Coppi’s Organic: Restaurant Review

Although I can appreciate the idea behind the organic food movement, I’ve never really been one to live or die according to whether or not the food I put in my mouth is organic. According to my personal food philosophy, the importance of taste trumps the importance of the ingredients themselves for any particular dish, although generally great taste comes from great ingredients. Nevertheless, if, for example, a non-free range turkey tastes better than a free range turkey, or if a conventionally grown apple tastes better than an organic apple, by all means I’m going to eat the conventional kind.

I also understand that organic food seems to be a little more expensive than the conventional kind. Whether you actually get more quality for the price, well ….

Take, for example, Coppi’s Organic Italian restaurant, which advertises itself (and the name implies) as a wholly organic restaurant. This is undoubtedly a bold and noble move. Frankly, however, what you pay for when you order a meal here is not for taste, but rather just the concept of organic food.

I started off my meal with a sald of endive, apple slices and gorgonzola cheese. I’ve had comporable salads elsewhere that have always been good, and the presentation wasn’t too bad, but the taste just wasn’t there. At all. In fact, there was absolutely no flavor. If you’ve ever watched Top Chef, you know that the lack of fundamental basics of cooking like the ability to season your food will get you kicked off the show early. This salad lacked basic seasoning, like salt and pepper. The endive itself was terrible and watery, and could have just been a pile of watery, unflavored cole slaw mix. The only good part about the salad were the apples and the gorgonzola, but I can get this kind of thing at the grociery store, without needing to cough up an exorbitant amount for the greatness that is organic.

My entree looked more promising: homemade gnocchi with chorizzo sausage and tomatos. Although the texture of the gnocchi was excellent–soft and fluffy without too much chewiness, and just the right amount of lightness–and the roma tomatoes were very sweet, the heat of the dish overwhelmed the taste of everything, and by the end I couldn’t even enjoy the pillowy gnocchi. This dish had just the opposite problem of the salad in that it was overly seasoned with red pepper flakes. I like a little heat in my dishes, but this was too far on the extreme and ruined the whole pasta.

Jay ordered a pizza with garlic and pancetta, red onion and rosemary, which came without sauce as he assumed and which he described as greasy cheese bread. The pancetta itself was tasty and the rosemary reminded me of a slow roasted pork dish I’ve made before, but the pizza as a whole was very unremarkable, and very greasy. The only good thing about this pizza is that the crust allowed me to cool off my mouth from my own entree.

I’m not even going to get started on the quality of service, considering our group was pretty large, but I never got the chance to order a second glass of wine, and we sat without our drinks for almost a full half hour after ordering them. And those mediocre entrees? They’re not cheap. Our tab for two people, including an appetizer and entree for each, no dessert, and only two glasses of wine total, was the same as the brunch at Cafe Atlantico the next day. I don’t know about you, but I thought this dinner was a compelte rip off. We paid solely for the name “organic” that comes listed by each ingredient name. We didn’t pay for exceptional taste or good service, and in fact the entree list is not that extensive. If you’re a slave to the organic god, then by all means feel free to try it out, but I’m never going back. I can cook better food on my own, thanks.

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