My dinner at Coppa in the South End was unlike any other. Probably for a few reasons: it was my first, official blogger meal on behalf of Boston Bites (thank you, Alana for keeping me well fed this summer), the meal itself was divine beyond comprehension, and the entire event was dedicated to celebrating cheese. I love cheese. I really do. It's a toss up between loving cheese or potatoes more. And, as any lover, I don't often like to choose between them, so I choose both. Celebrating the Grana Padano PDO cheese at Coppa, brought an evening of incredibly cool company, beautiful presentation, and phenomenally tasting food.
First, a little about the guest of honor: Grana Padano PDO was created by Cistercian monks one millenium ago as a way for northern Italian dairy farmers to preserve their excess milk. It is now one of Italy's best selling cheeses across the world. Pale yellow, sweet, and granular, the cheese is made from milk of cows from the Po Valley and aged somewhere between 12-30 months. That makes one helluva good cheese.
Now, without further ado, the ooey, gooey, supremely delicious meal of my dreams. For optimal sensory overload, I've opted to tell you about it all at once, and then let you salivate over the photos for the rest of the post. Broken down in four rotations, my tastebuds were instantly seduced by the Steak Tartare Crostino (Urfa, Grana Padano PDO, and mint), Mortadella Pimento (Grana Padano Riserve and grilled bread, aptly presented on a pig shaped cutting board), and Arancini (Grana Padano PDO and tomato fondue in fun little puff balls).
The honeymoon phase of two, heavenly pasta dishes - Cavatelli con Pollo & Rigatoni Alfredo - really took my breath away.
I regained consciousness for the two pizzas, savoring the classic Margherita Pizza and trying new things with the Fiore de Zuchini (white pizza, squash blossom, charred corn, chili oil, marjoram, Grana Padano PDO).
Now that my soul was full and my stomach was getting full, the sweet, goodnight kiss, of Zepolle (ricotta donuts and strawberry jam) plus Grana Padano PDO with fresh strawberries and balsamic, lingered on my lips the whole ride home. Suffice it to say I fell back in love with cheese that night.