If you ever wondered if Jamie Bissonette might have over-extended himself with his (and Ken Oringer's) Boston Toro, and the new NYC Toro outpost, on top of all the media events for this James Beard winner, I'm here to quell your concerns. We had one of the best meals in memory when we went to Coppa for an early dinner last night. Saturday 5:30 on Super Pi Day, 3/14/15, and every seat was taken.
We had had some waiting time during which the greeters steered us to their menu favs, so we were well prepared to order. My oysters in a cranberry verjus were delightfully light and creamy, and the 'pop' of the pickled mustard seeds added a surprising bit of fun to the dish. My Love began with the Quail, a tiny bird with a robust spice rub, maitake mushrooms, and Calabrian chili vinaigrette, - a very simple but perfectly executed dish whose understated treatment really enabled one to focus on the bird.
(I was special enough to warrant two, TWO, mind you ( safety pin sized) quail wings, and next time it will be one plate just for myself:-)
With our entrees, we shared a hearty dish of brussel sprouts with a rich cheese. He had a large portion of nutty toothsome Spelt pasta with pork sugo, cabbage, sage and parmesan, and I had a small portion of two other pastas: the breath-of-spring Parsley cavatelli with prosciutto braised snails, lemon and parmesan ;and Cappelletti con Pastinaca , Parsnip filled pasta, bra duro, smoked hazelnuts and a crunchy rye crumb topping. Both were outstanding, but when I dug into the cappelletti, i couldn't stop saying , "WOW!!" It was very clear to me why the two greeters had both lit up when they recommended it.
What struck me about all the food we had at Coppa last night- was how beautifully balanced each dish was. Not for a moment did i ever wish for 'more cheese' or salt, or a pepper grinder, or 'some lemon' or "more sauce.'' I can't think of having had any better meal in Boston. And even better, the dishes were treatments that I never would have considered making at home.Our small and large bowls were completely clean when we finished. While we had no room for dessert, we left comfortably full and blissful. As ever, the staff really make Coppa as special as it is. Every one of them is welcoming,warm and friendly as can be, as well as efficient and bright.It's a loud and bustling place, and they, along with the kitchen, make it all seem effortless. Can't wait to return.