July 16, 2013

Coppi, Belfast

One of the pluses of living in Meath is that we aren’t too far from Belfast. A quick hour and a half up the motorway gets us easily into Belfast City which we visit a few times a year. Our most recent trip up was to visit the Game of Thrones exhibition in the Titanic Quarter. I am a fan of the show but perhaps not to the same extent as the boyfriend but I happily went along with the promise of some shopping and a meal out! So after we had shopped ourselves out and seen enough costumes and prop swords for the day, we headed along to Coppi in St. Anne’s Square for an evening meal. 

Titanic Quarter

St. Anne’s Square is a newish development which includes the Ramada Encore Hotel and a number of other restaurants which look out on to the square. I stayed in the Ramada when the square was just being built so it was lovely to see the finished area. It is a pretty, bustling square and is only about 10 minutes walk from Victoria Square Shopping Centre and from the Odyssey Arena. Coppi is an Italian-inspired restaurant and is named after the Italian cyclist Angelo Fausto Coppi who was the dominant international cyclist in the years before and after the Second World War. His successes earned him the title Il Campionissimo, or champion of champions!  

The menu is a mix of cichetti, small plates, pizzette and pastas. We started off with cichetti which are small snacks typically served in traditional bars throughout Venice. This was a really nice way to get to try a few different dishes and sample a bit more of the menu. We got three cichetti - Feta fritters & truffled honey; Smoked chicken, endive, Gorgonzola & walnut and Spiced pork & fennel sausage.

All three were wonderful though the pork sausage was a little spicy for me. I adored the feta fritters which were light and melt in the mouth and I could have eaten many more of them. 

For the mains I choose the Portavogie Prawns which was made with squid ink linguini, sundried tomato, basil, shallot & lemon. Unfortunately they had no prawns left but they replaced them with crab meat which worked just as well. I always think black pasta never looks great as there is something about black pasta which isn’t aesthetically pleasing but this was one of the best pasta dishes I have had in a while. It was light and summery and I could taste the crab throughout the dish. All the pasta used in the dishes is made fresh inhouse too.

The boyfriend went for the daily special which was Tagliatelle with beef in a marsala and mushroom sauce. There wasn’t a drop left once he was done with it, though I found the sauce slightly heavy myself. We were both very happy with the dishes we had chosen and there wasn't a lot of sharing going on during the meal!

Then it was onto dessert. After the high standards of our mains dessert was a bit of a disappointment. The boyfriend went for Tiramisu which was perfectly adequate but didn’t quite live up to Italian standards. 

I went for the Passionfruit Crème Brulee which sounded fantastic but in reality was far too rich and the sugar on top was slightly over caramelised and verged on the side of burnt. 

Disappointing desserts aside next time I am up in Belfast I will definitely be visiting Coppi again. I could spend a happy hour or two there chatting with friends, drinking wine and nibbling on cichetti! The meal cost us £45.50 and that was for three cichetti, two mains, two desserts and a glass of wine. 

Coppi on Urbanspoon

Web: www.coppi.co.uk
Find them on Facebook here and on Twitter here.