREATURE OF THE NIGHT

Hannah: LOL

And last but not least….Jamón! Ibérico!

Jamón ibérico Jamón ibérico

Edward: The! Legendary!

Rolls Royce of Hams!

The Treasure of Spain!

The Beluga Caviar of…Food!

Hannah: A special kind of pig with black feet is free to roam the woods and eat delicious things including acorns…CUT TO: thin slices of air-cured ham with beautiful white ribbons of fat at the edge.

Edward: LOL

Hannah: Honey, I liked it. But I’ve gotta say, it didn’t rock my mouth’s socks off.

Edward: wat

Probably because you had socks on your mouth.

Hannah: It’s mild and pure and porky. It’s delicious, don’t get me wrong. But the empanadas and the morcillla were equally delicious, in my opinion.

So I like more stuff going on with my food and less single ingredient purity. But I think we already know that about me.

Edward: Aha! I see. But I guess that’s why I did like it! The single ingredient purity!

Hannah: Yes.

Edward: Pigs + Acorns

Well, I guess two ingredients.

I think a lot of it for me was that it, like the blood sausages, confounded my expectations. I expected something more funky and salty, but got something really buttery and mild. Strongly pork-flavored, but not in an off-putting way. Just kind of like a pure pork essence.

Hannah: Oh, there was a pre-funk air about it that was actually pretty interesting to me.

Edward: I think what I’m trying to say is that we’ve had some cured meats before that are a lot stronger in flavor and aroma — like maybe the speck we had at Torinos. But this was more subtle, and I liked the drier texture, so when the fat melts in your mouth, it’s just the right amount of unctuousness versus the chewiness of the meat.

Hannah: And really, pure pork.

OK, I ended up having one of the martinis you were having, and we eschewed dessert — even though I was super tempted by churros, I was so full.

Edward: Maybe next time.

So, your favorite — the blood sausage or the empanadas?

Hannah: My rankings are as follows:

#5 Tostones

#4 Anchovies

#3 Jamón

#2 Empanadas

#1 Morcilla

I wouldn’t have guessed that ranking ahead of time.

That’s why life is a grand adventure.

Edward: Indeed!

Honey I just want to say…

We’re no strangers to ham
You know the taste and so do I

Hannah: WAT YOU’RE HAMROLLING ME

Edward: A jamón platter’s what I’m thinking of
You wouldn’t get this from any other pig

Never gonna give Jamón Ibérico up
Never gonna put Jamón Ibérico down

Hannah: Is it your #1??

Quit your hamroll!

Edward: Sorry!

Yeah, I have to say it was. Morcilla was #2 — a close second.

Anchovies #3

Empanadas #4

Tostones #5

Hannah: I should say that all of mine were very close. Everyone was stellar. By degrees.

Edward: Oh, and finally I want to say that I thought our meal was pretty reasonably priced for the experience.

Hannah: Maybe it was the happy hour talking, but I really feel like I ate well!!

Edward: WE HAVE EATEN WELL

Hannah: ::takes a bow::

COSMO TAPAS

505.275.0223
4200 Central Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108

Sunday – Monday CLOSED

Tuesday – Thursday 3:00pm – 10:00pm

Friday – Saturday 3:00pm – Midnight

Cosmo Tapas on Urbanspoon

Notes:
1. Spanish blood sausage
Spanish blood sausage

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