New Italian restaurant nestled next to the Jones Falls with family-inspired dishes

Posted at 5:27 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 17:27:08-04

Not every Italian place is in Little Italy. Cosima is offering Sicilian and Southern Italian-inspired dishes in a picturesque setting.

It's been a busy summer, and Megan and I have been trying to check out the patio at Cosima since June. Unfortunately, our schedules never matched up so by the time we could grab dinner together it was too rainy to eat outside. 

The inside of Cosima is so warm and inviting though it didn't really matter. The restaurant is located in the old boiler room of the Mill No. 1 building off of Falls Road. It used to house The Mount Vernon Company, the world's largest producer of cotton duck in the late 19th century.

Cosima incorporates elements of the old mill into its design with some modern touches. You drop your car off (free valet parking!) and walk up to the door on a cobblestone street. 

Donna Crivello is head chef and her menu is her take on Sicilian and Southern Italian cuisine inspired by her mother and grandmother. The restaurant itself is named after her grandmother. 

Megan and I wanted to try a little bit of everything, so we ordered tapas-style. We ordered four appetizers to start and thought if we were still hungry we'd get more food. We were good with what we ordered. These were very hearty and delicious appetizers.

They start you with a bread course and some olive oil for dipping. The bread was a little burned on one side, but once we dipped it in the olive oil you couldn't tell.

After the bread we had polpette and burrata. Polpette is mamma's meatballs with ricotta. It came out in a cute little cast iron skillet. We got about five meatballs in a rich, sweet sauce with tons of cheese. I would go back just to get this! It probably had something to do with the cheese but it didn't over power the taste of the sauce.

Burrata is creamy fresh mozzarella, local heirloom tomatoes, grilled house-made semolina bread, basil, sea salt, olive oil, and vin cotto. The bread was a little burned on one side again, but the tomatoes and the mozzarella made up for it. The tomatoes were extremely fresh and juicy and the mozzarella was creamy and delicious. It was the freshest mozzarella I've ever had. The two complemented each other well. 

Our next two appetizers were gnocchi di ricotta al forno and involtini de melanzane. 

The gnocchi is described as pasta baked with Italian cheeses and Sicilian bread crumbs. This was fantastic! Perfect amount of cheesiness, and the pasta was thick and doughy. The bread crumbs gave it a little extra flavor so you weren't overwhelmed by the cheese.

Involtini de melanzane is stuffed eggplant ricotta, roasted red peppers and marinara. This was my least favorite of the four dishes but it was still really good. You get two eggplant rolls covered in sauce and cheese. What hurt this dish for me was it was the fourth thing I ate and I was already pretty full from everything else. It still had great flavor and a good cheese-to-sauce ratio.

Despite being full, we powered through and ordered dessert. I ordered Cosima's Cannoli and Megan ordered the ricotta cheese cake. The cannoli was a touch different than your normal cannoli and contained candied orange ricotta, pistachios and chocolate. You get two mini cannolis. I really enjoyed the hint of orange flavor in the filling. It gave it a unique taste.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Cosima. I left full and happy. Megan and I will definitely be going back when it's nicer out to sit on the patio!

Price wise this place is moderate to high. Appetizers range from $8 to $18. Entrees range from $22 to $56 but most of them cost less than $30 so you can enjoy a dinner for 2 for less than $100 with apps, drinks, and a main course.

Where should we check out next? We're always looking for ideas! Get on the internets and hit us up with an email at or