Coppi’s Organic

A convivial, darkly lit spot for Ligurian pastas and pizza.

From June 2006 Cheap Eats

Roasted eggplant tossed with smoky mozzarella and parsley. Bosc pears with fresh mint and pecorino shavings. Coppi's is known mostly for its wood-oven pies, but these elegant preludes show it's much more than a pizza joint.

Not that the pizzas are anything to scoff at. They start with fresh basil leaves, creamy mozzarella, and a respectable crust and benefit from such toppings as spicy crimson soppresatta with mint, parsley, and cremini mushrooms or chard with raisins and ricotta. Much of the organic menu changes with the seasons. Pastas are made in-house–we lean toward the traditional Ligurian trenette, thick ribbons dressed up with lamb sausage and red peppers.

It's not all cheap–most entrée pastas are over $20–and it doesn't all taste quite as good as it sounds. A salad of seared butternut squash with ricotta salata, capers, and pine nuts was muted by flat seasoning.

Even so, booths in the narrow, deep-red dining room–covered with black-and-white photos of Italian cycling hero Fausto Coppi–are hard to find, especially on weekend nights.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.