We got a table! At long last, Coppa Boston has opened, and we were there for their first dinner. Now if you read regularly, you know that tonight I had planned a 30 minute hill workout and a Project Strength yoga workout. You also know that, to me, flexibility is one of the most important parts of marathon training. I received some not so great news today regarding my career, and with the rainy, gray weather and still being tired from a killer Monday workout, I decided that I needed to eat good food and sleep. That’s it.
I had also heard that Coppa, a new South End restaurant headed up by Chef’s Ken Oringer (of Toro gorgeousness, among others) and Jamie Bissonnette, was finally opening after some delays. I for one was very excited to give it a try, so the hubs and I headed over to the South End after he picked me up from work.
Located on the corner of Shawmut and Milford Streets in a quaint little neighborhood, Coppa is across from South End Formaggio and Polka Dog Bakery. We arrived before 6:00 when Coppa opened and opted to have drinks at the Franklin Cafe. At exactly 6 we went back and were seated immediately. The inside of Coppa is small and cozy with wood floors and painted exposed brick. The bar features a blackboard with the cocktail specials and wine list scrawled on it and looks like the perfect place to sit for a couple of small plates and a drink or two.
We were seated at a table next to the bar and started with a pitcher of Aperol Spritz, a refreshing mix of Aperol, prosecco, and soda water. It reminded me of a very long time ago on a trip to Italy, the slight bitter grapefruit of the Aperol with the effervescence and sweetness of the prosecco and soda. The perfect choice.
We ordered a bunch of small plates, Island Creek oysters with cranberry and prosecco, arancini, burrata with sea salt and breseoala, skirt steak topped with cippolini onion agro dolce, and Brussels sprouts with pancetta, pecorino, and horseradish. After finishing those, we ordered more oysters and fried artichokes with aioli.
Where do I start? Everything was delicious, but the standouts for me were the oysters and the addictive Brussels sprouts. The sweet tart cranberry paired perfectly with the briny oysters. It didn’t hurt that the oyster truck was actually outside, and Chef Oringer told us himself that they had just been harvested. Nothing better than fresh oysters, except for oysters artfully topped with cranberries and prosecco! Then there were the Brussels sprouts. Thank you Chefs for having these on the menu! We all know how much I love these green globes of deliciousness, and Coppa prepares them with flavor and flair. They were on par with the Brussels at the Foodbuzz Festival. And that is a serious comparison.
The hubby LOVED the steak. I didn’t try any of it but did have a bite of sweet cippolini onion, yum! The fried artichokes, with their ever so light batter and salty aioli and a squeeze of fresh lemon also topped the list. We tried so many dishes, and yet there are still so many that we wanted!
The music at Coppa was great, and the whole vibe was energetic and welcoming. The service was that of a restaurant on opening night, servers moving swiftly around, making it difficult for me to snap great photos, but making for a fun eating experience. The Boston Channel’s Chronicle was filming the opening night; check it out and maybe you will see us eating and trying not to laugh in front of the camera
Coppa is a welcome addition to the South End and is off to an incredible start. Our meal went off without a hitch, and the hostess was very interested in our feedback as I was leaving. Best of luck to this new restaurant, and if you are looking for a rustic yet chic Italian experience in Boston, check it out!