Houston Restaurant Weeks: Coppa
Phaedra Cook Chef Brandi Key made these crispy chickpeas for the Houston Culinary Awards dinner last year and I was thrilled to see them on Coppa's menu. I took two-thirds of these to-go. My husband ate them ALL the same night.
What they're up to for Restaurant Weeks: Coppa has a Houston Restaurant Weeks menu available for dinner that reads like a Greatest Hits list. I was able to have several of the dishes they are known for in one meal and was thrilled. The cost is $35.
Service/Atmosphere: Coppa's atmosphere is nice but never snooty. You can show up in jeans or get dressed up. It's up to you. Servers tend to have tattoos and wear jeans. If that offends you, they are probably fine with you not visiting, but if you do come, they'll take great care of you.
My server was excellent and suggested Borgo Scarpeto Chianti. It was paired with the Meatballs Al Forno, and I could have happily drowned myself in it.
Phaedra Cook Meatballs al Forno at Coppa
Items that won't be on the regular menu: Coppa's HRW menu consists of items all of which have been pulled from the regular menu, which is perfectly fine with me.
Don't Miss This Dish: How does one decide from among the crispy, sumac-seasoned chickpeas, the sexy carbonara that you pour Parmesan sauce on to your liking or the decadent zeppole that you can choose to swirl around in either chocolate or raspberry sauce? I can't answer that question for you. You'll just have to go figure it out for yourself.
I always have too much fun pouring the creamy parmesan sauce over the perfect, golden egg yolk on the carbonara. (Warning: the following video may be illegal in some countries.)
Actually, I think chef Brandi Key diabolically plans for her food to be interactive so we can't help but come back and play some more. I was only sorry I didn't have someone to feed this to.
As it was, I could have made another satisfying set of choices from the dishes I didn't order. If I make it back during Houston Restaurant Weeks, Round 2 could very well be the crispy-creamy burrata arancini (check out Brooke Viggiano's copycat recipe), sausage and white bean soup Chicken Under a Brick, and tiramisu. Or the chocolate cake. Too many good choices...not that I'm complaining.
Don't Bother: trying to find a parking spot. You're pretty much going to have to valet it here as it's one of those annoying situations where they cone off all the parking spaces in the lot.
Final verdict: I have nothing but good things to say about the HRW meal I had at Coppa. Of the places I personally have tried during Houston Restaurant Weeks, they are currently right up there with Glass Wall as my personal favorites.