Monday, August 01, 2005

Veggie Friendly experiment?

Last Friday, I went to a favorite restaurant of mine, before moving on to an event later that evening. This was probably the fourth or fifth time I’ve been to the restaurant and yet another fine experience. I first ate there about two and a half years ago and wrote a review about my experience, but I can’t find it now. I’ll keep looking for it and post if I find it.

But this time around, I wasn’t really hungry, but knew that if I didn’t get something to nosh, I’d regret it later. Off the menu, I choose a ½ sized portion of a pasta dish, I can’t remember the name, sorry.

It was:

Homemade pasta that were long strips (8-10 inches long) about ¾ of an inch wide. These were tossed with oven-roasted spring pea pods, tomatoes, pine nuts and red potatoes. This whole mess was then tossed with pesto and sprinkled with fresh parm. It was great! The only mark down, the pesto needed a little something extra, perhaps another pinch of salt. This tasty treat was huge for a half sized portion. I’d worry about the full size portion.

Is anyone interested in trying to make this with me, “virtually”? I’m going to be in the area of a Whole Foods store tonight, so I can look for some fresh tasty veggies and either buy pasta, or make it. I don’t have a recipe, so this would totally be an experiment!

Let us know by commenting to this message, if you are interested, or if you try anything. I’ll post what I try to do and let you all know how it comes out!

Oh, the restaurant:

Coppi’s Restaurant
1414 U Street NW
Washington, DC
202.319-7773

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And I found the review I wrote in 2002. While reading, remember, I was younger and less refined in my use of language! Especially when I comment on belching. :o)

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An Unsolicited Opinion About What I Had For Dinner Last Night! 12/13/02

After walking by Coppi’s for the last two months, I finally committed myself to eating at this “Organic” establishment.

I was in for a divine treat.

I was greeted with a beaming smile that was 90% welcome-how-can-I-serve-you and 10% the-manager-needs-to-hire-more-wait-staff.

Coppi’s layout is a cozy rectangle in warm colors and capped by a wood burning oven and open kitchen. The walls are covered with bicycle memorabilia from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s 70’s. (Side note that I read while waiting to be seated--Italy’s most famous bicyclist was named Coppi--the U.S. modern equivalent would be Lance Armstrong.) Anyway, it is my guess that this inviting place seats about 40, maybe 50 at any one time.

OK, the best part of any restaurant visit--when you are first handed the menu. I was greeted by a delicious two-page masterpiece, if only I could eat more than one entrée at a time. These pages were graced with several different options of fish, pasta, pizza, salads and appetizers. I only wish I had a copy now to remind myself what I was drooling over.

I chose one of their pizza’s. The Pollo. Chicken with roasted red peppers, red onions, a cheese I can’t remember the name of--but a common one at nonetheless, and a shake of oregano. I opted out of the cremini mushrooms.

OK, dinner ordered, now I can sit back and enjoy my fine glass of bubbly Diet Coké. But oh no--now comes the plate of lovely little nibbly breads. Yummy. Now, I’m not talking about the plate or basket full of the staff of life you get at other restaurants, but small bites of about three different breads. Enough for one person to feel like they got a nice snack to warm the belly up for what is coming next. A few pieces of foccacia with a tomato puree, plain foccacia and some other crunchy little number. Simply adorned with a small bowl of olives.

Now it’s time for my pizza. It seemed to me that they wheeled the oven to my table, this creation was so hot. And that first bite my eyes rolled back and I said slap Your MOMMA! The crust had to have been touched by the hand of Buddha himself. Perfectly crisp and perfectly chewy. Damn those wood burning ovens know how to bake a pizza! The roasted red peppers, so sweet and slightly smoky. The Pollo itself was something dreams are made of. Well to be more honest, it was not dry and chewy as most chicken-breast-as-pizza-toppings can be. But it had it's taste.

When I finished my happy little pizza I belched a happy little belch and asked for the check. For the size, $10 was a tad steep, but for the taste, atmosphere and sheer delight it was right on the money. If you’ve been to Luna at 17th and P, Coppi’s is all they wish they could be.
Coppi’s Restaurant, 1414 U Street, NW 202/319-7773 (call for reservations and hours)

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I still agree with 99% of the review. Although I love Luna and they will always have a place in my belly, I think Coppi's is a finer establishment.


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1 comment:

The Kara said...

I'd try it - I'm going grocery shopping tonight so if you post back by 6pm I'll know to shop for it!