While Hopkins students know and love the Remington eateries that are most proximate to us, like R. House and Papermoon Diner, I want to introduce you to a lesser known but equally wonderful spot that might serve you well this Valentine’s Day weekend.
Cosima is a southern Italian restaurant nestled at the edge of Remington and Hampden along Falls Road, just inside the range for Blue Jay Shuttles (happily saving you some Lyft money). The restaurant sits inside of Mill No. 1, a former cotton mill that has been repurposed to serve restaurantgoers and office dwellers. The exterior has retained the factory feel, but the inside of Cosima is as sleek and modern as restaurants these days come. The entrance opens up to a stylish bar and seating area, which continues up to a second floor. However, the backdoor seating patio has an unbeatable atmosphere. The string lights come together with the factory surroundings to serve as the perfect backdrop for your eating experience.
Cosima provides a robust range of culinary options. The pizzas are a Cosima speciality due to their wood-fired oven, but all the dishes benefit greatly from the fresh and unique flavor combinations. Another of Cosima’s strengths is its innovative and reasonably priced cocktail menu. I would bet serious money that you have never had a cocktail with rhubarb bitters, honey-infused gin and prosecco mixed into one, but Cosima is certainly the place to try. The wine list is also extensive, and each menu item includes an optimal wine pairing.
Cosima offers a prix fixe menu for Valentine’s Day weekend. The menu includes an appetizer, entree and dessert. There are plenty of options for you and your date to try, including vegetarian dishes in each category. I was fortunate to have Valentine’s Day dinner at Cosima last year, but unfortunately some of the dishes I tried are not on this year’s Valentine’s menu. I will extrapolate my opinions to match this year’s menu to the best of my ability, but I encourage you to try something unique. Alternatively, you can return to Cosima after Valentine’s Day to try anything I mention!
My date and I ordered the fried calamari with spicy aioli to start things off. I’m a complete sucker for spicy aiolis, and although I find it difficult to come across a bad calamari, this appetizer did not disappoint. Given southern Italy’s proximity to the sea, you can always expect the seafood at Cosima to be top notch. On this year’s menu, I am particularly struck by the shrimp arancini with asparagus puree. The combination of a flavorful take on the classic fried appetizer with a fresh vegetable note is sure to be promising. As a bread fanatic, I am also intrigued by the braised pork crostini with red wine cherries and shaved dark chocolate. Pork often pairs well with sweet notes, but I am curious about how the bitterness of dark chocolate will interact with the dish.
Next, we venture into entree territory. My date ordered the porchetta with a side of potatoes, and I ordered fettuccine alfredo with a side of Brussels sprouts cooked in a blood-orange and balsamic glaze. The porchetta was an absolute marvel (my date was kind enough to spare me a bite); the flavor infused by the bourbon-bacon butter was a perfect duo with the potatoes. The fettuccine was assuredly tasty and I appreciated the pop of color from the herbs, but because the sauce was slightly runny, it did not adhere to the pasta to its fullest. The Brussels sprouts were prepared in the unequivocally superior charred fashion that allowed the glaze flavors to shine through. If I were to order from this year’s menu, I would opt for either the filet and shrimp dish or the half chicken with risotto to get a sense of the restaurant’s take on other meats.
Finally, we wrapped up dinner with dark chocolate mousse cake. Cake and mousse are an unbeatable combination, and the raspberry sauce provided a welcome refuge from the rich chocolate layers. The cinnamon sugar donuts also offer chocolate and raspberry dipping sauces, so you can choose your favorite of the two lovely flavors.
Overall, I highly recommend Cosima if you are still in search of a Valentine’s destination this year. To make a reservation at Cosima, you can visit their Resy page. As a caveat, Cosima is closed on Mondays, so you can celebrate the holiday with them over the weekend.