A Quick Look at Jamie Bissonnette & Ken Oringer's Boston Restaurant Coppa
News on Eater that the celebrated Boston chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer had their hearts set on opening a branch of Toro - their Catalan tapas bar - in Chelsea, in the same building that houses Del Posto and Colicchio & Sons, led me to seek out one of their restaurants in Beantown to see if these guys can cook. The short answer is, they can. And their cooking is wild-ass enough that it's likely to go over big in New York.
A companion and I approached Coppa, described as an "enoteca," in the early evening this last Friday, and had no trouble scoring a table in the restaurant's outdoor seating area. The place is located in the South End, a formerly hardscrabble neighborhood that looks a little like the gentrifying parts of Bed-Stuy, with handsome red-brick houses, and twee shops. Right across the street in one direction was what looked like a dog bakery; in the other was a house still occupied by squatters. It was a beautiful summer evening with a light breeze off the Charles River as we sat down and began gorging ourselves.
The menu is decidedly Italian, but with a few Asian flourishes thrown in. Most of what we ate was fantastic.
We began with a lovely multi-bean salad flavored with fronds of fennel and mint leaves in a mild vinaigrette. If the beans hadn't been sourced from Cesare Casella's Republic of Beans, they sure tasted like it. Colorful radishes enlivened the assemblage, and nearly every table in the outdoor seating area - right on the cobbled sidewalk - seemed to be enjoying a bowl.