Coppa (and Ken Oringer in general) has been on my list for quite some time. This Origner/Bissonnette owned South End eatery focuses on Italian style tapas with a multitude of small plates, charcuterie, small & large pastas, pizzas and more. Thank goodness I’ve grown to love tapas because this was quite the feast.
Bread: A few small slices of white bread were brought with a side dish of EVOO. This was fine as is but served us better to accompany some of the small plates.
Menu: This tapas style menu consists of: Stuzzichini (Italian small bar snacks), Salumi, Antipasti, Wood-Fried Pizza, Pasta, Piatti (plates), Formaggio. I was pleasantly overwhelmed with all of the options. If you’re not a fan of small plates it’s still easy enough to have a normal sized meal as they have entrees and full orders of pasta. My debate was deciding between an app and pizza or small plates and some pasta. Since I was with 1 other person we decided to share as much as possible!
Arancini – traditional fried risotto balls with fontina
Two arancini came in a bowl with a light red sauce and sprinkled with cheese. Cut into the crispy risotto ball to find warm rice and melted fontina cheese. Quite delicious, especially dipped into the sauce.
Baccala – warm salt cod crostini
A ½ piece of bread came topped with the salt cod, seasonings, and chopped chives. For $6 I expected at least a full piece of bread, but at Coppa you’re paying for quality not quantity. The cod was at least piled high and tasted excellent, warm & soft, almost like a spread.
Local Burrata – Prosciutto di San Daniele, Higher Ground Farm lovage and black olive
A gorgeous presentation of smeared olive that I originally thought was a brush stroke plate pattern, topped with a lovage (herbed) spread, a generous portion of creamy burrata, and thinly sliced prosciutto. Eating a forkful of each component sufficed but I used the extra bread we had as a vehicle for the burrata and prosciutto. My mouth is watering just writing about it… the best plate so far!
Strozzapreti con Pesto – pasta with pesto, pine nuts, Piave and fingerling potatoes
This short pasta was tossed with classic pesto, small rounds of fingerlings, and shaved Piave cheese. I thought the potatoes would be strange in this dish but I actually enjoyed it as they were cooked well enough that they were soft but not too mushy. This ½ portion was a decent size, perfect to end our meal. Pesto pasta is one of my favorites and this did not disappoint.
Service: Our server did a fine job, describing the 3 additions to the menu (each of which sounded amazing), and taking our order after each course so that the plates were delivered one after the other rather than all at once. Friendly, pleasant, and informative, which is all I ever ask.
Overall: I’m upset it’s taken me this long to get to Coppa! Similar in style to a favorite of mine (La Morra in Brookline), Coppa offers an array of small Italian plates as well as full and ½ size pastas, pizzas and entrees. There was also a great cocktail menu from which I ordered the Italian Sangria (different, with a bit of a kick!). It was a beautiful night and luckily there was available patio seating so I didn’t get a good feel for the interior; however from what I saw it appeared cute & casual with chalk board drawings, a few free standing tables and a small bar. I’m looking forward to returning, but only after I try Coppa’s sister restaurant Toro, serving Spanish style tapas.
The Perfect Bite: It’s between the Burrata/Prosciutto and a bite of the Strozzapreti and shaved Piave. I ended up dipping the burrata in the pesto which was also pretty incredible. I recommend trying both dishes!
For more photos & descriptions of what everyone in my party ate, visit my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectBiteBoston