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Feb 18, 2010 03:59 PM

Coppa Recs

Hi All,

We're finally getting off our butts to try Coppa this weekend and I wanted to poll the crowd for your favorites . . . it's just 2 of us, so we won't be able to order a ton of food - we want to hit highlights!



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  1. You really can't go wrong. I was just back last night and continue to be wowed--Jamie was in the kitchen and KO was running tables. The joint was packed and loud, the energy was high, and the food was fantastic.

    I recommend: Cauliflower pizza; calf's brains ravioli; spaghetti carbonara with uni; orecchiette with broccoli rabe and sausage; cod under a brick; duck drumettes.

    The salumi are also quite good, but with so many amazing prepared-dishes, I tend to stick to items I can't get across the street at Formaggio.

    The cocktails are a lot of fun--I love to see what they can do with such limited ingredients, as they have only a beer/wine/cordials license. I particularly enjoy the drinks (many off-menu) that Corey and team can put together around Campari and Chartreuse.

    For wines, I like the Montepulciano d'Abruzzo by-the-glass.

    In terms of portions, I'd suggest getting a couple items each and sharing everything. The antipasti are small and sharable (but substantial). The pastas are approximately a half portion at a restaurant that serves sane primo portions. The pizza is thin and small, maybe 10" in diameter, but filling.

    Whatever you get, enjoy!

    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

    1. Agree there aren't many misses. If you like salumi and charcuterie, lean to the house-made versions (they're asterisked): great coppa, mortadella, coppa di testa, duck prosciutto, duck galantine, orecchio, porchetta.

      Other dishes I've had lately and liked: farro salad, meatballs, buratta, fluke crudo, both octopus dishes, brussel sprouts. All the pastas are great, and good small portions, easy to share a few: carbonara with uni and pancetta is a fave, but even something that sounds unprepossessing like cavatelli with chicken sausage is really, really good.

      Cocktails are way above average for a beer/wine/cordial license, and there are some reasonably priced wines, too.The only aggravation is peak-period crowds; it's much more enjoyable when things slow down later in the evening (they serve till 12:45a).

      7 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Do you know at what hour the crowd starts to thin on a Saturday night? At about what time could two people walk in and not have to wait for a table? Is there such a time?

        1. re: pollystyrene

          Our plan was to show up for the 5:30 opening - then do something after dinner. 'Cause there's no way we can wait 'til the crowd thins later!


          1. re: gansu girl

            Your experience may differ on a weekend--I have only hit up Coppa on weekday nights--but in my visits they are busiest from right around open until 8:30p or so, slightly less busy from 8:30p until 10:30p, and then manageable from 10:30p until close.

            Even at these later times, however, I'm not sure if you could just walk in, but the place isn't as packed and crazy as it is earlier. I love the early noise and energy, but if a calmer setting is your thing, be prepared or come closer to closing.

            I suspect a lot of folks show up at 5:30p, expecting to get one of the first table turns, leading to a long wait early on. On the other hand, there is also an afterwork crowd on weekdays, so weekends could well be different. Good luck!

            1. re: rlove

              All great info., thank you all! We're planning on being there, nose to door, prior to 5:30 so we'll get one of those first tables - after waiting tables for years I know what bad thing showing up just AFTER those tables are filled can be!


          2. re: pollystyrene

            I avoid Coppa (as I do most South End restaurants) on weekends; friends have reported two-hour waits then.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Tried to go this past Monday night, thinking the holiday weekend plus post-Valentines day ennui would work in my favor. Despite getting there at 6, the place was packed and as Kenny O was having a bunch of friends in, we were turned away.

              No matter, enjoyed a yummy meal at Franklin across the street (delicious skate!) I bet they are getting a lot of the overflow from Coppa. Good for them.

              Still, I really want to find that magical moment when the bar opens up at Coppa and I can ogle the salumi. Sigh.

              1. re: yumyum

                although i'm normally more of a bar person, I prefer the benches at Coppa over the bar, they are more comfortable (relatively speaking) and there is more room to stretch out and plop your winter coats down

        2. Try the pig's tail. Dank!

          1. Update - we got in line at 5:10, got seated at the opening and ate meatballs al forno, arancini, ricotta stuzzi, bruschetta de canneliini, the Brussels sprouts, the broccoli rabe, arrosto di peppe, the cavatelli di pollo and washed it down with the "Italian in Vermont" cocktail. OMG it was all so delicious - our verdict was the hot plates were better than the cold (cold = the bruschetta and the peppers) and the broccoli rabe has made me stop saying "I really don't like broccoli rabe that much." Similarly, my husband *enjoyed* the Brussels sprouts - a first.

            Service was friendly and very relaxed and unrushed. This was a meal we'll be talking about for a while - we are sure to become regular early-birds over there!

            Note - even though these are "small plates," this was a lot of food for two people - but the good thing about over-eating at 5:30 is that you have lots of time to digest before bedtime.


            253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

            3 Replies
            1. re: gansu girl

              Amyone been recently? Still that busy?

              1. re: itryalot

                My husband and I went for lunch at Coppa on a Friday afternoon recently, and spent a couple of hours nibbling and sipping. We still love it.



                1. re: itryalot

                  There's still a wait of some sort to deal with till at least 10pm on most weeknights. I managed to walk in to almost immediate seating at 10:30pm not too long ago, but I rarely see it less than jam-packed before 9:30pm on any night of the week. I stay far away on weekend nights.

                  Lunch is still slow, probably will remain so for a while. Note that it's a comparatively limited menu vs. dinner: sandwiches, salads, pizzas, a few small plates.