Coppa Enoteca- Best Brunches in Boston
Anyone familiar with my culinary background will know that since childhood, I have loved eating and cooking both Asian and Italian food. If I could split myself between Asia and Italy, I would do it in a second. While roaming around the United States, I’m always on the lookout for charming restaurants that remind me of my times in Italy, especially moments in Milan, Firenze and the lesser traveled hills of Tuscany.
In Boston, one of my favorite cities in America, I have long known about Chef Ken Oringer’s talents through Clio, then Uni. Recently, I’ve added another Ken Oringer restaurant to my repertoire- Coppa Enoteca. In Italian, Enoteca traditionally refers to a place where wine is stored or served, though over the years, it has come to denote a kind of wine bistro that serves food in addition to great wines.
I fell in love with Coppa at first visit. Firstly, it is off the tourist-beaten track of Boston’s more infamous Back Bay neighborhoods. Tiny local shops scatter the street that Coppa is on, amid 3 and 4 story townhouses that are quintessentially east coast. On a bright and sunny Sunday, the picturesque large windows of Coppa’s front reminded me fondly of enotecas in Rome and Firenze. A few seats at the front window along with a short row of tables and seats at the inner bar complete a cozy and charming ambiance, glittering with wine bottles here and there.
You could almost forget you’re not in Italy.
A friend and I sat at the bar in the midst of the fun chaos of food prep and wine pours. We started off with the Ostriche, raw oysters with a touch of perfectly tart cranberry verjus (the pressed juice of any tart fruit) and finely chopped shallots on a bed of salt. The oysters tasted as if they’d just escaped from the nearest Boston bay right onto my plate, smooth, tender and deliciously savory.
Mortadella Pimento Formaggio followed, an addictive creamy paté made of mortadella, olives and cheese, all paired with warm, crisp crostini. This was melt on your tongue delicious- a blend of saltiness from the olives, the robust flavors of the cured pork and slight pepperiness combining to create a spread for the crostini that you would gratefully lap up even with no bread remaining.
Funghi in Salamoia was a surprisingly refreshing small dish, whole button mushrooms marinated in olive oil, salt and an assortment of herbs, all gone before you even realize how much you enjoyed them.
And for those of you who had a little too much libations the night before, an order of the Hang Over ‘Za might be in order. A thin crust pizza east coast style lies as a bed to a generous sprinkling of sausage, prosciutto, bacon, mozzarella, homefries (bite-sized cuts of slightly crisped up potatoes) and over easy farm eggs right on top. While I didn’t actually have a hangover, the pizza sounded too “foodporn” not to try and I’m so glad I did. I would never have thought that that lineup of ingredients could taste so good together but believe me when I say you have not properly lived until you see perfectly cooked over easy egg yolks dripping seductively from a slice of pizza laden with mouthgasmic prosciutto.
From Salumi to locally-sourced cheeses, house-made pastas to pizzas and comfort food appetizers perfect for sharing, Coppa has quickly made its way to my list of best restaurants in Boston, for all times of day. Service is always friendly and prompt.
For those of you interested in libations, Coppa has a small but perfectly crafted menu of Italian wines (my favorite at time of printing is their Altesino from Tuscany), beers and house creations of cocktails like my go-to Sardinian Iced Tea– a fun blend of lemon, Prosecco, Meletti Amaro and salt.
Take yourself, take family, friends, a lover- just go to Coppa and indulge in a laid-back Italian style good time or in one of the best brunches in Boston. And while you’re in Boston, make it over to Oringer’s other winners- Clio and Uni.