Have you been reading Solo Date City? This anonymous blogger is eating her way around Wellington alone, writing gorgeously about both the experience and the feelings that propelled her to that restaurant in the first place. I love to eat brunch or even lunch by myself, but dinner not so much, so tonight I took inspiration from her, and took myself out. Now I’m going to steal her template too. Muhahaha.

VenueCosa Nostra, Thorndon
Visited: Monday, 6pm
Mood at time of visit: Snuffly & full of self pity
Type: Italian restaurant
Ambience: Casual, neightbourhood restauranty. Some tables set up for groups, others for happy two-somes. Music is a mixture of opera and what you’d expect in a stereotypical Italian restaurant.
Clientèle: Locals, so since it’s Thorndon I’d say public servants. Mainly Boomers, but there is a children’s menu available
Busy? Not when I first got there, but it started filling up.
Service: Casual, friendly and non-intrusive
Price (for one): $51.50
Difficulty: Easy as, the only challenge was in finding pants and leaving the house. But do make sure you take your own book, I saw no newspapers or magazines.

pork cutletI had been sick for the past couple of days, a sore throat quickly escalating to the feeling that my brain was trying to escape via my nose, and then a cough developing. Even though friends had visited, bringing me cheese and panadol, I felt like I hadn’t escaped the house in weeks, I’d felt too sick to clean, and I couldn’t face the thought of trying to scrape something together for dinner. Having not eaten properly (read: vegetables) in days, I was craving home-cooking, without the hassle of having to be entertaining in exchange for my food, so I decided to go and check out my neighbourhood. A quick check of the Cosa Nostra website menu showed me they had what I was looking for – simple meat and three vege type cooking. It was on.

I was greeted warmly and when I asked for a table for one, I was shown to one at the front of the restaurant, perfect for me because I could turn my back on the room and the extra daylight from the windows was good for reading by (though even without this, it would probably have been bright enough to read in anyway). The waitress pointed out the specials board to me, and told me what was on it too, leaving me for the perfect amount of time to consider my order without feeling neglected. Actually, I was seriously impressed by the service all the time – sitting with my back to the room I couldn’t do the looking up hopefully meercat type face whenever I wanted something else, but I didn’t need to at all.

I ordered the Mailale alla Milanese ($28.90), described as a pork cutlet crumbed and topped with mozarella, served with saffron risotto, roast tomatoes and seasonal greens. It was a decent-sized portion, but not huge – I probably should have ordered extra vegetables. This simple dish was exactly what I was in the mood for, like a hug from a plate. Likewise, the lemon pannacotta had good strong flavours, although it was a slightly smaller portion than I might have expected for $13.50. I got to read my book, drink a glass of rosé and escape my house and my brain for a little while.

While I wouldn’t go to Cosa Nostra expecting anything groundbreaking, I do look forward to returning there with a group, getting the set menu and doing BYO ($7 corkage).