I can't stop thinking about the pig's tail. I am not typically a risky eater, and having passed on the calves' brain ravioli and the sweetbread Saltimbocca, ordering the pig's tail seemed almost too safe. It arrived looking a bit like an oversized spare rib, coated in Christmas colored squares of candied fruit. In fact, each bite of fatty, silky, tender, salty, sweet goodness made me and my companion swoon. The top was crisp, while the gentle meat melded perfectly with Chef Jamie Bissonnette's homemade mostarda, a chutney like combination of mustard seeds and fruit. And, amazingly, although this dish was the highlight, it was only one of the wonderful treasures that we discovered in our first meal at the new Coppa Enoteca in the South End.
A kind reader once pointed out that I am often so effusive in my posts to the point that they can seem, well... disingenuous. It was a very fair criticism. However, I am still torn. As I only use this blog to recommend places, the reality is that I do truly enjoy any restaurant, food store, or food that appears on this blog. And, when I have a meal that is so absolutely fantastic, I do mean it. All this is my way of advancing two warnings: first, my recent meal at the newly-opened Coppa included some of the most fantastic dishes I have had. Really! I also want to apologize for the fact that the photographs don't do any justice to the food. I had gambled that my new IPhone would capture this food as well as my 35 mm. For the record, the IPhone photographs can't even come close to that of my Nikon. But it is really to Bissonnette that I apologize.
Like many food-lovers, I had been eagerly awaiting the opening of Coppa. Having had the pleasure of trying Chef Jamie Bissonnette's cooking at Toro, and knowing his passion for home-cured meat, I had high hopes for the charcuterie. And, as he opened this restaurant with Chef and Resturanteur Ken Oringer, I suspected that there would be a range of great bites. Set in the South End, right near the Franklin Cafe and Fromaggio's Kitchen, I am deeply envious of anyone that can stop in to eat whenever they wish. Coppa's menu is far reaching, and includes "Stuzi" (small "bar snacks"), cold salads, hot antipasti, salumi (cured meats and pates), pasta and pizza. While having a few of the stuzi or antipasti could easily add up, you could just as easily enjoy a home-made pizza for $13. Alternatively, I recommend going with a few people, if only so that you can try as many of the dishes as possible. As the menu changes frequently, you can easily return to try something new each time.