The experience

Covino'sWe were off to a very late start tonight as I had some late afternoon and into early evening admissions to do.  I had dropped off Mina at my Mom’s to play with Benji, who was already there and headed to the hospital.  By the time I was ready to head out, it was nearly 7 o’clock!  I still had to drive home and when I got there Ogre informed me that Dusty would be accompanying us.  So I had to move the car into the garage and we all had to pile into the truck and drive over to my Mom’s to get the kids.  By now, it’s quarter to 8!  Ack!  Ogre must’ve been in the mood for some Italian as his two suggestions were Italian restaurants.  He ended up choosing Covino’s, which draws rave reviews in Plano.

When we arrived, the kids were immediately drawn to the jukebox in the small front room by the kitchen.  (In fact, Mina thought we’d gone in the wrong door!). Too bad I couldn’t figure out the jukebox worked.  We had to wait a couple minutes so that they could set up a table for five.  When we got to the table and Ogre put Benji’s seat on the table, it was a little precariously balanced so Ogre positioned himself to hold the table down just in case.  Dusty and I sat on the very inside of the table and noted the table to be very slanted and small.  Oh well. 

Mina was excited to find that she could draw on the paper tablecloth and got busy with that right away. Ogre drew a smiley face for Benji, which he called a “puhh..kin” (pumpkin).  Mina overheard and drew a real pumpkin for him, which was very sweet.

Pumpkin art


I went to the restroom where there are no changing stations.  When I returned, we ordered some Garlic Cheese Bread and ate some of the bread that came to the table.  There was a choice of rosemary bread and sourdough bread.  There seemed to be a little bit of a lag with the service, but our waitress finally came to get our order.  Ogre asked her to help him with his order and her definitive suggestion for Eggplant Parmigiana sold it for him.  He asked for a side of gnocchi instead of spaghetti because he knows Benji likes gnocchi.  He did mention to her not to add it if it was going to be “too expensive.” 

Soon after she took our orders, my and Ogre’s salads arrive as did the Garlic Cheese Bread.  There were several comments from the table that the Cheese Bread tasted great. I dished some of my salad to Mina, who nibbled at it and then commented, “Not bad,” but she continued to only nibble.  As she saw the bread slowly disappearing into the boys’ mouths, she said, “Hey, I want some of that!”  and got a piece for herself.  Ogre ordered some marinara sauce so she and Benji could dip. 

We munched on bread for a bit and Ogre and I ate up our salads, which we both thought was excellent.  She brought out our dinners and I dished out some of my ziti noodles and meatballs to Benji and then added some of the Gnocchi that Ogre ordered on the side of his.  I guess the gnocchi wasn’t too expensive.


Benji saying "cheese"


Ogre asked Benji if it was good and in usual Benji fashion, he replied, “gooo” with his eyebrows raised and lips pursed.  He then proceeded to attempt to “share” pieces of his meal with his Papa who tried to fake him out and pretend that he was eating the offerings and then setting them down next to my plate.  Benji followed his every move and I chided Ogre on this behavior.  Ogre asked me if I wanted to eat Benji’s half chewed food that he was offering with his sauced up hands.  Of course not.  Ogre tried to get Benji to offer some to me, and I then remarked that I was just not wanting Benji to feel deceived whereas Ogre was just being an “ay-es-es”.  To make a point, when Benji did offer sweet yuckies to me, I set them down and let Benji see me do it.  Ogre probably rolled his eyes at me.

Ogre had finished his dinner and Dusty was done eating pizza by the time Mina finally finished her salad. 


Mina happy that she ate all her salad


She had not yet eaten one bite of her pizza.  Dusty taught her how to hold her pizza the “New Yorker” way that he learned when he lived in New York a few years ago.  She thought this was pretty cool.  We winded down dinner and Benji offered up his plate, “no mo.”  We decided to look at dessert.  I did not want any, but the rest of the table did. 

Mina folding pizza like a new yorker


When dessert arrived, Mina and Dusty got into a faceoff of calling each other names…President Names.  I was surprised by the number of presidents she knew.  I guess she’s learning something in Kindergarten.  The funniest was when she called Dusty “Hambreeham Lincoln.” 


The food

I think the food is above average here for the pasta and apparently the vote is average for the pizza.

Garlic Cheese BreadThe Garlic Cheese Sticks were, in my book, just okay, but the two guys thought it was excellent.



SaladOgre and I both thought are salads (their house salad) was excellent.  It had a nice creamy and flavorful dressing.


Penne with MeatballsI ordered the Ziti Pasta with Meatballs and it was very good.  Not excellent, but very good.  The pasta was cooked al dente and the sauce had a subtle sweetness to it and had nice thickness about it.  The meatballs were also quite good.  I definitely enjoyed my dish.


eggplant parmesanOgre ordered the Eggplant Parmigiana and said that it was very good (above average to excellent).  Had the right amount of cheese and a ton of sauce, which is a plus in his book.  Ogre thought the gnocchi was a little too soft, but Benji seemed to like it just fine.


PizzaDusty ordered the Pizza (actually, he wanted a cheese pizza, but we asked him to go one size up and put meatballs on half for Mina).  He said it definitely had the look and feel of a New York style pizza, but it certainly wasn’t awesome.  He thought it would be an average pizza in New York.  Ogre tried the Meatball Pizza side and thought it was very good.


Strawberry CheesecakeChocolate CannoliDusty liked the cheesecake, I did not think it was that great.  Not cream cheesy enough for me.  Ogre orderd the Cannoli and thought the chocolate was a little “too much” -more like pudding, so not the best cannoli he’s ever had.

The kids menu has choice of spaghetti and meatball, cheese ravioli or lasagna and it comes with a small drink.


The service

Only average today.  She kept our drinks refilled and took our order, but nothing stellar here.  The tempo of the food service was also a little long.  They do seem to have one guy whose job it is to clear the tables, which is nice.


The kids

They are kid-friendly in that they let the kids draw on the table and there is small kids menu.  The restaurant is rather small and cramped.  Today is Tuesday night and the restaurant is packed, so be forewarned that there is likely to be a wait on the weekends. 

Mina loves drawing on tables

This was a nice little neighborhood Italian dinner spot and Italian is always a pretty good choice when there are kids involved.  If the wait is not going to be a potential problem, then this might be a fine choice for dinner out.  Also, it’s BYOB, which we like.

The total: $57.43 (3 adults)

What did Guidelive say?

No website, so:

3265 Independence Pkwy
Plano, TX 75075-9145
Phone: (972) 519-0345

A giant ice cream cone

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