Restaurant Roundup: Coperta
October 3, 2016 • Restaurants
When a restaurant’s tagline is “celebrating the food and wine of Rome and southern Italy”, the two places I absolutely love visiting every year, it’s no wonder that numerous friends and colleagues have been telling me I need to check it out. So recently, still missing my friends and the food and wine of my recent trip to Italy, I was willing to eat dinner at 5:45 just to get into this spot on short notice. We arrived on time and the place was half full already, if that tells you anything – make a reservation, you’ll need it!The Roman style fried artichokes, with plenty of high quality olive oil, mint, and chile flakes, immediately jumped off the menu at me, although I must say in Rome they have a smaller species that is a bit more tender. Still, the flavors took me right back to the Jewish Ghetto and my recent lunch at Nonna Betta.Coperta offers two types of mozzarella, one from Campania in Italy and one house-made – with all sorts of condiments to have with it. We found the olive oil and nice crusty bread were all that’s needed and we polished off this entire ball.Imagine my excitement when I found the very rosato wine we had enjoyed for the birthday night celebration at the cooking school just a couple weeks ago! Sure wish I could find this in a store somewhere here, and think I might have to chat with the restaurant supplier about getting some in.What’s the official pasta for amatriciana? Bucatini, not spaghetti. What’s the “bacon”? Guanciale, that’s right. And the cheese on top? Pecorino, not Parmigiano. I’m certain many diners at Coperta would have no idea if Paul Reilly and his team took shortcuts and used cheaper ingredients, but seeing the authenticity in his dishes resonated with me. The same with the carbonara – only egg to make the rich sauce, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale, black pepper. Just like it should be. I should point out that the restaurant offers both primi sized pasta portions as well as entree sized. We both had our own prime sized portion which left room – almost! – for us to share the salsiccia secondo.This is a large piece of sausage that honestly could be shared by a table of 4 if you had several antipasti and pasta dishes first. As I told the waitress on our way out, I’ll be back!!!
400 East 20th Avenue
Coperta gladly encourages walk-in guests as well as reservations.