Lunch at The Delicatessen by Cosa Nostra Phase V
Being in the proximity of Phase V, DHA sometimes spoils you for choice. Today’s choice of drug for an early lunch was The Delicatessen by Cosa Nostra.
Lofty with contemporary feels, the newest addition to the Cosa Nostra family is an adorable little spot to waste away Lahori afternoons and evenings. Light wood, full-length windows, and high ceilings lend an air of unmistakable extravagance to space. And why shouldn’t they? Cosa Nostra is, in its own right, one of the pioneers of casual dining in Lahore.
Service and Order
A fair price point allows you the luxury of choosing an appetizer and a main course without much nitpicking. We (Purnea and I) were two diners, and immediately after opening the (now) full menu, we stumbled upon a winning appetizer: Blackcurrant Wings. We followed this up with an Aglio e Olio for myself and a Flamegrilled Double Stack burger for the lady. A large water would do the job just fine.
Service was delightful. Waiters explained items on the menu in fluent English, promptly replacing any discarded or used cutlery. They had smiles on their faces and swiftly dipped in and out of various doors to ensure that dishes were timed to perfection, one after the other. Honestly, the ambiance and the service at The Delicatessen brightened up my day before I even got the chance to veg out.
The Blackcurrant Wings caught our eye because of the wild combination of base ingredients: blackcurrant, chili, and sour cream. We had to check it out. Once eight photogenic wings arrived on a wooden platter, we knew we had made the right call. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, the wings were cooked like wings should be. The blackcurrant glaze had some sweetness going on but mostly offered a much needed tart flavor as an invite to the sour cream. Between the subtle undertones of chili, the whole blackcurrants for the extra bite, and the silky feels of the sour cream, I was dumbstruck. Innovative and delicious, and not just for the heck of it.
If anyone knows how to make good pasta in town, it’s Cosa Nostra. Don’t believe me? You poor soul.
Aglio e Olio
This was not an adventurous pick, for more than one reason. For one, Aglio e Olio is an extremely simple and modest dish and can be made with just three ingredients: olive oil, garlic, and of course, pasta. Secondly, this is a classic Italian life hack; affordable ingredients pair up to make an exciting medley of flavors that makes it an accessible staple. The Delicatessen by Cosa Nostra’s version of Aglio e Olio is, in my opinion, the best in Lahore. This is because the pasta is always al dente, the flavors are always slender, and the serving size is right on the money. The Delicatessen by Cosa Nostra uses olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, parmesan, and spaghetti (no parsley). While I usually spruce up my own rendition of this classic with a twist of lemon and some parsley, I found myself completely at home with The Delicatessen’s version. If anyone knows how to make good pasta in town, it’s Cosa Nostra. Don’t believe me? You poor soul.
The Flamegrilled Double-Stack
Purnea can have an appetite, but on most days she’s on her MyFitnessPal, logging away calories like a nerd. Today was a bit different, and she pivoted from her initial desire to eat a pizza, ordering a double-stack burger instead. What came forward looked straight up like a float at a parade. Four wooden skewers protruded from the buttered potato buns, bearing a bracelet of corn-flake battered onion rings. Coleslaw and fries made appearances too. Purnea looked and me, and I looked at her. She then tied up her hair and rolled up her sleeves (she ended up ruining her satin blouse anyway).
The burger looked extremely cheesy and was. Cosa has this habit of making burger patties taste a bit mushy. This is also the case in their other burgers, like the BLT; I absolutely love the BLT, but maybe that’s because of the turkey bacon and pickle relish. This burger was decent, but not extraordinary. The potato buns were, at times, overwhelmingly sweet, and the cheese just kept on oozing out. The patty was smokier than usual, but I didn’t really get the oomph I was looking for. If this was meant to compete with the smash burger at Rina’s, then Rina’s wins. If this is standalone, I would try it once and revert back to the BLT in a heartbeat.
I would have thought that opening a The Delicatessen in Phase V would be an uphill battle for Cosa Nostra. There’s already a Gelateria that serves most of the same food in Y Block, DHA, but this one is somehow innately unique. Maybe it’s the ambiance. Maybe it’s the service. Or maybe it just comes down to brass tacks: the food. I have a strong feeling I’ll be checking the ‘all of the above’ box.