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
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
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
And last but not least….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.
Hannah: Honey, I liked it. But I’ve gotta say, it didn’t rock my mouth’s socks off.
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!
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 Torino’s. 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:
I wouldn’t have guessed that ranking ahead of time.
That’s why life is a grand adventure.
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!
Yeah, I have to say it was. Morcilla was #2 — a close second.
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::