When I told my work colleague that I was traveling to New Orleans over the weekend, her husband, an avid foodie, insisted that I visit Mosca’s. I looked it up and saw that it was not even in New Orleans and located in the middle of nowhere in Avondale. The restaurant has been around for more than half a century since Provino Mosca, an Italian immigrant, moved from the Midwest to New Orleans and opened this restaurant. Yes, I can see the classic aura just from learning about its story, but will it be really worth it given I don’t have much time in New Orleans and I’ve already been to a ton of great Italian restaurants in NYC? The short answer: if you have time, Mosca’s is definitely a great place to visit if you’re looking for a hearty, family-style meal. It is one of those feel-good type institutions that will make you feel satisfied no matter what.
There is nothing fancy about the food at Mosca’s. It’s just straight-up rustic Italian with a hint of Cajun and Creole. The level of satisfaction from each dish, however, was high. Perhaps you may think it’s really hard to screw up Italian cuisine, but I could see the thoughtfulness in preparation of the dishes. Fresh whole oysters with special Italian seasoning are topped with breadcrumbs and baked; you’ve seen baked oysters before but the hearty feel to this dish was great, as was shrimp in shell sautéed with Italian seasonings and white wine. You really can’t go wrong with either version of spaghetti, whether it is with the flavorful and juicy meatballs or just straightforward one with oil, butter an garlic. I loved both versions of spaghetti, with noodle cooked al dente to create great texture and the rustic flavor that really epitomizes the rural Italian cuisine.
Somewhat strangely, the only letdown was the famed chicken a la grande, sautéed with rosemary and Italian seasoning, whole cloves of garlic and white wine. There was nothing wrong with the flavor; I loved how the flavor was rich without being heavy, but wish the chicken came a little bit more tender to create perfect balance between flavor and texture. Definitely save room for dessert, as you will marvel at the pineapple fluff, a simple looking dish that is so satisfying that I don’t remember last time I was so impressed with a dessert like this.
The restaurant has that really cozy, family vibe that would make this an ideal location for dinner on intimate settings. There are a bunch of wine options at affordable prices. Getting a reservation doesn’t seem particularly challenging, although the restaurant was nearly packed throughout the course of our meal. If you have time for a quick detour from the French Quarter in New Orleans, Mosca’s is definitely worth the drive. You have probably seen the cuisine before, but will nevertheless walk away satisfied.
- Creativity: 7.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 7.5/10
- Flavor: 8.0/10
- Texture: 8.0/10
Address: 4137 US Highway 90 West, Westwego, LA 70094
Telephone: (504) 436-8950