In ancient times people made pilgrimages to Rome. We flew here, but logged in three 8 mile days in a row. The Christmas Market in Piazza Navona was a daily destination. We saw the official opening being filmed by a television crew, and shared a glass of celebratory champagne. That was on Monday morning. Electrical problems delayed the opening. We made the trek again on Christmas morning. It was gloriously open. We strolled through. Then we visited small churches and shops for the rest of the day. By the time Christmas dinner rolled around we were hungry.
The Fork gives Casa Coppelle 9.1 points out of 10. It’s easy to see why. It’s probably the most elegant restaurant Donna and I have ever eaten in. We were tucked into a romantic corner featuring a black velvet settee, black and gold fabric wall coverings, classic portraits, and a black leather table cover. A glass of champagne was in order.
While we sipped champagne we decided to order the fish based Christmas Dinner with wine pairings. Eating in Rome is about the food and the hospitality. Casa Coppelle’s wait staff is charming, engaging, and comfortably attentive. You feel like a guest instead of a customer. Within minutes after ordering we were served a mini portion of thinly sliced veal with micro pea vines. We were hungry and inhaled it without taking a photo.
A generous pour of dark pink rosato was served next. Then out came the octopus served with a leek purée, and what was by my count five peas. We were hungry and sopped up every last bit of that purée with deliciously crunchy crusted Italian bread.
At Casa Coppelle when it comes to the food it’s quality over quantity. When it comes to the wine parings it’s quality and quantity. I really would have liked five more peas with my octopus.
The next course was mussels served with bean filled ravioli and a bean based sauce. Donna thought the sauce was delicious. I remarked that it tasted like Heinz Pork ‘n Beans, or Beanie Weenies in the vernacular of the day. I could have easily counted the mussels, but knew crunchy crusted Italian bread does an admirable job of pairing with Beanie Weenie sauce.
The wine kept flowing, and we were having fun. I banished thoughts of the photo of lasagna stuffed with Italian meatballs Emily Hudon taunted me with. I sipped a delicious white wine while waiting for the main course. It was a bouillabaisse served in a cooking bag. The sauce was as rich and delicious as any I’ve tried. Thank goodness for that Italian bread.
Dessert was served with a generous pour of sweet wine. The Christmas menu offered a choice of Mont Blanc, or Mont Blanc. The chef was offering to go off menu and make substitutions. We ordered a Mont Blanc and the wild card. Donna thought the plate the wild card was served on contained a pool of dark chocolate. It was a hole in the plate. We laughed!
The meal was rounded out with strong Italian espressos and an excellent limoncello. It had more zest and less Lemon Pledge I think. The server gave Donna a handwritten list of the wines we’d been served, and we strolled back to Trastevere. Seconds after Donna hung up her coat she was pulling off a big piece of Panatone declaring, “I’m still hungry!” We laughed again! It was a very Merry Christmas!!!