A Nosh Above

by Danilo Brunetti

Visiting the Eternal City is a unique experience.
So is dinner at Casa Coppelle, says Federico Schiaffino.

It goes without saying that Italy and France are Europe’s undisputed masters of culinary excellence, the two countries often at odds with each other in the question of whose cuisine reigns supreme. So what do you get when these rivals combine forces? The elegant and incomparable Casa Coppelle. Run by Omar and Rachelle Capparuccini (he’s Roman, she’s French), this restaurant combines the best of both gastronomic traditions with stupendous results. Begin with a bottle from Coppelle’s extensive wine list of 300 labels, sourced from around the globe, as you ponder your culinary journey. For appetizers, a foie gras sandwich is paired with almonds and apples; a seasonal vegetable tarte Tatin goes Italian with the addition of fresh basil pesto; and the typically sweet cannolo is reimagined with a savory filling of eggplant mousse, caramelized onions, wilted cherry tomatoes and ricotta salata. Next, progress on to an equally indulgent primo: fettuccine alla gricia gets a makeover with a delightfully smooth and mellow fava bean purée; mezzelune pasta is stuffed with asparagus in an exquisite saffron and shrimp sauce; and risotto is coupled with sweetbreads. Carnivores will be content, too: seared rib of lamb is dressed with black pepper and pecorino cheese, cacio e pepe style; duck is glazed with orange sauce and served with a pea purée; tournedos of beef are cooked with pink peppercorn and ambéed in cognac; and the uber-Roman baccalà (salted cod) is transformed into a confit. Still have room? Cap it all off with a crème brûlée, profiteroles with vanilla gelato, white and dark chocolate lava cake, apple and almond crumble….stop us anytime. Reservation obligatory.

> Piazza delle Coppelle, 49. Tel 0668891707. casacoppelle.com