On January 24th Coppa hosted their first Goodfellas dinner and yours truly was there for all the fun. The tables were set with red and white checkered tablecloth, empty Chianti bottles with lit candles and the entire staff was decked out in black bow ties and suspenders. The look was a cross between the NYC gangster movies it was inspired by and Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.
The four course fixed price menu featured Italian-American favorites like Calamari, Lasagna, Veal Parmigiana and Cannolis.
Chef Ken Oringer happened to be on hand that evening, which was nice to see. I can’t recall the last time I saw him in the kitchen at Coppa and it definitely made the evening feel special. We started by ordering a bottle of Livio Felluga Vertigo Rosso, which is an Italian Merlot – Cabernet Sauvignon blend that was recommended to us by our server.
Our first plate was a heaping portion of Anitpasti that was delicious but unfortunately didn’t photograph very well. Fortunately my friend, Deborah’s starter, Scallop Piccata with lemon, capers, butter and white wine sauce was beautifully plated and absolutely delicious. We used the bread at the table to clean the plate before our server removed it.
For my Primi plate I ordered the Shrimp Scampi with sauteed garlic, EVOO, crushed red pepper, done “classic style”. This plate turned out to be one of my favorites of the night. The shrimp was cooked to perfection, picking up the flavors of the garlic and finishing with a nice kick thanks to the red pepper.
Deborah’s choice was equally as delicious and in my opinion our Primi plates were the best part of the dinner. Above is the homemade Rigatoni alla Vodka she ordered. I feel like the photo above does not do this plate justice. It was both delicious and a surprisingly large portion. However, that did not stop the both of us from cleaning the plate so by the time our waiter came to take it away it looked so clean he could practically see his reflection.
Beef Braciole is an Italian dish that consists of very thin slices of meat that are pan-fried in their own juice with a bit of olive oil and wrapped usually with bread crumbs and cheese. Coppa also stuffed the short rib with sausage which I think made the plate too heavy and while it was good – it didn’t live up to the previous course. It was simply too heavy, despite the tempting flavors.
We both opted to end our dinner with a ricotta and mascarpone and chocolate chip cannoli. As with the previous plate, it was good but in my opinion the best cannolis in Boston are from the North End’s Modern Pastry Shop and everyone else is a distant second. Mind you, that didn’t stop me from eating every last bite.
Despite the fact that some of the plates were not necessarily my favorite I would very happily go back to Coppa’s next Goodfella’s night, and I would suggest you do the same if you are a fan of Italian American cuisine.
253 Shawmut Avenue, Boston MA 02118