Bistro World

Atmosphere trumps cuisine at Cosmo Rouge

The food is a noble effort really, especially at its bistro-like prices. Menu prose reads like this: garlic and lemon chicken--sage-roasted chicken with shallot, garlic and tomato on a bed of black olive mashed potatoes. Sounds enticing, doesn't it? Yet it's really nothing more than a leathery, parched breast with herb freckles.

Braised short ribs in cognac brown butter sauce is equally feckless. Ribs arrive in a bowl with delicious sections of squash, but the meat is overcooked and flushed with gristle and slightly off flavors reminiscent of rancid fat. Lamb chops were merely adequate: no silken rosy meat (server didn't ask how we wanted the chops prepared), compelling flavors or rich juices. Just gray chops flaunting banal tenderness. The four chops were positioned so that the bones formed a peak over the plate's centerpiece, a dab of delicious mushroom bread pudding. This is a minor work of brilliance, positioning this fungi, tamed with pudding, in the thick of a racy chop configuration--or would be if the chops raced.

At lunch, the room assumes a different complexion. Sunlight washes over the red velvet, extracting a bit of plushness that seems to thrive only in "ultra-lounge" light. Cosmo sparkles a little, but the silver chairs seem contrived under the sanitizing sun rays.

Cosmo Rouge goes for ultra-ultra chic. The food is dull dull.
Cosmo Rouge goes for ultra-ultra chic. The food is dull dull.

Location Info

Map

Cosmo Rouge

407 N. Bishop Ave.
Dallas, TX 75208-4658

Category: Restaurant > Greek

Region: Oak Cliff & South Dallas

Details

Mushroom soup $7

Shrimp dumpling soup $8

Cosmo Club $8

Pastitsio $9

Lamb chops $19

Confetti calamari $9

Short ribs $15

Garlic lemon chicken $14

Cosmo cobbler $6

Closed Location

Food founders further. Sure, the mushroom soup is a tactical success. Its puréed mushroom thickness in rich cream supports a centerpiece of coiled coconut shavings that reach out from the surface like floral whorls. As in the shrimp dumpling soup, seasoning is throttled, permitting the musty mushroom to tangle with the slightly pungent coconut shavings unencumbered.

But the Cosmo club sandwich is painfully dull--just simple toast, ham, turkey and apple wood-smoked bacon fringed with lettuce and fried green tomatoes. No mayo. Pastitsio, the Greek lasagna variant layered with pasta tubes, ground beef and cheese blanketed with a béchamel sauce, was cold and hard until you reached the inner sanctums, which were steaming. Nuked?

Nuked spoken backward is dekun. How ultra-lounge. Now go unseen. 407 N. Bishop Ave., 214-942-0202. Open for lunch 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; open for dinner 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday & Saturday and 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Open for Sunday brunch 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $$-$$$

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