Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Restaurants: Coppia, Fairfield, CT

***Please note that Coppia is now closed.

After driving by it for ages, I finally decided to try Coppia Ristorante, located at 937 Post Road in Fairfield. I'd read a good review and was intrigued, but had never actually met anyone who'd been there. Then, about a month ago when my daughter's play group decided we all needed a "grown-up girls' night out", I suggested we try Coppia, and everyone readily agreed.

Inauspiciously sandwiched between the Midas repair shop and Mo's Wine and Spirits, it is easy to miss. Tucked back in the corner of a small plaza, Coppia seats only about 20 people inside, but with the addition of an outdoor patio (enclosed and heated in winter), it doubles the number they can serve on weekends. Despite the small size, the kitchen certainly turns out big flavored Italian fare.

On my first midweek visit with the gals, we all ordered salads and pasta, and agreed that each of the dishes were excellent. I began with a basic tomato and mozzarella salad, which came drizzled with a richly flavored balsamic glaze. For my entree, I was immediately drawn to the Penne with Sweet Sausage, which comes served in a deliciously authentic tomato sauce enhanced by Gorgonzola cheese. Both were fantastic choices. We also enjoyed a fantastic bottle of wine, a Pinot Noir recommended by the host. The $75 bottle of wine drove up our bill a bit, but it was, overall, reasonably priced for the area.

On a subsequent visit, my husband and I walked in without reservations on a Saturday night. The staff was very accommodating and willing to shift a few things around in order to fit us in. We sat in the enclosed outdoor patio, which although a tad brightly lit, was quite comfortable despite the freezing temperatures outside.

To start, I ordered a mixed green salad with crumbled Gorgonzola, which was very tasty, although a bit on the small side. For my entree, I opted for the Pollo Picatta, which was delicious and lemony, and served in a smooth butter-caper sauce. The dish is typically served with a vegetable and roasted potatoes, but I asked to skip the potatoes and double up on the veggies, a request to which they graciously obliged. Based on my rave reviews, my husband ordered the pasta dish I had on my first visit, and he was equally impressed. For dessert, we split a Chocolate Indulgence Cake, which was basically a lava cake smothered in fudge sauce with freshly whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Indulgent, for sure, but a very nice ending to our meal.

There were lots of things on the menu that I wanted to try, and definitely will go back many times to do so. One appetizer that stood out was "Warm Mozzarella" wrapped in prosciutto, and I always like to try every restaurant's version of calamari. There were several pasta dishes with seafood that sounded very good, as well as several veal dishes, including one of my favorites, "Vitello Sorrento" (veal topped with eggplant and prosciutto) that were beckoning to be ordered. Another visit, another meal. Although I've only visited Coppia twice so far, I'm pretty sure it is going to become one of my local favorites. Instead of driving by again, stop in and check it out soon (but make a reservation first!).

Coppia Ristorante
937 Post Road
Fairfield, CT

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