Review #34 Cosmoba, Russell Square

After a convivial meeting with some South African co-authors in The Lamb (whose praises cannot be sung too high) we were once more crippled by the rules. The Lamb’s natural successor is Cigala but that was off the agenda. I’ve heard good things about Noble Rot but the mood of the group wasn’t in favour so we went in search of somewhere open at 5 in the early evening and ended up, after a bit of a trek (there’s one for my Afrikaans chums) in Cosmoba.

Cosmoba’s curious name is explained by it being located in Cosmo Place – the little alley between Southampton Row and Queen’s Square that I never realised had a name of its own. The reason for coming here would normally be the Queen’s Larder, which is an outstanding pub, but Cosmoba also rises above its bulk tourism setting to offer something that a Londoner would appreciate too.

The front room was full so we had a table in a curiously corridor shaped back room where a row of tables leave room for the waiter to shuffle past to reach patrons in the distant corner. Slightly off putting at first but fine once you get used to it. The food is standard Italian stuff with a few Sicilian specialities to liven up the selection – we had good crispy arancini as well as antipasto to start.

We all had pizza for main, and it was good pizza. A proper thin base and generous helpings on top with a rich tomato sauce. Table wine at about 18 quid a bottle was nothing special whereas the service was the standout feature. A cheerful, friendly waiter (and the food he brought) turned a hungry, tired and irritable group of four people into a functioning family unit having a good Saturday night out together. That’s a rare talent.

7/10

To see which other restaurants I’ve visited in 2016 check out my¬†GoogleMap

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