|Margherita pizza at Coppa|
I visited Coppa on a warm spring afternoon as the lunch hour was waning. There are a few tables outside at this corner restaurant, but I was seated inside, where the narrow space hosts a bar and seating for just 38. It's a pleasant neighborhood setting with a casually hip feeling inside.
Plenty of interesting choices for the pizza (including one with bone marrow and beef heart), but I chose a basic ($14) Margherita. I also ordered a plate of marinated Castelvetrano olives ($7) as an appetizer, and an Earl Grey - Lemon soda.
|The olive plate|
The pizza was a small personal size, about 9 or 10 inches in diameter. It had immediate eye appeal, even as the narrow cornicione on one side sported a very dark char. There were small pools of white cheese on the red sauce landscape, but at the center of the pie you could see how the mozzarella and the aged grated cheese had melded with the tomato sauce into a creamy orange mix. The entire pie was topped with chopped bits of fresh basil.
Each of the six slices was sufficiently sturdy and crisp to support the toppings without drooping. This thin-crusted pie with puffy leopard spotting on the cornicione had the appearance of an authentic Neapolitan, but the rigidly crisp bottom puts it more into the hybrid category. Beyond its al dente texture, this crust had its own good flavor, even the charred edges.
The red sauce and mozzarella cheese were subtly flavored; the sprinkling of aged Italian cheese added a salty kick. These simple ingredients were applied in about ideal proportion, so that the crust didn't get soggy, even in the center.
|Underside of the crust|
Coppa's pizza is among the best anywhere. With the stellar Picco just a block or two away, the people living in South End have pie options that rival New Haven and Greenwich Village. I'm not going to pick one over the other; I'd eat at both places often if I had the chance.