Octopus Carpaccio at Coppa Ristorante Italiano

Categories: On the Menu

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Octopus Carpaccio at Coppa
Catalan was one of my favorite restaurants, and when it was announced that it would be closing to reinvent itself as Coppa Ristorante Italiano I was a little wary. True, Italian is not exactly my favorite food but after readingMai Pham's entry on the Ham & Eggs pizza at Coppa I thought I'd give it a try -- they had me at quail eggs.

Knowing right off the bat that we would be ordering the pizza to share, my dining companions and I perused the short menu. Among the heavy Italian dishes such as pasta carbonara, lasagna and meatballs, there were a few light items that stood out, specifically the Octopus Carpaccio ($14). The menu description of the carpaccio served with fingerling potatoes, crushed olives and mizuna is definitely reminiscent of one of my favorite dishes at Brasserie 19 -- the grilled octopus appetizer. Also served alongside fingerling potatoes, that is a well-executed dish ,with all the flavors working amazingly together. I was excited to see how this version would stack up.

The dish did not disappoint. The octopus was very thinly sliced, and served with a very delicate vinaigrette that didn't overwhelm the sweetness of the octopus. The small salad that accompanied the dish was perfection -- the fingerling potatoes were al dente and served as a good textural balance to the dish. The mizuna was, in my opinion, a better choice than arugula, because while still slightly pungent and peppery, it wasn't bitter enough to overpower the other flavors. The pickled red jalapenos and the crushed green olives added zest and tang to the dish.

The only complaint is that there wasn't enough of it, but that is my complaint with most things that I really enjoy. Still, at $14, which is the same price as the good-size portion of the grilled octopus at Brasserie 19, it was a little scarce.

Overall, my first experience at Coppa was a good one. The place was packed that Saturday evening, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, with most tables were sharing large entrees or pizzas.

Maybe the folks at Coppa had even read our readers' responses to Mai's entry, about the fact that there should be one egg to every slice on that Ham and Eggs pizza, or maybe I was just lucky, because each slice was topped with a lovely quail egg.



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Location Info

Coppa Ristorante Italiano

5555 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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5 comments
Mai Pham
Mai Pham

Aww, thanks for the mention, Minh!  Question for you, was the octopus held together with its own gelatin? I had a beautiful, similar octopus carpaccio by Michael Pellegrino at Max's Wine Dive once, and the thing that stood out for me was that the thin slices of octopus were held together by their own natural gelatin.  Either way, I'm glad to see octopus on the menu at more restaurants, because I do love it. Will definitely be trying this one. And, I'm glad to hear there's more quail egg on that pizza. :)

Christina Uticone
Christina Uticone

I  had a similar dish at Kata Robata and loved it. Looking forward to trying Coppa with each new review!

Nicholas L. Hall
Nicholas L. Hall

I got to sample that dish recently at a friend's birthday party, before it hit the menu. I loved the mosaic/stained glass look of it. It sounds like they may have changed the dish slightly, because the flavor profile of the dish I sampled skewed heavily toward pho. I think perhaps the braising liquid for the octopus had some pho aromatics added, particularly star anise. Glad to see the dish hit the menu.

Minh T Truong
Minh T Truong

from what I could tell it was...it seemed perhaps like it had been pressed together in a terrine and where the natural gelatins held it together and sliced really really thin...yes i agree about octopus being on more menus

Minh T Truong
Minh T Truong

I didn't taste star anise at all so perhaps they did change it. It's a beautiful presentation.

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