Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coppa - South End Italian Perfection

Like many people (or I assume many people), Nick and I have a list of restuarants we want to sample.  However, our Type A personalities required a list in Google docs sorted by restaurants "to try" and "completed."  Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissionnette's Coppa has long been on the "to try" side, and finally, on a recent Saturday night date night, Coppa got moved to the "completed" column.  With stellar reviews and amazing personal experiences at Toro and Clio I am not sure why it took us so long to get to this intimate Italian restaurant.  Not to give away the ending, but I am sure it won't be nearly as long for us to make a return trip.

Even though it was a Saturday night, we managed to take advantage of one of the last summer weekends when city dwellers head out of town and were seated right away outside on their lovely patio at the quiet intersection of Shawmut and Milford streets.  Without the hustle surrounding the more frequented patio spaces, the setting was welcoming and relaxed.  This evening was one of the first cooler nights we had, but I was prepared with jacket in hand and knew with a couple of cocktails I would be feeling nice and warm!

The Setting...
After perusing the drink list, Nick started with a glass of their featured wine that evening, which happened to be a Chianti - his favorite! I dove in with a cocktail, but, er, can't remember what it was (bad blogger!)  I DO, however, remember enjoying it!

Shortly after our drinks arrived, an airy loaf of Italian bread was brought over with some olive oil for dipping.  The olive oil definitely had some flavor that dressed up what other places treat as a mundane course.

The menu at Coppa is broken up into sections that include the small Italian bar snacks, the charcuterie, antipasti, pizzas, pastas and entree portions.  Nick and I couldn't decided on one thing so we did a nice sampling of the menu using the suggested number of dishes recommended by our helpful server.  To begin, I could not resist the arancini: traditional fried risotto balls with fontina cheese.  These were the best I have ever had!  Between the perfectly golden crisp outside and the steamy inside filled with tender risotto ozzing with fontina cheese, they were amazingly delicious!  I'm so happy I did not skip over this dish for being too boring!

Amazing Arancini
Of course, a trip to Coppa would not be complete without some meats and cheeses!  With a selection of salami's and cheeses, we looked to our server again for some recommendations and complementary flavors.  In the end we opted for the Coppa (which was similar to prosciutto) and the Salumetto (similar to a traditional salami), as well as three cheeses (cow, sheep and goat.)  The cheeses were flavorful without being overwhelming.  The meats were delicious and worked perfectly with the cheese.  The drizzle of honey, pickled veggies (for Nick) and the compote on the adorable pig shaped tray finished this perfect course.

Meats and Cheeses
After his glass of Chianti, Nick sampled one of Coppa's Shandies (a beer cocktail).  Nick went with the Male Model (naturally) which was a mixture of Root, Narragansett, Pimm's and Lemon soda.  This was a totally refreshing way to enjoy a beer.  The best part might have been the glass it was served in: check out the handle! 

The Male Model (aka, Nick!)
With the smell of the wood fired pizza wafting through the air, we knew we had to have one.  Eventually we decided on the Pepe Bianco pizza, which is a white clam pizza topped with bacon and leeks.  The crust was thin under the toppings (but heavy enough to support them.)  The toppings were flavorful, with the bacon being nice and subtle and paired perfectly with the leek.  The clam flavoring was also slight, allowing all the different flavors to come together well.

Pepe Biano
Finally, we got a full serving of the Linguini Nero, which is made with house made squid ink pasta and tossed with lobster, whelks, Castelvetrano olives, black garlic and tomato.  There is something about squid ink that I find intriguing, and I am always tempted by these dishes.  Nick loved this pasta with its medley of flavors - check out that chunk of lobster!  However, as a non-olive person, that flavor was just too strong for me. 

Linguini Nero
Our experience at Coppa exceeded our expectations, from the perfect setting to the delicious food, and we totally enjoyed our date night.  With a menu that offers something for everyone, and endless combinations of dishes for people like me who cannot decide on one dish, Coppa could fast become a regular spot for us.

Coppa on Urbanspoon


  1. Mmmm. I love Coppa, and this post made me hungry!

  2. I agree that Coppa is perfection! I love that you have a Google doc for restaurants.

  3. We, too, have a to-try restaurant list, but not in such a sophisticated system as Google Docs! I just have it written in a notebook... At any rate, genius idea, and Coppa is fantastic. The cocktails are unique and inventive, it's a fun place to sit and enjoy a meal, and the food - all of it - is just outstanding.

  4. I have mine organized in a google doc too :) I LOVE Coppa, really fantastic food.

  5. Love it there! Glad you had such a great experience. (I registered for and got a little pig cutting board like that... so excited to use it!)

  6. We went there two years ago and got this monkfish sandwich that was disgusting. Everything else was great but nick refused to go back because it reminded him if of a cat food sandwich he ate during hell week. Lol. Now that we live so close I keep telling him we have to go back. Hopefully your post will convince him!! Everything else we had was great.

    1. Also no idea why my names comes up like this... And less of an idea how to fix :/ hmm

  7. This meal looks absolutely fantastic!! Especially that arancini.

  8. Those arancini with the melty cheese look incredible. Coppa has been on my list to try for awhile now!


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