I have a friend who is a morbid man. He’s like a 6ft Leonard Cohen song.
My pessimistic pal is so grumpy that even the slightest hint of praise for something must mean a word hasn’t yet been coined to convey just how implausibly brilliant it must be.
So when he said CoGonis was good, I expected my first bite of crab ravioli to be so breathtakingly beautiful my universe would collapse.
Perhaps my expectations for the family-owned Italian were unrealistic, but after my three courses, I certainly wasn’t scrambling around for superlatives to sum up my meal.
That’s not to say aspects of the North Marine Road restaurant aren’t fantastic. Arriving midweek, we were greeted by a bustling, busy restaurant that was full of grinning diners.
Our attentive waitress set the evening’s tone for service. She, like the rotating team that waited on us over the course of the evening, was genuinely friendly, knowledgable, and chatty without being intrusive.
The menu was varied without being confusingly eclectic, with the pasta dishes available as both starters and mains.
It had a homely tint to it, with belly pork and baked goat’s cheese among the warm and inviting appetisers.
My partner opted for the latter and, for £5.95, was rewarded with a gorgeous chunk of cheese in a parmesan basket that was nothing short of delicious.
For an extra quid, I had a downsized version of the crab ravioli.
Usually served as a main course, there was still a generous portion on my plate.
Served with a crown of shaved Parmesan, the parsley butter sauce was thick – almost soup-like – and warming.
CoGonis boast about using local ingredients in their food, and you can tell it’s lovingly handmade by its evidently talented chefs.
But the crab, one of my favourites, didn’t quite hit the spot. I liked but didn’t love the dish – something just wasn’t there to bring it all together.
For our mains, I was a bit disappointed not to see more pasta dishes available.
The options on there looked great, with the farfalle vodka – a salmon and caviar treat – only not ordered because it included peas, a personal food hell.
Instead we both decided to push the boat out, with my partner ordering an oven roasted duck breast at £15.95, while I ordered the £16.95 rack of lamb, both served with tasty veg and a choice of sauce.
The duck was well done, both in how it was cooked and how it tasted. Duck’s a dish that even a good chef can mess up, but on this occasion it was cooked to near perfection.
The lamb, while well seasoned, was inconsistently cooked. I’d asked for it pink and half of my cuts looked just that.
However, it was lightly ruined by the other half, which I felt was undercooked and too fleshy in the middle.
My highlight was the £4.95 pannacotta we shared.
My favourite pudding, this was one of the better ones I’ve tasted – it bordered on divine.
It’s a shame a few minor hiccups seemingly stopped me from sharing the same palate-pleasing experience my friend had at CoGonis, but it was still largely delicious, and the fact the restaurant was so busy in the middle of the week in Scarborough shows it’s clearly doing a lot of things right.
Overall Rating: 7