We unintentionally saved the best restaurant on our East Coast trip for last. We spent our last night in Boston and had reservations to eat at Coppa, 253 Shawmut Ave. The restaurant is located in Boston’s South End. When our taxi pulled up outside of the restaurant a few hours before our reservation, I thought we were at the wrong place. It’s located in a residential neighborhood with brownstones and cute shops. From outward appearances, it looks like a neighborhood eatery with outdoor tables and a causal vibe. It did not look like a place that allows reservations to be made two months in advance. Since we were early, we spent time walking around the South End, shopping and having a drink before heading to the restaurant for dinner. When we arrived, our table was ready and waiting for us. The inside is small and cozy. So cozy that you can check out what the patrons on either side of you are ordering without them noticing.
Coppa is owned by Chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer. This year, Jamie Bissonnette was named Best Chef: Northeast by the James Beard Foundation.
Coppa’s menu has a wide variety of small Italian plates. We tried the Arancini, fried risotto balls stuffed with fontina, Lardo Avvolto Boquerones, crispy lardo wrapped anchovies with potato chips and “sauce gribiche,” Insalata Estiva, butter lettuces, fattoush, sheep’s milk feta and green goddess dressing, Corzetti Nero, squid ink pasta with octopus, black garlic, Castelvetrano olives and tomato, Maltagliati con Agnello, “tatters and rags” farro pasta with braised lamb, romanesco and bianco sardo and a Margherita pizza, tomato basil, mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil.
Coppa truly was a meal we’ll never forget.