From every perspective, Bosco's is two or three times the restaurant it was a few years ago. Owner-chef Tony Bosco moved to much nicer quarters in Mandeville and opened a chic new Bosco's in Covington. And while the menu has also extended its range, it remains that of the family-style, Sicilian-inspired Italian-Creole restaurant New Orleanians have always loved. Yet they still make muffulettas. That, and a few other dishes here, are the best of their kind anywhere in the area. The pricing and portions are also attractive, as they must be on the North Shore.
Tony Bosco's grandparents operated the well-known restaurant of the same name in Slidell, decades ago. Little of the food here reminds one of that place--which I'd say is a good thing. Tony first opened with a limited menu in a tiny space in a strip mall in 2003. He had been working for Sal Impastato at Sal & Judy's, where he learned skill and taste. Bosco's became extraordinarily popular after Katrina, enough that the restaurant moved to a much bigger space in early 2009. The menu expanded, too, making Bosco's a much more interesting restaurant. In 2012, Tony opened a second location in the TerraBella community in Covington.
The Mandeville location has expanded twice since it moved into its new strip mall, with the rooms getting nicer the farther you get from the front door. A real bar at the entrance has become more appealing lately. A suggestion I made in this space that it could use a guy sitting in the corner singing Frank Sinatra tunes for tips has actually been adopted on some weekends. The TerraBella Bosco's has a totally different and much more attractive decor, airy and bright with big windows looking into the faux-antique community from its center.
Order about two-thirds as much food as you would ordinarily; the portions here are like Mosca's, and can be shared while still having too much to eat comfortably.