The cozy restaurant on the corner of Shawmut Ave. and Milford St. has a pig-shaped sign hanging over the doorway, signifying exactly what you're in for when you head inside: lots of delicious coppa, nose-to-tail eating, and adventurous dishes. And you know it's going to be good as this restaurant is the joint venture of well-known chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette.
When we got inside, we found Elina and Bianca waiting for us at a table for six. Hugs, greetings, and quick catchups taken care of, we all scanned Coppa's cocktail menu. I opted for the Sardinian Iced Tea (Meletti Amaro, lemon, and prosecco). It tasted like what an Arnold Palmer Sour might taste like if such a thing existed. (For the longest time when I was younger, I thought an Arnold Palmer was some sort of alcoholic drink. Turns out it's really one of my favorite nonalcoholic combos: iced tea and lemonade.)
Then there was quite a cacophony as we all examined the dinner menu and started making suggestions about we should order that evening. I always recommend when going to any tapas or small plates restaurant to try to go with a crowd. With six people, we were able to order and sample so many dishes.
The way Coppa works is that your food comes out as it's ready, so you're encouraged to order in rounds. This worked perfectly for us, since we had made up our minds about some things but were still deciding on others.
We started with the stuzzichini (Italian small bar snacks) menu and ordered the chicken liver crostini, meatballs alforno, and cured tuna belly. Then we did a platter of five salumi, selected by the chef. This sounded like enough food for the first round to all of us. We talked about our next round of plates as we eagerly awaited those first bites.
|Chicken liver crostini|
|Cured tuna belly with anchovy, squash, and parmesan|
|Chef's choice salumi platter|
For our second round, we selected the wood oven-roasted pig's tail off the offal menu, the asparagus off the cold antipasti menu, the salsiccia wood-fired pizza, the black cod and buratta special, the spaghetti alla carbonara, and the trophie con pesto. And with this second round, we decided to switch from cocktails to wine and opted to share a bottle of Bastianich Rosato.
|Trophie con pesto (half portion)|
|Black cod with burrata|
|Spaghetti alla carbonara (half portion)|
|Asparagus with poached egg|
For our final round -- we were really starting to slow down at this point -- we got the chocolate-covered foie gras (a special that night), a cheese platter, and the marinated mushrooms. Since we were winding down and heading into sweeter territory, we also switched to bubbly.
|Sparkling Faive Merlot/Cabernet Franc|
|Chocolate-covered foie gras with strawberry glaze|
I would have been perfectly happy leaving without dessert. Yes, I really just said that. Coppa doesn't really do desserts. There's always have a selection of gelato, and that night they also had bread pudding. I am not a fan of bread pudding because I always find it to be soggy, and soggy bread is not at all appealing to me. But everyone at the table was interested in giving it a try, so I had a few small bites. I just ate the edges and found them to not be too soggy, but that could also be because the whole thing was just a little overdone.
I had a great evening catching up with the ladies and trying new foods.
The atmosphere at Coppa is relaxed and well paced. The menu encourages sampling and spacing out your ordering. If you know me, you know I love going to places that serve small plates. The more different dishes I can try, the happier I am. Coppa is one of the best places around for this sort of dining experience.
Where's your favorite place for small plates?