Oh Ken Oringer, you really know the way to my heart. Whether it’s your phenomenal paella and aoili-drenched corn at Toro or your ability to somehow house the best prosciutto I’ve ever tasted (outside of Italy) at your Italian-style bistro in the South End, you’ve got me seriously hooked! But let me back track a little before I go on…
Just the other night a couple of friends and I went to a wine event hosted by The Second Glass at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts. The event, which was to celebrate the arrival of new German vino 2010 Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau, included samplings of food and wine plus some Cirque du Soleil type acrobatics for entertainment.
The event was a blast but unfortunately the free finger-food was not as bountiful as we had hoped. Armed with empty belly’s, three of us left the Villa and started walking towards Shawmut Ave., an area which I like to refer to as having a trifecta of bomb restaurants: Franklin Cafe, Orinoco, and Ken Oringer’s Coppa. After spotting a couple empty seats in Coppa we decided that Italian tapas would be the perfect way to end our evening.
As soon as we sat down we were greated by one seriously quirky and hysterical waitress who ended up being just as awesome as dinner itself. After a quick deliberation we put our food order in. We weren’t planning on drinking, seeing as we had just done A LOT of that, but we couldn’t resist the fact that they have a $5 glass of house red. (*note I always fall victim to $5 glasses of house red)
After devouring our bread basket, paired with some seriously high quality olive oil and balsamic, our tapas started to arrive…
First were the Island Creek Oysters…. which I didn’t like. But that’s just because I don’t like Oysters. In the grand scheme of Oysters they were delish, but to me they were still salty/slimy/cold/gooey/bahhhh. I don’t get it, WHAT is the deal with oysters? Why am I the only person who can’t acquire the taste?
Thankfully, our cheese showed up next, and we all know I LOVE cheese! They had a selection of three different raw cows cheeses and one goat’s cheese. We decided to go for the raw cow cheese from Peirmont, New Hampshire. It had a very mild taste with just the right texture. Not too hard, not too soft. It went fantastically with the sweet balsamic dressing.
Next to arrive was the Arancini…
…followed by some amazing prosciutto who’s photo totally did not do it justice, but trust me, after 5 months of living in Italy (home to all things organic, fresh and delicious) Coppa’s definitely stacks up. I could have eaten five more plates of it. But thank GOD I didn’t, because the Trophie con Pesto showed up next along with the Fungo Pizza, which was topped with wild mushrooms, butternut squash, provolone cheese and raw egg. Nom.
Everything was amazing! And just when we thought it was over, our waitress told us they had bread pudding and homemade vanilla gelato for dessert and I am not one to turn down bread pudding…EVER. So we decided to try their chocolate bread pudding topped with some sort of mint glaze. I’m not always a big fan of chocolate bread pudding, but I had no complaints. It wasn’t overwhelmingly chocolatey and the home-made gelato brought me right back to Florence for a minute.
It also doesn’t hurt that dining at either Ken Oringer establishment, both Coppa and Toro, wont break the bank. At the end of our meal the three of us left stuffed, buzzed and waddling down Shawmut after spending just $80 total. With tip! How? I don’t know. This was after 5 dishes, one round of drinks and a seriously good dessert. It made me wonder why can’t eating out always be this fun/convenient/inexpensive/perfect all the time?!?
Although my “to eat” list is getting quite lengthy with all the new restaurants opening up all over Boston, I’m seriously contemplating going back to Coppa right meow.