I'm taken aback when I walk into Cozy's and find the colored Christmas balls missing that once hung from the ceiling when the place was Five Sister's Cafe. The space now has an inviting boudoir feel, particularly at dusk, and features quiet themes of butterflies and ruby slippers peppering the walls and halls. Eyeing the outre artwork and the fluffy couch, it strikes me that Cozy's would be a perfect space for a writing group or book club.
Snappy sandwiches: The soup and sandwich lunch menu may read like a snoozer, but the food is popping with ingenuity and spunk. I'm particularly fond of the fried green tomato sandwich ($6.95) with crispy prosciutto. This high-tech BLT is served on a crunchy focaccia and features a creamy bonanza of green tomato, goat cheese and spring mix. The meatball sandwich ($5.95) is unexpectedly light, with halved globes of meatball stacked between roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and field greens. The citrus chicken sandwich ($6.50) doesn't have much of a citrus flavor, but the miso-tinged breast meat is moist and takes the tired staple in an eye-opening direction. Gazpacho ($3.95 a bowl) was lumpy with large chunks of vinegary cucumbers, giving this summer soup oomph.
What's for dinner?: Unfortunately, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings Cozy drops most of their fab lunch offerings and replaces them with a "wine and tapas menu." There is a short but impressive wine list for this little cove of comfort. If you are into wine be sure and drop by -- just eat beforehand. Three featured entrees ($15 each), posted on squiggly-edged construction paper cutouts, are overpriced and clash with the easygoing atmosphere of this potential gem. My husband was so annoyed about the price of his paltry serving of lamb that he announced a cost estimate for each bite he consumed ("Mmmm, $5 down the hatch!"). The lobster ravioli isn't awful, it just looks and tastes like something from the freezer section of Whole Foods.
The disappointments continue with the "tapas," which are really just two items -- chicken or prawns on a stick ($4.75 and $4.95). Skip the forgettable "prawns" (five little shrimp on a wooden skewer weaved between slivers of red and yellow peppers) and order the roast beet mixed greens salad ($5.95) sporting walnuts, red onions, blue cheese and a perfect dosage of raspberry vinaigrette. The salad is carried over from the lunch menu and Cozy's should keep moving in this direction. The sandwiches and salads are so sprightly, it's a shame to see them pushed aside for less inventive, so-called dinner items.
Get cozy: My favorite thing about Cozy's is its disarming atmosphere. This summer, when it seems more wet than dry, you'll probably see there me pretending it's sunny outside and ordering up a strawberry trifle ($4.75) between writing spurts. Cozy's is a place that forgives a drag of the tongue around the edges of your lips to scoop up Cool Whip remnants.
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