What kind of mo-mo wears stilettos to the neighborhood Italian joint? (yup, I do)
But this is Ken Oringer’s new dig, the former Iron Chef Champion who has more awards and accolades than Stevie Wonder. He’s the guy behind Clio and Uni, the upscale French and Sushi spots in the Eliot Hotel on Commonwealth Avenue. And Toro - a wedge of Barcelona in the trendy South End, where fans line up for hours just to get a table. Then came KO Prime in Boston’s marble-drenched boutique haunt, Hotel Nine Zero. So why dress down?
Enter Coppa - on narrow Shawmut street in the gentrified, but still quiet section of the South End. It’s lined with trees and locals catching up on the steps of their brownstones. There’s the camouflaged Franklin Cafe and a dress-em-up doggie shop that closes early. Not a single passing car and barely any foot traffic. You can hear a cyclist change his gears – and it’s Saturday night.
The sight of plaid Bermuda shorts, flat sandals, straw sun hats, and a beagle peak beneath the orange umbrellas of outdoor tables. It appears you have been invited to your neighbors private patio party. Swing open a screened porch door to a small space of wood tables and place mat menus. It’s humid and bustling like a novelty beach resort eatery. Order a Bella Fiore (Prosecco, Hibiscus, rhubarb) to cool down.
“We inherited the brick oven from the former space……so with that we wanted an Italian neighborhood feel,” says GM, Courtney Bissonette, wife of partner and chef, Jaime Bissonette.
Italian tapas start accumulating – sea-urchin bruschetta, gnocchi with lamb ragu, ravioli with calves brains, duck prosciutto, fried risotto balls, and tripe baked with mozzarella – followed by homemade strawberry and blueberry sorbet.
No, this is not fish-n-chips vacation food. It’s Mr. Oringer’s pad – minus the “be-seen” scene.
Coppa will be honoring Restaurant week (August 15-20 & 22-27) by offering a bucket of beer and a gourmet pizza for $10.10 from 11pm-12:45 am nightly.