Tom and I headed out for dinner at Pasta Cosi, located in the cute downtown green area of Branford--such a nice quiet area compared to Rt.1! We had reservations, so we were seated right away and water glasses filled. The ambiance is nice for a date night and with only a handful of tables, it was cozy without being cramped.
I started with a glass of the house Pinot Grigio and Tom had a beer and a bread basket was brought over. I love good Italian bread, but this stuff was so hard, it surpassed the limits of the word "crusty". This was one breadbasket we definitely did not want refills on.
Hoping that things would turn around, our appetizer arrived--fried mozzarella. The mozz was definitely fresh (in the two odd-shaped pieces we got), but plating and portions were way off-balance. We asked for both of the sauces they had available on the menu for this item--lemon caper raddichio and marinara. The lemon caper came in a large ramekin, taking over half of the dish, with the marinara taking up another quarter, leaving the two mozz pieces in the rest of the plate. Plating issue aside, the flavor of the sauces worked nicely with the mozz and was enjoyable.
For my entree, I had the Amatriciana--pasta with a sauce of diced onion, pancetta, bacon, garlic, wine and red pepper, with sliced sausage on top. I loved the slightly smoky flavor to the sauce but I wish the pieces of pancetta and bacon were more plentiful and visible; otherwise, I enjoyed this dish and the housemade pasta. Tom went with his go-to pasta dish--clams in white sauce. He noted how filling the dish was, related to the housemade pasta but he also commented that the clams were a bit overdone. Overall, it was a nice meal but it didn't stand out enough for us to become one of our go-to Italian joints, or even for us to likely return to.