I was in Des Moines recently and met up with my daughter for dinner. She's got a weakness for Italian food, so I took her to a place that I hadn't been to for a number of years - Cosi Cucina in suburban Clive (see map).
Like I say, I hadn't been to Cosi Cucina in, probably, six or seven years, but it was just as nice inside as I remember it being from before. It's cozy, comfortable (although the booths are kind of small) and they still serve good Italian.
Our waiter hadn't been there any more than about three months and he wasn't as polished as I've seen waiter at other similar higher end Italian restaurants. But, still, he was pleasant enough and helpful.
The menu had such a wide variety - especially with entrees mixed with seafood - that I had trouble figuring out what I wanted. My daughter, who is allergic to seafood (I keep telling her she can't be my daughter if she's allergic to seafood), had limited options. She ended up going for the grilled chicken in a pesto cream sauce over linguine noodles. I went with the Malfadine con Aragosto - chunks of lobster over bow tie pasta with a brandy cream sauce.
We both got the house salad, mixed greens with red onions and chopped tomatoes with a balsamic vinaigrette. It looked very large when it was set on our table, but it was more poofy than anything.
For our main entree, Leah's chicken looked a little over cooked, and she was having trouble cutting it, but she still said it was good. My lobster pasta was very good. There was something in the sauce that gave it just a little spicy bite that really added to the flavor.
The owner, Devin Rowling, and head chef, Douglas Smith make up the team that has garnered Cosi Cucina numerous local awards for being the best Italian restaurant in Des Moines for many years. The food is very good, the ambiance is very nice. My daughter thought it was a little expensive - just under $70 for dinner, drinks and tip (the salads are ordered ala carte and are not part of the meal). I've eaten in much more expensive Italian restaurants that aren't as good as Cosi Cucina. It's tough to beat.