HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Suggestions for Coppa

I’m planning to check out Coppa (possibly tonight), and I was wondering what dishes are not to be missed. Some of the dishes that caught my eye are the Chicken liver crostini, Arancini, Bruschetta de Cannellini, Italian tuna belly, Zucchini pesto crostini, Buratta, fennel salad, Skirt steak, Crispy chicken, Local fish under a brick, Cavatelli di Pollo, and Rigatoni. I welcome all thoughts. Thanks.

-----
Coppa
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. I love the meatballs, but I might suggest fewer crostini. Pastas are special, so I would split two or more of those if you have a group: love the brains ravioli and the carbonara with uni, though they're all really good. Other favorites: farro salad, baked tripe, pig tail (occasionally available as a special), fluke crudo, roast octopus, arrosto di peppe, brussels sprouts. Pizza is nice, but stands out less to me than other dishes, esp. at $15 for a pretty small pie; of those, I like the oxtail/marrow best.

    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

    17 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Not going to be a big group. Probably one other. I am not planning on ordering everything I listed. I just listed the things that sounded best, although I missed the arrosto di peppe. They sound great. Are you suggesting we skip the crostini entirely in favor of other items? I should have mentioned I don’t eat pork. I noticed you did not mention the arancini, skirt steak, crispy chicken, or local fish under a brick. Do you know if any of these worthwhile? Thanks.

      1. re: Dan Boston

        The crostini are fine, as are those hot antipasti, they just don't strike me as extraordinary of their type. I wouldn't fret too much either way: it's kind of hard to go wrong there. I do recommend trying some of the specialty cocktails, and being prepared for a long wait on a Saturday night.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          1. re: Dan Boston

            second the pigs tail. (not for you as you said you don't eat pork, but for anyone else reading this thread) also the brussells sprouts are amazing. lasagna with winter squash was really good, but may not be on the menu anymore.

        1. re: Dan Boston

          i liked the skirt steak (and cavatelli and burrata), wasn't as much of a fan of the fish under brick

          1. re: Dan Boston

            We LOVED the chicken milanese, which sounds boring but was absolutely delicious and really such a simple, yet perfect preparation. But we loved everything we had, so as MC says, I think it's pretty hard to go wrong.
            Of course by the time you read this, my guess is you will have already set out for the night. I walked by there at 5:40 tonight and the place was packed. Opens at 5:30. Crazy.

            1. re: twentyoystahs

              I am curious about the servings at Coppa. Is everything a small plate and is Sunday night better than Saturday to get in? I understand the place is nuts and they don't take reservations. Want to take H for birthday (the man LOVES his cured meats!), but we don't live in the City any more and it sounds like pure hassle if you can't get there early. Having lived next to Olives for years, the standing in a long line to eat dinner has always amazed me. Is Coppa really THAT good? Thanks for your insights.

              -----
              Coppa
              253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

              1. re: kate used to be 50

                Depends on what you mean by "small plate". A lot of places abuse this term. They're not pinchos (though I guess the crostini come close), but they wouldn't rate as full-size appetizers at many restaurants, either. Each pasta is akin to a real Italian primo, a proper-sized mid-course. Pizzas are small, irregular pies, perhaps 8 or 9" across.

                I love the food at Coppa, but I won't stand in line for dinner anywhere, at any time. I manage it by going at off-peak times, usually closer to the end of service. That's obviously not going to work for everyone. Perhaps the patio's opening will ease up the waits a bit: that will increase total seating from 40 to 64. They're starting daily lunch service in a matter of weeks, too.

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                -----
                Coppa
                253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Thank you. We are big fans of the Italian way of eating. Are off times more likely during the week? I would think end of service at a place like Coppa wouldn't be that much different as I understand the bar tending is pretty awesome too.

                  -----
                  Coppa
                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                  1. re: kate used to be 50

                    I think the pizzas are really something special. Agree that the Blue Ribbon is the best (oxtail/marrow)

                    Other don't-miss items:
                    • Fish under a brick
                    • Skirt steak
                    • Tuna crudo (just slightly better than the fluke, IMO)
                    • Meatballs
                    • Marinated cauliflower
                    • Even the very basic lasagne is very good

                    1. re: kate used to be 50

                      Weeknights starting at about 10pm is when things calm down a bit; as you might suspect, earlier in the week is better. As good as the bartending is within the limits of the beer/wine/cordial license, most patrons seem to be there to eat, even later on.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Thank you for the insights. I'll have to work on this! Birthday dinner will have to be a reservation (not fair to make someone wait for their birthday dinner). Coppa will have to be another night.

                        -----
                        Coppa
                        253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                        1. re: kate used to be 50

                          I, also, am not a fan of "waiting to eat.." And as someone who lives practically next door, I have been keeping an eye on the crowds and turnover there....
                          A few thoughts: If you go earlier in the week, like a Mon or Tues it's true it won't be as crazy-busy as it is on a Fri or Sat. But, it'll still be full, and busy. So, you have a few options. ....1) you can get there around 6-6:30ish and if there isn't a table (and there probably won't be) you can put your name in, give them your cell #, and head just about anywhere in the 'hood for a drink or two. My experience is that you won't have to wait that long, b/c all the folks who got there right on the dot at 5:30 will be leaving around 7ish....2) If you really don't want to wait, then as MC says, later, i.e. 9:30-10ish is good, but early is also perfect too. Get there btwn 5:30-6 and you'll be fine. Doesn't always work during the week but I find this perfect for an early Sun night dinner.
                          I think the worst time to go (if you don't want to wait) is 7:30-8ish b/c the second wave of diners has just recently been seated so you'll probably be waiting for a while. Totally 100% worth the wait though, IMO.

                    2. re: MC Slim JB

                      How long of a line is there right at opening time? If one walks up at say, 5:20-5:25 will you be good to go in at 5:30 or is it already pretty deep?

                      edit: I suppose I could have read twentyoystahs' post first ...

                      1. re: jgg13

                        Yeah, if you get there a few minutes before opening time, you will defintely get in. Also, if you get there shortly after opening time (within, say, 15 minutes) you should also get in (assuming you aren't a large party..)

                        1. re: twentyoystahs

                          I think this depends on what night you're going and also on the numbers in the parties in front of you - for example, when we went on a Satuday night, by 5:30 the line was so long that some folks @ the end didn't get in . . . so my advice would be not to risk it and to get there prior to the 5:30 open - we got there at 5:10 and we were the third party in line!

                          GG
                          http://www.semisweetonline.com

                        2. re: jgg13

                          i think earlier in the week is also easier to get in than closer to the weekend...

              2. Some things I really liked here were the arancini (great fry job, they were crispy, light and fluffy), pig's ear terrine (a truly beautiful-looking dish, like a slab of marbled fudge), tuna belly crostini and the calf brain ravioli in a rich brown butter sauce.

                It wasn't on the menu, but after chatting with a cook who was preparing tuna for tartare, we were able to put in an order for it and it ended up being a favorite of the night: it was dressed with a bright onionberry vinagrette and served with a shaving of foie gras--light, spring-y and delicious. I look forward to having this dish outdoors on a warm evening.

                I found the pizza there delicious: we had a white pie with carmelized onions and burrata--the sweet onions and salty cheese were a great pairing, and the crust was crispy and slightly charred, and stood up to the toppings.

                I found the fish under a brick (cod, when I had it) fine, but it didn't really stand out. It's a good protein option for a pescatarian, but otherwise, I probably wouldn't order it again.

                As an example of timing your visit...I went last Saturday (a dreary night of downpours). We got there at 5:25. By 5:40, the restaurant was completely full.

                1. First of all I want to thank everyone for their recommendations. Now let me share my impressions of the restaurant. I write the following with some trepidation, as I have read and heard nothing but good things about Coppa, but I was not blown away by the food.

                  The dining experience was enjoyable, but I thought the food was forgettable. The service was good. I found the staff to be friendly, welcoming and helpful with the menu. Also the mixed drinks were great. In fact the mixed drinks were my favorite part of the meal. They were innovative, interesting, and refreshing.

                  None of the food was bad, but I did not taste anything that I would describe as great or memorable either. I have heard and read nothing but raves about this restaurant, and there is regularly a wait of two hours or more for dinner. I really am not sure what all the fuss is about. I'd be happy to eat at Coppa again, but I would not make a special effort. I would certainly not wait hours in line to eat there. I found the food at Toro to be much more interesting. I realize Toro is Spanish and Coppa is Italian, but there is still a comparison to be made.

                  Am I crazy? Does anyone out there agree with me? I am prepared to draw the ire of everyone.

                  All that being said I thought the food was a good value. All the food listed below plus 2 mixed drinks cost $60 pre-tip.

                  Below are my thoughts on the specific dishes I tried.

                  White Bean Crostini – A white bean puree served on crostini. Perfectly adequate, but a one note dish. Not a lot of complexity. I’ve had white bean purees that come complimentary with the bread that were just as good as this dish. The crispy sage leaf on top was a nice touch.

                  Fluke Crudo / Grapefruit, cherry pepper, and perilla – This was a light, delicate, refreshing dish that worked well on a warm spring evening. I would have like more seasoning, particularly more cherry pepper.

                  Farro Salad with cucumber, radishes, and lemon – This dish just did not do very much for me. The main flavor component was cucumber. The flavor was not objectionable. Just boring.

                  Arrosto di Peppe / Roasted sweet peppers with Turkish spices, feta, and aged balsamic – This dish was enjoyable, but I could picture something just as good coming from the antipasto bar at Whole Foods. I really had to concentrate to find the “Turkish spices”.

                  Ravioli / Calves Brain ravioli with radicchio, brown butter and garlic puree – This was the most impressive dish of the night, but I’ve had much more memorable pasta in my life. The pasta itself was perfectly cooked. The filling did not bring much flavor to the dish, but it did add nice creamy texture. Most of the flavor came from the brown butter sauce and garlic puree.

                  -----
                  Toro
                  1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                  Coppa
                  253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Dan Boston

                    I think yours is a perfectly reasonable reaction to the food at Coppa; I just like some of those dishes a lot more than you did.

                    I think Coppa is excellent and a very good value, but the combination of Jamie's deserved reputation, the small size, some strong reviews, and clever promotion have combined to create a certain frenzy that ultimately risks diminishing the experience by setting up unreasonable expectations. In my mind, no restaurant is good enough to wait two hours in line for.

                    http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                    -----
                    Coppa
                    253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                    1. re: Dan Boston

                      I'm a huge fan of the place, but everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, and it's good to get honest feedback and to see a diversity of perspectives on a place, for sure. That said, of your selections, we had the Arrosto di Peppe and the White Bean Crostini and thought they were lackluster compared to the other things we ordered. I've heard raves about the brain raviolis, too, but we're not organ-eaters so we didn't have those, nor the farro salad.

                      So I don't know if it was a selection issue for you, or maybe just not your cup of tea . . . I'm sorry you went to all that effort and then were disappointed - nothing worse than that.

                      GG
                      http://www.semisweetonline.com