Osteria Coppa Restaurant Review, San Mateo
Posted by Foodnut.com
Osteria Coppa is a new restaurant from the owners of Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay located in the former Pomaroma Cafe location. Osteria in Italian means a place where the owner “hosts” people or an Italian-style eating establishment. They are focusing on artisan pizza and pasta along with a variety of other authentic Italian dishes using local and seasonal ingredients. Seafood is sustainably-fished and the meats we use are antibiotic free. This mirrors places like Pizzaiolo in Oakland, Flour and Water in San Francisco. Executive chef of Osteria Coppa is rising star Chanan Kamen, formerly of Quince. Our last visit was at the end of 2013.
Decor, Vibe – Osteria Coppa is a fairly large restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. The layout is largely unchanged from the Pomaroma Cafe days. Twirling ceiling fans, wooden tables covered with paper, the bar has retro lamps hanging from the ceiling. A Stone Marsal oven is used for cooking the pizza. The restaurant was packed full of diners including families, couples, and several larger parties.
Osteria Coppa Menu
Osteria Coppa’s Menu has 7 different pizzas, 3 entrees, and 5 different pastas when we visited last. Just a couple vegetarian options. The menu changes every couple days.
Osteria Coppa Signature Dishes – Pizza, Pasta
5 course pasta chefs tasting menu ($55 per person) must be ordered ahead of time and is fantastic. Some of the best pasta in the Bay Area.Many folks consider Flour and Water to be the reference pasta place in San Francisco, some of the pasta courses we had below are superior. Dishes change daily, but our selections included:
- Stellar Tagliatelle Bolognese
- Also excellent, Bucatini with Shrimp, Asparagus and Lemon Verbena
- Nudi or a non Potato Gnocchi that tasted almost too healthy
- Chitarra – Ravioli with Jerusalem artichoke – very beautiful and nicely cooked
- A too sweet, Pappardelle with Braised Shortribs and Fresh Horseradish
Quantities for each dish are far higher than most places, making this one filling tasting menu.
Breadsticks and Acme bread are available if you ask for them.
Rossini Cocktail ($8) Fresh strawberry purée and Prosecco was a beautiful looking cocktail for those looking for fruity drinks.
Mojito ($7.50) was tall and strong, well balanced, but full of ice.
Peach Pistola Cocktail ($9) Bulleit Bourbon, white peach purée, club soda is served on the rocks and was strong on the Bourbon.
Limetta di Vaniglia Cocktail ($8) Vodka, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, vanilla-pineapple egg foam was another fruity, sweet drink with hidden alcohol.
Coppa Sroppini Cocktail ($10) Grappa, Lemoncello, Prosecco, lemon sorbet was an interesting fruity cocktail with a small spoonful of sorbet floating on top. Lots of foo foo drinks here.
House cured salumi platter ($13) had five different types of high-quality homemade salumi. Selection included bressaola, an oregano salami, mortadella, a spicy salami, and a pepper salami.
Full Belly Farms Watermelon, taggiasche olives and Sheep’s milk feta ($9.50) was an excellent refreshing salad. A nice combination of savory and sweet flavors, along with a light marinade.
Fuji Apple and Chicory Salad, Dates, Sottocenere Cheese ($12) was very fruity, sweet, and had a minimum amount of greens.
Baby Kale Salad ($12) was fully of large kale leaves, unusual for most kale salads. Nicely covered with nuts and a mild dressing.
Housemade pork sausage pizza ($17) with tomato, mozzarella, and Castelvetrano olives was excellent. Perfect crust, no sogginess, very good cheese and sausage flavors. Not exactly Neapolitan authentic, but more California style. Clearly Osteria Coppa makes one of the best artisan pizzas on the Peninsula. We got this pizza in September 2011. The lamb version was not as good as the pork sausage version.
Margherita pizza ($13) was a good version of the classic with the solid crust, nary any hint of sogginess. Cheese flavors could have been stronger on this pie.
Housemade sausage, pepperoni, and Bellwether Farms ricotta pizza ($16) also had a solid crust and liberal helpings of their homemade meats. Another variation we’ve had is the Pork Sausage, Speck and Crimini Mushrooms, which used a different cheese.
Pancetta, treviso radicchio, Parmesan fonduta, aged balsamico pizza ($16) was another high-quality pizza, excellent crust but not super Neapolitan thin. No sogginess, and very fresh house made crispy pancetta.
House Cured Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, Sweet Potato Pizza ($16) was a weird sounding combination but proved to be pretty neutral and worked well together.
Amatriciana: Pancetta, Red Onion, Pecorino and Calabrian Chilies ($16) contained nice wide slices of fatty bacon on top of their very nice crust.
Artichokes, Caramelized Onions and Feta Cheese ($16) is a perfect pizza for vegetarians. Nice fresh pieces of artichokes.
Agnolotti Dal Plin, traditional piemontese meat-filled envelopes ($17) is a mini ravioli like pasta filled with tender beef, a bit on the salty side, but still very good. Not a large portion, but still very rich.
Celery root ravioli with lamb ragu and pecorino ($19) was a superb pasta. Soft filling with a nice subtle external ragu.
Scialatielli pasta ($16) with local rock cod, broccoli, and taggiasche olive oil was a freshly made firm flat pasta highlighted by diced rock cod. Some pieces of the pasta stuck together, but in the end it was a decent dish.
Bigoli with Iacopi Farms fresh cranberry beans, house made pancetta and parmigiano reggiano ($16) had some nice thick handcrafted homemade egg noodles with bits of pancetta and a weird but workable combination with beans. Also not a very large portion, but done very well. On another visit had the same Bigoli with some shredded lamb, which also was excellent.
Spaghetti with red wine braised squid, pea tendrils, and hot pepper ($16) was an excellent eggless, thin, perfectly al dente pasta with a slight bit of fishiness from the squid, and just a touch of heat from the peppers. On another visit we had this with sugo d’arrosto, black truffle sauce that was excellent. They occasionally have an eggless tagliolini or penne like tubular pasta, but we prefer the spaghetti to it. On another occasion we had the spaghetti with Braised Shortribs and Fresh Horseradish which proved to be a bit too sweet and not zesty.
Scialatielli pasta ($17) is a twisty tube pasta that features a thick chewy texture. It was featured with some finely chopped eggplant and proved to be excellent.
Chicken al Mattone w/rainbow chard and yellow fin potatoes ($18) was surprisingly excellent. Many folks tried to gloss over chicken when eating out, but don’t pass this one up. Skin was crispy, meat was tender and juicy, and the mashed potatoes and vegetables were superb.
Spezzatino ($22) was a braised pork that had been cooking for many hours, along with polenta. This dish showed their mastery of non pizza and pasta courses. Super tender meat along with a perfect sauce.
Kid’s Tagliatelle with butter ($5.95) was drowning in butter. They are contributing to the obesity epidemic! The version with meat sauce is far better.
Kid’s Pepperoni pizza ($10) was a solid pizza with lots of pepperoni, sure to satisfy the kids. The prices a bit high, as you can spend a couple more dollars for a superior Margherita pizza.
Selection of 3 Artisanal Cheeses ($15) had three small hunks of strong flavored cheeses laying on a decorative board, along with tiny grapes, and some raisin bread. This desert could have used more liberal portions of the quality cheese.
Chocolate lava cake with Bi Rite Creamery roasted banana ice cream ($8) was an excellent dessert with top-notch ice cream. (how about some Bi Rite salt caramel?) Not much lava flowing, more like a warm gooey center. See our Bottega review for the ultimate lava flow.
Kashiwase Farms Oh Henry Peach and blackberry crostata ($7) was not super sweet and that chewy tart, making for a well-balanced dessert.
Espresso semifreddo ($7) was excellent with mild coffee flavors and a standout chewy cookie.
Budino ($9) was a sweet and savory cake like Sicilian dessert with a soft center.
Bi rite ice cream ($3.50) is available in various flavors and definitely hits the spot. No need to drive up to San Francisco!
Monterey bay squid, garbanzos, Jimmy Nardello peppers and chili oil ($9) was a nice-looking dish with an Asian hint, but overall it was overwhelmed with all the beans.
Eggplant Caponata ($6) is an Italian staple, sort of a sweet-and-sour Sicilian version of ratatouille. This cold one had very strong eggplant flavors, so make sure you love eggplant.
Mezze Rigatoni with manila clams and broccoli rabe ($19) was undercooked and possessed far too few clams.
Rice Pudding had very nice flavors and a soft top along with some interesting pine nuts. The problem with this dessert was that the middle was far too dense.
Service – Osteria Coppa’s service has improved with time, as the restaurant has become more popular, they have been able to hire more waitstaff and attract smarter waiters.
Value – Prices are reasonable for this level of quality. Pasta portion size are on the small side though.
Alternatives – The pizza here is pretty good for the Peninsula. You can travel up to San Francisco for Gialina’s stellar pizza. Nearby competitive restaurants include Italian stalwarts Capellini, which are good with pasta, but neither of which serves pizza as good. Donato Enoteca in Redwood City is also a very good Italian restaurant that competes with Osteria Coppa. Locanda Positano in San Carlos is another worthy Italian restaurant.
Verdict – Osteria Coppa surprised us with solid Italian food in a nice atmosphere. This restaurant adds to the strong Italian options on the Peninsula. You have to travel to San Francisco to places like A16 or Perbacco to kick it to the next level.
Compact wine list with glasses from $7, bottles from $25, $15 corkage. Kid’s menu available.
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