Buzzy though it may be, the Bishop Arts District still feels enough of the underdog that it’ll embrace just about any new bistro that settles in its midst. So it’s air kisses and hugs for Cosmo Rouge, a charming, eccentric restaurant-lounge opened by caterer and event planner Stephen Stroud.
Cosmo hits a couple of chords. The bar’s swanky, the food’s ambitious, and Stroud’s renovation of the brick building is historically respectful, which endears him to this arty, design-y crowd. If food and service sometimes sputter, it’s so minor that you’ll feel petty bringing it up. Crunchy arancini balls were like pop-in-the-mouth rice fritters. French country salad stood out, thanks to goat cheese and baby zucchini. Shrimp dumpling soup had a clean seafood taste, despite its starchy texture. Moussaka, the Greek casserole, doesn’t usually come with a sheath of mashed potatoes as it did here. But as a hearty dish with beef and eggplant, it filled the bill.
Desserts—a weird, gooey nut tart, a thimble-size chocolate cake—missed the mark, but there were coffee drinks galore and snazzy, fruity cocktails, too. The room’s plush, with red velvet curtains and diamond-shaped panels of gleaming wood paneling. The tables were size-2 close, and the high-backed chairs awkward. But hush up already, and quit being such a gripe. 407 N. Bishop Ave. 214-942-0202. $$-$$$.
Update: Cosmo Rouge has closed.