We finally made our way back to Coppi's, located in the U Street area in Washington, D.C.
Now as soon as you walk into Coppi's, you are assaulted with photos of bicycles and bike races, as well as racing jerseys, all over the wall. Forgive our ignorance, Italians! Both Liza and I were perplexed on this. What's up?
Now I knew that the Italians were big on cycling, thanks to one of my all-time favorite movies--a true classic!--"Breaking Away" directed by Peter Yates in 1979. The main character, played by Dennis Christopher, idolized the Italian race team.
He signed up for a cycle race at Indiana University, and he recruited his three friends, played by a very young Dennis Quaid, a very young Daniel Stern and, of course, Jackie Earle Haley who was best known as Kelly Leak from the 1970s "Bad News Bears" movies.
They were called the Cutters, because they cut school apparently, and they showed those rich, arrogant college jerks a thing or two about guts, grit and heart. *Pounds Chest* This is a 4 star movie, folks.
Back to Coppi's--the restaurant. As soon as we got home, I googled Coppi and discovered Fausto Coppi was a legendary Italian cyclist from the 1940s and 50s. He twice won the Tour de France. He won the Giro d'Italia five times.
So Coppi's is essentially a shrine to good 'ol Fausto. Bonus points to Coppi's for uniqueness. The restaurant has a very Italian feel, an authentic feel. It's a little dark, but that adds to a warm atmosphere. We like.
We sat down and ordered an obligatory glass of wine. We each ordered a salad and decided to split the Melanzane, which includes roasted eggplant, cremini mushroom, and red pepper, with smoked mozzarella and baby artichoke.
Now sometimes when you eat eggplant, it can taste somewhat bland. For example, when I eat eggplant parmigiana, I usually pour on the gravy (that's what the Italians call red sauce) because eggplant doesn't always have a distinct flavor.
The lack of flavor was noticeable in Coppi's Melanzane. There wasn't any sauce, so regrettably this pizza wasn't very tasty. Couldn't taste the 'shrooms or the red peppers. The smoked mozzarella was the only discernable flavor.
Crust was fine, but the pizza was a little droopy as well.
Maybe the chef was having an off-night. Both Liza and I have been to Coppi's before, in the pre-Blog era, and found their pizza to be high quality.
Coppi's gets bonus points for going organic with its food. They offer only the freshest "in season" ingredients in their food, which is good. Their food is inspired from the Ligurian Riviera in Northern Italy. I shrug. "Never heard of it," Liza says. Forgive our ignorance, Italians!
We'd go back to Coppi 's for the atmosphere and authenticity, but in terms of taste, Coppi's Melanzane pizza was lacking on this day.
Gary's Rating: 2.5 stars
Liza's Rating: 2 stars