Are you ever on your way home from work and just want to pick up a good pizza? Or do you ever have one of those nights when the kids are a little wound up and you just want to take them out for a very casual dinner where they can get up from the table and play some video games while you sit back and order yourself a cold one? If you answered yes to either of these questions, or if you are just looking for an easy place to go to get a quick bite of good Italian food in the Mandeville area, then Coscino’s is the restaurant for you.
Coscino’s is a 5-year old family run business and when I say family run, I mean it! Everywhere you turn there is a Coscino! First, there is Jamie, the “Godmother” who is the owner and the apparent head of the family. Then there is Mike, her husband, who you can catch performing on stage with his guitar on Thursdays during open mic night. Running the front of the house is Jamie and Mike’s daughter, Danielle and managing the kitchen is their son, Jeremy.
Jeremy is also the chef responsible for the delicious homemade “red gravy” they use on their pizzas and Italian dishes. According to Jamie, the original recipe has been passed on for generations in her full blooded Sicilian family.
When it comes to little Italian places like this, I will always be quick to judge them on two things, their pizza and their Italian salad. Neither has to be fancy - they just have to be good enough to keep me coming back. I found both of these to my liking here at Coscino’s, especially the fact that they are able to make a real New York style thin crust pizza when requested. Truth be told, the best pizza is still up in the Northeast and unfortunately every slice I eat here back at home makes me long for Ray’s Pizza in Little Italy. So being such a harsh critic when it comes to my “pies” (that’s how they order them up there in Yankee world!), I was very pleased when my pizza came to the table thin, slightly crisp and with a nice flavor. (If you’re in the mood for a little spice, try some slices of pepperoncini peppers on your pizza.)
Coscino’s is very proud of their homemade meatballs and they should be. They profess to roll over 100 of these obscenely large meatballs every day. Another customer favorite is the lasagna, which is filled with both ground beef and Italian sausage. (I prefer mine with a little extra red gravy.) They also offer some other customary Italian fare such as calzones and parmesans (including eggplant, chicken and veal), which you can also order as a sandwich on their freshly baked bread.
When it comes to family run places with a loyal following there are few that will compare to Coscino’s. It is a fun place to go with the whole family, you’re entire baseball team, or if you just want to stop in on the weekend with a few friends, drink some beers and hear some live music. For more information on who is appearing go to www.myspace.com/coscinospizza
Coscino’s Pizza &Italian Restaurant
1817 N. Causeway Blvd.
Mandeville, LA 70471