Coppa, South End, Boston

Co-Owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette have racked up positive commentary for Toro (BMH review of Toro). Since Coppa’s opening in October 2009, the South End has welcomed the Italian tapas eatery with glowing reviews for its salumi, pig terrine, burrata and pastas. You must be amenable to nose to tail dining including hearts, ears, sweetbreads.

Chef Bissonnette (Food & Wine’s 2011 People’s Best New Chef Award) served oysters escabeche using moon shell oysters from the Cape, with cava and vinegar at the Chef’s For Obama Fundraiser. Ever since we sampled Jamie’s clever oyster rendition, we knew we would be visiting Coppa.

The main constructive comments we have heard is the wait. Perhaps due to Coppa’s popularity and its quaint, 40 seat size, friends reported more than a 2 hour wait time. This issue is now ameliorated and a moment of the past. Since early 2011, Coppa takes reservations for dinner.

The restaurant’s Italian wine list is extensive and the cocktails look fantastic.

Our server was very warm, sweet-natured, constantly filling our water glasses. She was very apologetic that the two items we wanted to order, the pig terrine and pig’s tail were not available. She suggested alternatives and her favorites, which we enjoyed, but was not the perfect substitute. The soft bread was fantastic in the lightly salted olive oil.

Berkel slicer and Viking panini press

The paper-thin duck prosciutto ($10) was melt in you mouth and had a lovely ducky flavor. I was alternating between laying a slice of the prosciutto on a bit of the rustic bread to savor the experience even longer. I wanted another order for myself and would definitely get this again.

The Bruschetta di Girasole, toasted crostini with roasted sunchokes, tasso ham butter, anchovies and garlic for $5 was tasty. Each of the components were enjoyable independently, but the tasso ham butter really tied the bruschetta together into a greater dish.

The Brussels Sprouts al Forno, wood roasted mini brussels sprouts with horseradish and pecorino ($9) had a nice bite from the horseradish. My dining companion commented that this dish was a bit heavy-handed on the salt. I agree.

Our final dish was the Fettuccine di Brambly, al dente house made chestnut pasta with wild boar and roasted chestnuts for $16. The rich wild boar heart with the smooth chestnut flavor was delicious. We ate this plate clean.

Although there was gelato and bread pudding for dessert, we did not have room. I would definitely be back to try the pig ear’s terrine, roasted pig’s tail and bone marrow pizza. I would also try Coppa’s brunch because I love pressed sandwiches, both savory and sweet. The Nutella Panino, Nutella and banana for $5 and Panino di Mattina, pressed proscuitto, fontina and farm egg for $10 are both beckoning me.

Coppa on Urbanspoon

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