Last Updated on Saturday, 16 April 2011 19:18
WHY IT'S NOTEWORTHY
After years in a strip mall space so small it severely limited the menu and made waiting for a table inevitable, Bosco's is thriving in its new, larger quarters. There's rarely a wait anymore (the place may actually be a little too big), and young owner-chef Tony Bosco has been able to add several few new dishes. Although, I must say, not as many as I was expecting. The cooking is straight out of the standard New Orleans Italian repertoire. The prices are too low, the portions too big, but this is part of the program. Recently, they added Sunday brunch to the schedule.
WHY IT'S GOOD
Bosco's shows no reluctance to serve the basics of local Italian cookery. If you like a smooth red sauce with pasta and meatballs, here it is. A muffuletta, even at dinner? It's the best in the entire area. Canneloni are enormous and well-filled. Italian sausage with peppers tastes like a dish from the 1960s. Veal Parmigiana comes in a stack so tall it makes you laugh--nervously. Recent additions to the menu include some great dishes involving oysters, crabmeat, and shrimp.
Tony Bosco's grandparents used to operate a well-known restaurant of the same name in Slidell. It was not, as I recall, very good. But there's no continuity here, save for a few relics on the walls. Tony worked long enough for Sal Impastato at Sal & Judy's to pick up both skill and taste, and that shows here. He opened Bosco's in 2003, but the place really became popular after the hurricane, enough to make expansion necessary in February, 2009.
It's in a strip mall (next to the Gourmet Butcher Block). The two dining rooms and bar still echo with newness. In recent months art and other wall hangings have softened the place up, but it could still use more of that. Something else new: a real bar, in a separate, large room. It needs a guy who sits in the corner singing Frank Sinatra tunes for tips.
Sauteed calamari with garlic.
Spaghetti and meatballs or Italian sausage.
Panneed chicken or veal.
Artichoke and crabmeat in a buttery sauce.
Oysters Italian style (bread crumbs, garlic, herbs).
Trout with shrimp and artichoke sauce.
FOR BEST RESULTS
Order about two-thirds as much food as you would ordinarily; the portions here are like Mosca's, and can be shared while still having too much to eat comfortably.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
The bare tables are nice, but tablecloths would add a lot to the environment. It's also time to scrap the old menu and rebuild it with a bit more range.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +1
- Consistency +3
- Service +1
- Value +3
- Attitude +1
- Wine and Bar
- Local Color
- Good for business meetings
- Medium private room
- Open Sunday lunch
- Unusually large servings
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- Reservations accepted
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