Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review: Coppa Ristorante Italiano (13 for 2013)

Coppa Logo, (c) Coppa Ristorante & its owners
I was finding myself craving Italian-style pasta dishes and figured it was about time for me to visit Coppa Ristorante Italiano, one of my 13 for 2013 I'd declared back in January.  My pals, the Sassy Ladies of Urban Swank RAVED about them when they visited them a couple of months ago.  I'd seen them many times in my travels up and down Washington Avenue visiting our many wonderful Houston Eateries and kept on saying "Next Time."  Well folks, Next Time has ARRIVED!!! I took some time to study their dinner menu earlier and made arrangements to head on over there to try a couple of different delicious Italian dishes.  Oh yes folks, I will have bad garlic breath and pepper breath after, but it will be worth it!!!

My studies led me to start with the octopus carpaccio which included fingerlin potatoes, crushed olives, pickled fresno chil & mizuna. I selected the spaghetti fra diavolo with lobster meat, spicy tomato sauce and calabria chili as my main dish, and malt chocolate cake for dessert.  I paired my dinner with Real Ale Rio Blanco Pale Ale for my beverage.  Now mangiamo!!! 

Octopus Carpaccio
I started off with a small plate/appetizer that was recommended to me by some other friends who'd been to Coppa before: Octopus Carpaccio.  The server described it as an edible tapestry, and that is a good description all right.  This dish has thinly sliced octopus meat--looks almost like bacon or prosciutto, but tastes like calamari--fingerlin potatoes, crushed olices, pickled fresno chili and mizuna.  It's quite colourful, very salty, a little sour and savoury, but the peppers give it a little bit of sweet heat.  Good starter plate indeed!
Spaghetti Fra Diavolo

For my main dish, I went with Spaghetti Fra Diavolo.  This is traditional Italian spaghetti, served with lobster meat in a spicy tomato sauce and includes calabria chili peppers.  It's topped with fresh basil leaves.  The chef did not scrimp on the lobster meat--there was plenty of it, and it was quite succulent.  The pasta was properly al dente.  The sauce was delightfully sweet and spicy and the basil tasted fresh picked.  There was a little hint of extra virgin olive oil on the plate, but it also had a little heat to it.  Awesome job on the main dish, Coppa!!!

I normally don't do dessert, but their dessert menu was quite good and I ended up indulging.  I chose their Malt Chocolate Cake--a sea salt mocha budino, served with malt chocolate crunch and straciatella gelato.  This was such a beautiful looking and tasting dessert it might make a lover of good fancy desserts weep a little... that it was finished and they wanted more of it!  This dish was a nice mix of temperatures, textures, flavours, with crunch malt that tasted a bit like Macademia Nuts, served on a liquid chocolate substance like a mix between Nutella and the filling of a Lindor Truffle.  A nice finish to a great meal!  4 down readers, 9 to go on the list!!!

Report Card for Coppa Ristorante Italiano:
Lovely interior at Coppa... just before it filled up! 
     Octopus Carpaccio: A
     Spaghetti Fra Diavolo: A+
     Salted Mocha Malt Chocolate Cake w/Gelato: A++
     Friendliness: A
     Speed: A- 
Atmosphere (Modern Wine Bar look, open kitchen): A -
     Dining Area: A+
     Men's Room: B- (needed attention, notified management)

Overall Grade: A- 

Coppa Ristorante Italiano is located at:
5555 Washington Avenue
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 426-4260

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Th: 11 AM-10 PM
Fri: 11 AM-11 PM
Sat: 5 PM-11 PM
Sun: 5 PM-9 PM

And Remember to Eat Happy, Y'all!!!
Mangiare felicemente tutti voi!!!
Coppa Ristorante Italiano on Urbanspoon

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