Cosimo’s Brick Oven
120 Delafield Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Lunch & Dinner, 7 Days
In our house, Monday is pizza night, and in our house pizza means Cosimo’s. Monday night we can usually be found eating at the corner of the bar, nestled in among the Monday night regulars from Marist College and the Culinary, with a smattering of legal types and business people. More often that not, everyone at the bar will know each other. If they don’t, they soon will, because our hostess and barkeeper, Joanne Foley, a/k/a JoJo, will make sure that happens. After many years of this routine, we are there as much for the company as the pizza, but we certainly started going to Cosimo’s because of the pizza.
Pizza is a very personal preference. Aficionados will swear by their own choice of crust – thick, thin, crunchy, chewy – and their own choice of sauces and toppings and shapes. But for most of us, the deal breaker is the crust. I can enjoy just about any style or topping or sauce as long as the basic bread- the crust – is good. We prefer a crust a little on the thin side, but not as thin as say – Gusto’s / Market St. or Alloy’s in days of yore, but not as thick as the traditional New York pies I grew up with, and most assuredly not that deep dish pan thing they call pizza in Chicago. It must also be flavorful, and the texture should have a little chew, but ideally it should also have a little crunch in the bite. Combining all of that in one pizza is a tall order. (Trust me I have tried at home for years.) It requires a perfect combination of flour(s) and proofing, (and refrigeration to retard the proofing), and oven temps and timing and sauces and whatever you are going to put on top. Or not. A great pizza doesn’t need much on top.
Cosimo’s has found that secret combination, which contains a unique addition of semolina flour, usually reserved for pasta, instead of the more traditional “00 | Pizza” flour blended with All Purpose flour. I believe that it is that addition of semolina that contributes, at least in part, to the crunchy finish of the crust. And having a brick oven that will fire a pie at 900 degrees helps too. For my money, they make the best pizza in the Hudson Valley.
Cosimo’s entrusts their pizza oven to one of two people – Willie or Ostos, one of whom you will see as soon as you walk in the front door. Smile when you enter and say hello because they deserve your respect. They are artists.
While you are there you might also be tempted by the other Italian specialties on the menu, which was treated to a major makeover a few months back. Most of the old favorites (like the fabulous house-made mozzarella) remain, but some items that you would not have seen a year ago – like last night’s seafood special of line caught sole – are a nice addition.
Cosimo’s portions are, I suspect, passed down from someone’s Italian grandmother, and you can usually count on leftovers, even with the appetizers. An order of calamari is more than enough for two to share as an app, or to serve as a main course for one. Another “Special” appetizer that makes frequent appearances is the grilled prawns, one of my favorites.
Cosimo’s full menu offers much more than apps and pizzas (although we rarely get past these courses before running out of room.) You can check out the full menu here, or keep up with daily updates on the restaurant’s Facebook Page. If you stop in on a Monday, stop over and say Hi.