Restaurants close and restaurants open. There have been more than a few times on Berks County Eats where I have visited the same location more than once to try a new restaurant that has taken the place of one that went away.
Early in 2017, Basil Restaurant and Pizzeria outside Sinking Spring closed its doors for the last time. In stepped in Cosa Pizzeria and Restaurant, giving us the opportunity to return to a familiar place for a new experience.
Cosa opened in the space on Fritztown Road in May, picking up where Basil had left off. And while the restaurant looks much the same as it did when it was Basil, subtle changes have already begun. Lunch service was ended and the restaurant now opens at 4 p.m. daily.
The menu is all-new. There’s a strong focus on pizza, but Cosa also offers 10 entree options and a selection of sandwiches.
Also new was the pairing for our complimentary bread. Along with the olive oil was a bowl with a mix of potatoes, tomatoes, herbs and oil.
It was an interesting combination with the thick, airy slices of bread, but it worked. It felt like an Italian potato salad more than a bruschetta because there was no crunch of the crostini or strong balsamic overtones. The potatoes were soft and created a unique taste and texture. Julie and I both tried it and liked it, but left most of it because it was too heavy for us to finish without ruining our appetites.
Our house salads were next to arrive a short time later. It was your basic starter salad with mixed greens, sliced onions, cherry tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers, topped with a handful of croutons. It was presented beautifully, and everything was fresh. It was everything I look for in a salad, setting the tone for a good meal to come.
Both Julie and I picked from the selection of entrees. My choice was the ragu alla Bolognese.
It featured house-made pappardelle pasta and a traditional ragu with ground veal, sofrito, red wine, crushed tomato and cream.
Normally, I’m not a big fan of veal, but I was a big fan of this dish. The meat added a richness that was perfect for the slightly creamy tomato sauce. The sauce was thick enough and the pasta cooked well enough that that sauce stuck, never sliding off to pool at the bottom of the bowl.
There was a depth of flavor to the dish as well with just enough seasoning to bring out the best in the ingredients.
Julie’s ricotta gnocchi was another excellent dish.
We have had gnocchi served many different ways. This was our first taste of ricotta gnocchi, using the rich cheese as a base instead of potatoes. It was tossed in brown butter with pancetta, fresh sage and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Brown butter is a favorite of both of ours – a guilty pleasure because a big pool of butter is not the healthiest sauce – and it worked really well with the ricotta gnocchi here. The fresh sage mixed in really shined through and gave a bright, herby flavor to the whole dish. And the pancetta added salt to the dish while giving it a savory element.
Both of our meals were very well done, and we took half of each home for later meals.
Our total bill was about $35, but we only had to spend about $10 because Cosa accepts gift certificates from the former Basil, including our $25 gift certificate that had gone unused.
We certainly did not want to see Basil close, but Cosa is proving to be a worthy replacement, carrying the mantle and providing delicious Italian food to the Sinking Spring area.
Hopefully others enjoy it, too, so we won’t be returning to review another new restaurant anytime soon.
Cosa Pizzeria and Restaurant
776 Fritztown Rd
Sinking Spring, PA 19608