This is a second visit to CoVino, a really small place of only 7 tables for 2. American music of the 60’s plays in the background. They offer a 2 or 3 course lunch special as well as a la carte options and an interesting selection of wines and beer. Reservations are a must but not overly hard to obtain. The menu is small and the service is attentive and friendly with the open kitchen taking up a good part of the room. Unfortunately I learned that the chef that was there last fall is no longer and the present ones don’t seem to have his touch. The dishes were fine but not outstanding, however the manager’s personality is so charismatic you really want to like the place. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good place but last time the food just reached a much higher note. Another problem is the portion sizing. Choices vary a good bit on size and heaviness and it would seem that some indication of this variation would be helpful in the ordering process.
We wanted to try things we didn’t have last time. Everyone is given a small cup of fresh vegetables to snack on while they decide on their choices. They were dull but the basket of bread contains some short breadsticks that tasted like corn but are really cheese. They are one of the best things here – don’t miss them.
We chose the 3 course menu. The Hake was perfectly cooked with a sauce of zucchini and topped with crunchy bread crumbs. The crumbs made a good textural contrast to the softness of the other ingredients.
The Mini hamburger was a super moist and tasty piece of beef, made even richer with the egg on top. A good grainy mustard was underneath and it was surrounded by peppery greens. Roast potatoes and hazelnuts finished the fun plate.
The Gnocchi were served with welks or sea snails. This was an okay dish, not great. The gnocchi were not the best and the dish did not have as many dimensions as you’d expect.
The “Tramezzino” or open face sandwich came with another egg and large tasty asparagus. The anchovy was mildly flavored as were the caper berries. It was a fairly tasty dish but too similar to the hamburger which was my first course.
The Tiramisu had chunks of chocolate to give it crunch and the cake was not soaked like many tiramisu. It was served with much cream and a dusting of cocoa.
The Fugazza cake was moist and doughy but the zabaione sauce was the star here. You could dip pieces in the sauce or just pour it on top. Either way it was a winner.
As a final offering they brought out a can of “mom’s cookies.” They were crispy but otherwise not strongly flavored.