My recent trip to Belfast was brief and mostly for business leaving few opportunities to visit with family. We solved this conundrum by meeting out for dinner each night. I came to Belfast armed with a long list of newer restaurants to check out—Coppi was at the top and it did not disappoint!
Located in Saint Anne’s square in the trendy Cathedral Quarter, Coppi was launched by veteran Belfast chef & restaurateurs, Sam Spain & Tony O’Neill. Named after Fausto Coppi, renowned cycling legend in the ‘40s and ‘50s, Coppi brings a taste of Italy to the city of Belfast and was recently awarded a Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand,’ signifying that it serves good cuisine at a reasonable price.
Appetizers include cichetti’s (small snacks typically served in traditional Venetian Bacari bars) as well as antipasti boards, bruschetta’s and seafood—a perfect start to the evening meal when paired with a glass of Prosecco or Birra Moretti. Our table shared the Sicilian Braised Goat Crostini and Sourdough Crostini with Crab, Lemon & Fennel Slaw—Little bites of cichetti bliss—absolutely delicious!
Coppi’s main courses include: pizzetta’s baked in Coppi’s wood-fired oven, pastas & risottos and fresh caught seafood. Coppi’s steaks are supplied by the award-winning local meat purveyor, Hannon Meats whose cattle are grass fed on organic pastures on the Glenarm Estate then dry aged in a chiller room lined with Himalayan salt!—a blog post all of its on for another time!
We each ordered a different entree to pass around the table—recommended by a friend, I got the Porcini Mushroom Ravioli with Duck Ragu, Truffle & Parmesan- **swoon** so delicious I didn’t want to share! Other’s entrees included: Pork Saltimbocca with Prosciutto & Sage Butter, Smoked Chicken Pappardelle with Guanciale, Leek & Parmesan Cream & the legendary “Coppi’s Florentine”, a 2-pound salt aged rib- on-the-bone cooked to perfection and served with a side of roasted tomatoes and Parmesan & Rosemary Fries! Absolute culinary perfection—not a crumb left on any plates. Strawberry Panna Cotta with Lemon Curd & Lemon Meringue rounded out this amazing meal!
Catching up and having a ‘craic’ with friends and family is a scene played out nightly in restaurants throughout Ireland. Coppi was the perfect setting to do just that.