Since its inception in 2012, Coppi has firmly established itself as one of Belfast’s leading dining experiences.
Set in Saint Anne’s Square in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, this chic city restaurant offers an eclectic menu of contemporary Italian cuisine with a modern twist.
With an indoor, open plan dining space and an outdoor terrace with a weather-proof awning and heaters aplenty, this is a fantastic hangout regardless of the changeable weather.
Having read countless reviews which place this restaurant at the top of the food chain in Belfast city, we here at IB4UD needed to see what all the fuss was about; needless to say we left more than impressed.
Coppi draws elements from across the globe and fuses them into one dining experience in the heart of Belfast City. There are touches of a New York diner in Coppi, as well as an Italian bistro and a chic city bar.
The low-light restaurant offers guests an intimate dining experience whilst the venue remains open-plan and spacious. To the far end of the restaurant, the kitchen pass which is illuminated by copper heat lamps offers floods of light into the softly-lit dining room.
Industrial elements, such as exposed pipes and a cement ceiling juxtapose natural wood furnishings and tiles. A long low-level divide runs through the centre of the dining room, with dark wood tables running either side; if a more private affair is in tow, seek one of the booths which are more intimate.
The atmosphere of Coppi is inherently social, with the crowd consisting of a younger and equally more mature cool, city crowd, couples and larger groups.
The menu is broken into several sections, denoted by the size and substance of plates on offer.
Share-style as well as a traditional starter, main and dessert menu is available, and a range of dietary requirements have clearly been considered. Vegetarian dishes are marked with the classic “V”, and gluten-free plates as well as dishes which could be easily tailored to suit vegans elevate the menu.
Reinventing classic cocktails with modern twists is seen across the board whilst appertivo cocktails such as the quintessential Italian Bellini and the Aperol Spritz make an appearance.
The wine menu hits all of the right spots, although could be a tad on the larger side for such a salubrious setting.
What We Had
Embracing the share-style quality of the first half of the menu, we decided to start with the feta fritters with truffle honey, the sourdough breads with tapenade and olive oil, and the sweet potato, spinach, sundried tomato and pecan nut pizzetta.
For mains, we chose the buatini alla norma pasta with Sicilian aubergine sauce, goats cheese & toasted pine nut and the chargrilled 10oz sirloin steak which is served with parmesan fries, rocket and green peppercorn cream.
For drinks, we ordered the dark rum and basil mojito, the Belfast fizz and the smoked old fashioned cocktails.
How Was It?
The fritters: this small dish was potentially the show-stopper at Coppi. Served in a small ceramic dish, the delicately fried balls of feta sit in a bed of bed of truffle honey. A perfect marriage of flavours and textures.
The breads: lightly toasted and served on a wooden slab with rich olive oil alongside a house-made tapenade.
The pizzetta: this mini-pizza was truly magnificent. Layered with toppings, it was then scattered with crushed pecans which provided the ultimate textural contrast.
The pasta: a contemporary take on a simple and classic dish. The pasta is similar in style to spaghetti with a hole running through the centre of it. The sauce was perfectly seasoned with a rich and creamy goats cheese finish punctuated the flavour of lightly toasted pine nuts.
The steak: the steak was cooked medium rare and served alongside lightly tossed salad leaves. The parmesan-incrusted fries were a force to be reckoned (and can be ordered solo, from the sides menu). The peppercorn sauce was well balanced and suitably sized in proportion to the sirloin.
The mojito: served in a tall glass with a paper straw, this cocktail has a fantastic smoky flavour from the dark rum and aromas of basil and mint in equal measure – a beautifully balanced interpretation of a classic.
The fizz: fruity and floral with a fresh kick in each sip. Served over ice in a tall glass with a paper straw.
The old-fashioned: rich and sweet with maple syrup undertones and an orange garnish; this is a cocktail you’ll sit on for a while and sip away at over dinner.
The food at Coppi is impeccable, and the price reflects that. Although some dishes on the menu may be considered expensive, you are also paying for the quality of local ingredients and the craftsmanship that goes into each dish.
A more affordable approach to Coppi is via share-plates and the cicchetti (snack menu), pizzetta (mini-pizza) and starter menus. Saying that, mains range from £12.50 – £27 (or £60 for a steak meal for two), which, given that this is considered one of Belfast’s leading Italian dining experiences, is not too excessive.
The team are exceptional and find the perfect (but oftentimes difficult) balance between being attentive and yet not too overbearing. They are extremely knowledgeable and approachable and were very helpful in assisting our order.
Overall, it comes as no surprise that Coppi is seen as one of the top contemporary Italian eateries in Belfast. It is an experience and a night in itself. Perfect for a date or meet up with friends, the environment only mirrors the food which is dynamic and worth coming back for.
Address: Coppi, Saint Anne’s Square, Cathedral Quarter, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Phone: +44 28 9031 1959