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Cosi Cucina Italian Grill
Ranked #7 of 70 Restaurants in Clive
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 2 blocks south of Hickman Rd
Description: (515) 278-8148
Reviewed October 15, 2013

Cosi Cucina used to be my mom's favorite restaurant. When I saw a Groupon deal for this restaurant I pounced on it as a way to celebrate her birthday. However, when I told her that we wanted to take her out to Cosi Cucina she frowned and said they had changed the menu and she didn't like it any more because it was too spicy, but she would tough it out so we could still use our voucher. This reaction made me nervous so I went online to read some recent reviews, and was troubled by what I read - they did not sound like the restaurant we used to frequent and enjoy. Nonetheless I was very hopeful that our experience would exceed my expectations based on those reviews ... but actually it was worse than I thought it would be.

We were a party of 8. We were seated in 2 rows of 4 facing each other which made it difficult for our whole family to talk as one (because it was very noisy and hard to hear over the din). We were given tasty bread to enjoy while perusing the menu and ordering, and that was probably the high point of the experience.

Our waiter was awkward. He was trying too hard to be humorous and was at times too attentive versus other times when he was nowhere to be found, and sometimes made us feel a little uncomfortable. We ordered the roasted garlic appetizer and when he brought it to us he squished the garlic cloves out of the bulb while holding it in a napkin instead of letting us pick the cloves out ourselves. This appetizer was tasty, though my sister felt the garlic didn't taste that fresh and was not as pleased with it as I was.

The waiter was very kind to my mom and made sure to accommodate the customization she made to her entree. But for the most part we were all unhappy with how our food turned out. My niece ordered a calzone, and found that the thicker parts of the crust were still doughy/undercooked. My husband ordered the classic Italy dish and he felt that the sauce was too watery, and there was too much of it. I ordered the minestrone and the mozzarella salad. I was honestly unsure of what soup I actually received because the broth was creamier than a minestrone usually is, and there were no noodles. It was basically a semi-creamy broth with a bunch of indiscriminate mushy vegetables that were difficult to identify. My salad was also disappointing - it had a weird smell and the mozzarella, though described on the menu as fresh/house-made, did not taste or smell fresh.

I don't know that we will ever come back to this restaurant after this experience.

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Thank polkadots_eve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (94)
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57 - 61 of 94 reviews

Reviewed October 9, 2013

Cosi Cucina is a local favorite that has undergone some great improvements over the past few years. Their menu is expanded and more interesting than the common Des Moines Italian-American restaurants. Eg, snapper and beurre blanc with risotto. They have a good wine list and pay attention to details - like the fresh bread, and quality balsamic vinegar. Our server, Rick, was great!

Thank Ryan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2013

The food was great. Started with caprise; the fresh mozzerilla was firm and creamy. The bread rolls were light and tasty. I had a chicken, sudried tomatos and penne pasta. My wife had the lobster and bowtie pasta. The only miss was the apple cake, it was recommened by my server. Ive been going here since it's opened, one bad apple will not prevent me from returning.

Thank ja1800
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2013

Someone in our group thought it would be a great idea to bring our own wine. So after calling in and finding out that there was no corkage fee, they decided to bring in their own bottles. Turns out the information was wrong and they charged, $10.00 per bottle!!! My suggestion was to turn around and leave, but the others still wanted to stay. As a general rule of thumb, if it starts poorly, just getup and go, it won't get any better.

As you read through other reviews you will find that Cosi Cucina has a following. Those people will argue about its greatness, no matter what. Well, here is the plain truth. The restaurant is not clean. The dated ceilings, floors and bathroom vanities will prove that quickly. When the bottom of the vanities are falling apart, swollen to 3 times their original size from being mopped, it's time for a facelift. The food isn't great. The sauce tasted like it came from a jar. The roasted chicken were actually thin overcooked slices of dry chicken. When the waiter drops part of your food on the table and puts it back into the dish with his hands, have more wine, dull the senses, try not to think about it or what might be going on in the kitchen when no one is watching.

One of us ordered their Pork Marsala which comes with pork medallions. Pork medallions are awesome and you can get them cooked medium. These arrived flat, almost see-through. For a 'quality' restaurant, they just kept falling short.

So when you get that feeling right at the beginning that it's not going to go well, trust your instincts. If you are a regular, please keep enjoying. If you are not, I think they are an acquired taste that I simply do not want to acquire.

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Thank 112DesMoinesTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2013

My boyfriend and I decided to try this place out because we had heard that it was great from his mom and stepdad. Well, it wasn't quite the experience we thought it would be. It was probably a lot to do with the service, to be honest. It is hard to enjoy a meal out when we don't know the servers name, and he didn't talk to us at all besides the basic ordering of food. The food was okay, but nothing spectacular. Didn't have cheesecake that night, so we ended up heading over to Jordan Creek for a slice at the Cheesecake Factory. Might give it another chance, but that night didn't really impress me.

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Thank Leah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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