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Coppi's Organic, Owner Carlos Amaya's Organic, Oven-Baked Italian Now in the Former Lavandou Space in Cleveland Park - Closed


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how Tom S. could give Opera two stars is beyond me. The food was pretty bad as I remember and we were quite limited as the table next to us steered us away from the pasta dishes. Best U street meal has been at Coppies Organic.

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I was just thinking "Coppi's Organic" should have it's own discussion." Thanks DR!

Quickly (because I do need to do some work occasionally), I really like the atmosphere, the food and the wine. But every few visits, something seems to go horribly awry. Once it was the winter version of trenette coming out horribly gloppy and buried under some relative of fennel I couldn't identify. This past time, it was a sorrily underseasoned, soupy gnocchi served with a side of brain-dead service. I would paste the description of the gnocchi preparation below, however the web site is not updated.

[maybe now is a good time to start a list of the worst offenders in the "restaurants that screw me over by posting old menus or no menus on their old-ass web sites"]

Essentially it was gnocchi primavera with every vegetable found in the fridge. No discernable sauce except a puddle of...brownish olive oil at the bottom. Ugh. Fortunately, three servers noticed my largely untouched dish and after standing around me, scratching their heads and generally making this seem like a tragedy, they took it off the bill (I was not going to suggest that).

That was typical of the service. Really trying to be helpful, but we seemed to have three men waiting on us, one of whom was absolutely gorgeous, but completely dim. At one point, I asked about an unfamiliar-to-me flavor (fiordilatte) of gelato on the dessert menu, sandwiched between coffee gelato with Belgian chocolate and bittersweet chocolate. I asked him about the flavor of "fiordilatte" but should have just guessed, I see now.

With exaggerated patience, he bent over to get closer to my menu and me. Speaking very sloooooowwwly, he said "those are our gelato flavors. Would you like one or more of them to finish your meal?" It was funny...my friend and I were sitting there stifling laughter as the guy spoke to me as if I were six. I don't know...it was just weird to me. He never did tell me what it was so feel free to enlighten this country bumpkin - I got coffee with chocolate and it hit the spot. :P

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I have a take-out only policy now after having horrid service time after time at Coppi's. I love the food but there were so many times we were seated and ignored, left to choke down our food with no offer of wine or water refills and generally put out by absentee service, even when the place was empty. It's been more than a year since we've dined in...maybe I'll give it another shot.

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Coppi's Organic has two ways of cooking their food: The pastas are boiled, but every other thing in the restaurant is cooked in the wood-burning pizza oven - there's no kitchen other than what you see when you walk in.

There were four things wrong with the Trenette con Pesto Corto this evening: The pasta was cooked too long, there was too much water in the bowl, it lacked salt, and an appetizer portion ($14.95) was just too expensive. This sounds like a damning list of things, but it was actually a pretty decent bowl of pasta, although one I wouldn't rush back to order. It was also the only weak link in an otherwise spectacular meal.

A medium Al Cinque Formaggi pizza ($14.95) with extra toppings of pork sausage and pancetta ($2 each) was - and I realize I've been saying this a lot lately - one of the best pizzas I've ever had in this town. The combination of five cheeses would have been good on its own, but the addition of the sausage and pancetta made it into a spectacular pie - one which caught the eye of expediting chef Elizabeth Bright. According to our server, Bright had her pizzaiolo make the same pizza and shared it with her staff for their opinions - this one might end up on the menu, but if it doesn't, order it anyway.

Service tonight was fantastic - our server had originally brought out a little ball of pizza dough to amuse my young dining companion, and then subsequently offered to cook one in the oven. And sure enough, fifteen minutes later one came out, in the form of a rock-hard, baseball-sized dinner roll. It was useful for sopping up the remains of the pasta sauce. although the excellent focaccia served at the beginning of the meal was better. When my little pal went up to get a glimpse of the pizza oven, Chef Bright spent a good ten minutes talking to him, telling him the ins-and-outs of how the kitchen works - she had no idea who we were; she was simply being nice to a curious child.

And who knew that one of the greatest things I've eaten this summer would be at Coppi's? Pesche al Forno ($7.95) is made with local peaches, glazed with Marsala, cinnamon, and brown sugar, and served with a terrific homemade fiordilatte gelato. This was nothing more than farmers-market fresh peach slices, perfectly roasted in the oven, with the sweet-cream gelato melting into the oven-hot bowl, combining to make what may just be the best version of peaches and cream I've ever had. Listen to what I'm saying here: Don't miss out on this dessert. I promise you'll thank me if you order this.

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. Coppi's also has a curbside pick-up service - if you call when you arrive, they'll bring your order out to your car.

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Since this thread got bumped, I should update my last comment (from 2 years ago!) about service ... I've been staying for dinner with greater regularity and not only does the service seem much better, the place also seems as crowded as ever. It's one of regular go-tos.

I tried the Saraceno pizza for the first time recently (I have a hard time straying from the soppressata) and it was terrific - lamb sausage with spicy harissa and smoked mozzarella.

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Good reminder to make a note of our experience a couple weeks ago.

I can't remember the exact details of what we had, a couple of appetizers and a couple of pizzas, but it was the least memorable of all of the meals that we have had in our almost-complete mission to try all of the restaurants in the Washingtonian cheap eats guide. Completely edible, but also completely bland and boring - exactly what we would have expected given our prior unastonishing visit a few years ago. Why in the world did this restaurant make the cut for the cheap eats list?

Our service, on the other hand, was very good. Until the server started addressing us and the table next to us as if we were part of the same table, which was an unnecessary reminder that the tables are WAY too close together. (Thank goodness there was no one seated next to us on the other side because I am fairly certain that otherwise we would have had to disturb the whole row of tables in order to get my very pregnant body out for bathroom breaks).

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My +1 took me to dinner here tonight as a little celebration. We split a starter was roasted slices of corn from Sunnyside with garlic and slices of lime. It was sweet, it was slightly charred, it was awesome. We each probably could have eaten several plates of this and been happy.

We then split the gnocchi with trumpet mushrooms in cream sauce, and a medium siracusa pie. The sauce for the gnocchi was a bit thinner than we had expected, but the flavors melded surprisingly well - no watery-ness at all - and the pizza was stellar, with the peperoncini adding a nice bite to the pork sausage and red onion. Nicely blistered thin crust.

For dessert, the +1 got the roasted peaches that Don got - nothing further to add to his kudos. I got the caffe viennese, with the same gelato as with the peaches, espresso, whipped cream, and dutch cocoa powder to cut the sweetness a bit. Good, not transforming, but good.

Service was terrific. Not a cheap eat, given that we got 2 drinks, a beer and a glass of prosecco. But it fit the occasion perfectly.

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We also dined at Coppi's last SAturday before the DEJF concert at the Lincoln. Carlos (owner) graciously waived corkage on the SAngiovese I brought with us which paired well with the lamb sausage pizza and pasta with pancetta and leeks (a little chewy to my taste). While $25 for a portion of pasta is hardly a bargain, the ingredients were fresh and the flavors were vibrant. We'll return sooner than later.

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We also dined at Coppi's last SAturday before the DEJF concert at the Lincoln. Carlos (owner) graciously waived corkage on the SAngiovese I brought with us which paired well with the lamb sausage pizza and pasta with pancetta and leeks (a little chewy to my taste). While $25 for a portion of pasta is hardly a bargain, the ingredients were fresh and the flavors were vibrant. We'll return sooner than later.
CArlos? What happened to Pierre and Elizabeth?
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A late-ish dinner at Coppi's last evening left me wondering why I had not been back to this place for so long. My guest and I shared the serviceable charcuterie plate (not because we expected it to be great but because we were both famished and knew it would emerge quickly.) Having staved off a hunger induced mania, we could set about reaching a mutually agreeable pizza decision.

We settled on the pancetta. The crust struck a crispy, crunchy, chewy balance. The inarguably fresh vegetables (mushrooms and onions and something else) sang a seamless chorus with the generous portions of pancetta, and an appropriately reserved amount of sauce. This was a very good pie.

Charcuterie plate, very good pie, compelling service, a graciously waived corkage and the tab was $32 (not including tax or grat.) I left promising to the night that I would reacquaint myself with this charming little place soon.

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Originally intended to go to Bar Pilar, but understandably the place was packed, and I couldn't take standing around on a sprained ankle while hoping for a seat. Also, the noise! So, we hobbled over to U street, and went to Coppi's, where there were several tables we could sit at.

We started with chard with ricotta, and tomato and mozzarella salad. Then for the entree we split a dinner portion of gnocci mixed up with a whole bunch of veggies (fava beans, artichokes, tender asparagus, and tomato) and bacon. mmm, bacon. Dessert was espresso and ice cream and whipped cream for nick, and a lemon zabaglione with sliced strawberries mixed in for me.

Dinner wasn't a revelation, and it wasn't haute cuisine. It was, however, comforting, and friendly, and quite good. And when it was time for us to totter home, they walked us to the door, and waved us on to the pleasant night.

PS- the corn is supposed to be coming soon. Damn, I miss that corn.

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"Is this really how much it is?" was my immediate reaction.

I'd walked into Coppi's and ordered a large pizza to go, and had a beer while I waited for it to cook. The check was $34.04 (for a fourteen-inch pizza and a bottle of beer!), and since I was sitting there, I felt like I should leave a tip, which brought it up to $41.04. Ouch!

But I love the pizza here, and continue to think Coppi's is a top-five pizza in the city on any given day. A Pancetta ($24.95) is made with freshly rolled dough (like all their pizzas), topped with assorted greens, cremini mushrooms, red onion, mozzarella, and of course, plenty of pancetta. A sous chef appeared out of nowhere and made this right before my eyes, and timed it perfectly in the hot, wood-burning oven.

Coppi's is pushing it with their prices - the entrees are all cooked in the pizza oven, yet the entry-level dinner price is $25.95 (click). But the service here is always genuinely warm, and every time I have their pizza, I wonder why I don't order it more often. Perhaps with the advent of <muffled scream>...

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Just a good word for an old favorite. Having not been in ages, happened to end up at coppis twice in the last month. Very cozy, very delicious. Particularly the 5 cheese pizza and the mushroom ravioli special. Solid neighborhood spot.

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Has it really been this long?

Does anyone know the status of Coppi's Organic? I've seen very little about it on the internet, but my jaw dropped when I saw this Yelp review from October 30, 2013.

Their Facebook page has an August 29, 2013 update implying that a reopening may be forthcoming.

Could it have happened? Can someone have a look the next time they go by? Coppi's was extremely polarizing, with vocal fans and detractors alike - you can count me as one of the former. I believe this was the first area restaurant to cook every single item in their wood-burning stove - to the best of my knowledge, there were no burners in the entire restaurant.

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Has it really been this long?

Does anyone know the status of Coppi's Organic? I've seen very little about it on the internet, but my jaw dropped when I saw this Yelp review from October 30, 2013.

Their Facebook page has an August 29, 2013 update implying that a reopening may be forthcoming.

Could it have happened? Can someone have a look the next time they go by? Coppi's was extremely polarizing, with vocal fans and detractors alike - you can count me as one of the former. I believe this was the first area restaurant to cook every single item in their wood-burning stove - to the best of my knowledge, there were no burners in the entire restaurant.

They're down on OpenTable, for sure.

That's too bad - Coppi's was one of the very first places, in my recollection, to brave the New World of the U Street corridor. When it opened, it was still very much Da Hood. Plus Utopia, Bohemian Caverns, and ... that was about it.

A moment of pause for a fallen soldier.

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They're down on OpenTable, for sure.

That's too bad - Coppi's was one of the very first places, in my recollection, to brave the New World of the U Street corridor. When it opened, it was still very much Da Hood. Plus Utopia, Bohemian Caverns, and ... that was about it.

A moment of pause for a fallen soldier.

What's with the Yelp review?!

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What's with the Yelp review?!

Look at the person's other reviews.  The woman is from San Francisco and seems to be putting up comments on places she has traveled in the past.  On the same day as the Coppi review, she wrote of a Barracks Row salon:  "I visited Soleil with a few friends for a mani-pedi last summer and the service was great."

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They're down on OpenTable, for sure.

That's too bad - Coppi's was one of the very first places, in my recollection, to brave the New World of the U Street corridor. When it opened, it was still very much Da Hood. Plus Utopia, Bohemian Caverns, and ... that was about it.

A moment of pause for a fallen soldier.

Years ago I was on an affable basis with Pierre who, with Elizabeth, had opened Polly's cafe on U Street, which was the first new establishment on U street probably in decades.  Pierre was bitching about all the work he was doing getting his new pizza joint down the street opened and I said, "but you said you weren't interested in opening another place," and he said, "[something to the effect of] I couldn't help myself.  They needed a tenant to get the development jump-started so they gave me the space rent-free."

What he didn't bitch about was the long trip he and Elizabeth took to eat their way through Italy, trying to find the key to the perfect pizza.  That sounded a lot more like bragging.

Pierre and Elizabeth also opened the short-lived and much-lamented (by me) Vigorelli's on Connecticut; the pain of its failure is amplified by the fact that the inexpensive and utterly authentic Italian joint was been replaced by the loathsome-in-every-way Cleveland Park Bar and Grill.  I think after a decade on the cutting edge they finally got ahead of their time.  If they'd opened Vig's on 7th Street today, there'd  be a line out the door tomorrow.

I wonder where they went.

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Taking over the Lavandou space in Cleveland Park. 

After the terrible tragedy, Coppi's rises again - I could not be happier for them.

I'd also like to thank and acknowledge Lavandou for being a very wine-friendly restaurant that will be missed. Though they lost their footing in recent years, for a long time, the food was good, and the corkage policy for BYOB was exceptional.

On U Street, Coppi's only source of heat was the wood-fired oven (every single thing you ate there that was hot, was cooked in that oven). It will be interesting to see how they (forgive me) "Coppe" with a stove, assuming they're going to have one.

Typing this post is bittersweet for me: The return of a beloved friend who recovers from tragedy; saying goodbye to a forgotten friend of wine lovers everywhere.

Coppi's: Maybe you can work out some sort of corkage deal with Weygandt Wines? (Hint, hint, hint ... contact Tim O'Rourke).

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This may be slightly off-topic, but what was the Italian restaurant that used to be in that same string of businesses of Cleveland Park, circa 1998-99 (I think maybe in the space that is now Ripple or Spices)? Was that a Coppi's? I seem to recall that they also had a sister restaurant in the U Street corridor, but I'm blanking on the name. I recall having a few enjoyable meals on the rooftop there--one of my early favorites in DC.

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This may be slightly off-topic, but what was the Italian restaurant that used to be in that same string of businesses of Cleveland Park, circa 1998-99 (I think maybe in the space that is now Ripple or Spices)? Was that a Coppi's? I seem to recall that they also had a sister restaurant in the U Street corridor, but I'm blanking on the name. I recall having a few enjoyable meals on the rooftop there--one of my early favorites in DC.

Also off-topic (even more so), but there's a (still-)nascent thread here about the history of addresses, something of this form:

3417 Connecticut Avenue NW: Ripple (06/2010-), and what the hell was so terrible about *this*?! where was my Pulitzer?! (*)) -> Aroma ??/????-03/2010)

etc.

There aren't many entries, but I knew (and still know) that this is an idea worth doing, so if anybody can remember what the hell this thread is called, or where it is, please let me know.

(*) And, for the clueless among us. Foreshadowing: I was writing a metaphor about the upcoming downfall of Cleveland Park which I was predicting at the time. This was June, 2010, and I was completely, 100%, correct. (He says, to a standing ovation, taking bows and smiling at the audience). Irony: Except that I wrote it about Ripple which turned out to be the best restaurant in Cleveland Park, so I ended up being completely, 100%, wrong (He says, hauling ass off the stage, rotten tomatoes being thrown at him). Pathos: I whipped that thing off in about five minutes, and didn't even remember writing it until I saw it just now. Having read it again for the first time in 4 1/2 years, I think it's pretty good, but nobody else cares. So it goes ... Poo-tee-weet.

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This may be slightly off-topic, but what was the Italian restaurant that used to be in that same string of businesses of Cleveland Park, circa 1998-99 (I think maybe in the space that is now Ripple or Spices)? Was that a Coppi's? I seem to recall that they also had a sister restaurant in the U Street corridor, but I'm blanking on the name. I recall having a few enjoyable meals on the rooftop there--one of my early favorites in DC.

I think you mean Coppi's Vigorelli -  Fritz Hahn's 2006 Washington Post article says it was where Cleveland Park Bar & Grill is.

Also off-topic (even more so), but there's a (still-)nascent thread here about the history of addresses, something of this form:

3417 Connecticut Avenue NW: Ripple (06/2010-), and what the hell was so terrible about *this*?! where was my Pulitzer?! (*)) -> Aroma ??/????-03/2010)

etc.

There aren't many entries, but I knew (and still know) that this is an idea worth doing, so if anybody can remember what the hell this thread is called, or where it is, please let me know.

(*) And, for the clueless among us. Foreshadowing: I was writing a metaphor about the upcoming downfall of Cleveland Park which I was predicting at the time. This was June, 2010, and I was completely, 100%, correct. (He says, to a standing ovation, taking bows and smiling at the audience). Irony: Except that I wrote it about Ripple which turned out to be the best restaurant in Cleveland Park, so I ended up being completely, 100%, wrong (He says, hauling ass off the stage, rotten tomatoes being thrown at him). Pathos: I whipped that thing off in about five minutes, and didn't even remember writing it until I saw it just now. Having read it again for the first time in 4 1/2 years, I think it's pretty good, but nobody else cares. So it goes ... Poo-tee-weet.

I think you mean this thread

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A 1996 City Paper review of Coppi's Vigorelli by the estimable Brett Anderson; I got a kick out of this: "excellent martinis are served to waiting patrons. And they're not cheap. 'Two drinks and a glass of wine is $17?' my friend gasps as she settles the pre-meal tab. 'Whoa.'"

Indeed it was; Nutella calzone y'all

Anderson: "The only time I'd strayed from pizza in the past was to order the calzone alla Nutella, a ridiculously rich dessert that consists of crust and a chocolate-and-hazelnut goop so luscious my friend claims he'd lick it off an old shoe."

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Jessica Sidman reports that Coppi's in Cleveland Park opened this weekend.

Just to put this reopening in perspective, Coppi's closed before Station 9, Crème, Tabaq Bistro, and Al Crostino.

Five years.

Other than extreme examples such as Gifford's and Jockey Club (which didn't reopen under the same ownership), does anyone know of a longer interval?

I am *so glad* Coppi's has reopened.

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I am so glad a new restaurant opened in my neighborhood, as always.  What is really good at Coppi's that shouldn't be missed?

I think it first needs to be determined if they're still a wood-burning oven-only restaurant. Assuming no (in other words, assuming they have stove-tops), then they're essentially starting from scratch. ETA - My mistake: I see from this post that they boiled their pastas.

It seems like an eternity ago, but their pizza was in my Top 10, arguably my Top 5, in the DC area - it was expensive (in the $20s), but a large pizza was enough for two people.

This was Tom Head's favorite restaurant on U Street, and I can't argue with that.

If anyone has (or can find) a menu from the old restaurant, that would be great.

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Tried the new Coppi's last night. Short version - fine, but I think it lost something in the move.

We had a reservation, and arrived a bit early. The host seemed harried -- I think the reservation system was down. No biggie, we sat at the bar, had a drink, and eventually were sat at a table (right around when our reservation was - as I said, we arrived early). We ordered the wood oven roasted chard with ricotta, pine nuts, and raisins, which I remembered had been a favorite at the old location. It was excellent - I could eat this all day.

I ordered the Siracusa pizza - sausage, hot peppers, feta, tomato sauce, olives. The combination of flavors was really nice, the crust was good (could have used a little more char), and I enjoyed it. At around $17 for a medium (which is basically a personal pizza), it may have been a dollar or two over-priced - but maybe it is because the ingredients are organic. My partner's spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce was, we both thought, bland and needed flavor. And, at a whopping $27 for an entree size - WAY overpriced for what it was. I could get a much better plate of pasta at Casa Nonna or Osteria Moroni for less. Also, my partner had a fever tree tonic water and a ginger beer and each (which were served in an airplane bottle size) was $5. I had two glasses of "sustainable" wine, which were fine, and reasonably priced.

The old Coppi's always seemed a little more expensive than it should be, but the service, warm decor (with the wood, brick walls, and prominent wood oven), organic ingredients, and food made you feel ok paying a little more than you wanted to for what you got. The new location has the same photos as the old one up on the walls, but the feeling is just totally different. The lack of the wood floor (it is an ugly tile) and white walls make the whole place seem very pedestrian - almost like a airport restaurant. They might be able to bring the old warmth back by painting the walls a darker color and dimming the lights -- I could see how that would help.

Our server was delightful, even if it took way too long between our appetizer and our entree and the general feeling of service was chaotic in the room. I was excited to go to Coppi's again - I had always really liked the U st location and had a lot of good memories there. Unfortunately, the new location didn't instantly fall into the same place. Maybe I'll try it again with time, but with so many other places in DC now to get pizza and pasta, I am not sure. If they could bring back some of the old feeling, I'd be more likely to return.

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49 minutes ago, Tweaked said:

Little twits who write one-star reviews like this probably haven't helped them.

On the other hand, the public has chosen Twitter (and now Google) as their "outlets of choice," and restaurants have given them all their attention, instead of concentrating on websites who have tried to do the right thing since day one.

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Remember when they first opened in the space further up the block? Then added the U St place, then closed the CP place, then re-opened it in the new spot, and the U St place closed? At least I think that was the order. I remember the CP one being first. And I loved it! The chickpea crostini were a revelation. 

Also, I'm sorry, but no mask no service is the only way to go right now. 

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