It was about the second week of June that I really started freaking out. I had just gotten over a crazed week of work in Vegas. The week prior, Cori Sue and I had signed our lives away to Ris and promised to donate the rest of our livelihood to DC Farm to School. We had to coordinate more than a dozen sponsorships and organize a fashion show in, oh, 15 days. I was experiencing the onset of event-planning panic.
So, I called Kiara, PR maven, Edelman queen, and woman about town.
“Alright, lady. Take a breath,” she said from across the table at Coppi’s on U Street.
I breathe. Pause. Take a swig of my mimosa.
The restaurant was empty this particular Sunday brunchtime, and we were sharing the round table in the window alcove at the front, giving us a clear view of the occasional U Street walk of shame. I was grateful that there wasn’t anyone else in the place to see my breakdown. Plus, the bottomless blood orange mimosas were helping me to relax.
Despite the lack of patrons, Coppi’s actually turned out to be a solid brunch, serving all organic omelettes, pastas, pizzas, and panini baked in a wood burning oven. But it’s an odd location for such a restaurant.
That part of U Street is mostly back-to-back with great Ethiopian spots, trendy new steakhouses and wine bars, and Thievery Corp-owned bars and lounges. A narrow little Italian joint just seems, well, a bit out of place. Plus its deep red walls are covered in photos, jerseys, and mementos of the Italian cyclist legend Fausto Coppi, making the place more Bucca di Peppo than Armanis.
Kiara spent the next few hours rattling through my marching orders: businesses to hit up, press releases to send, people to talk to. I sat there, sucking down mimosas and Italian food, and listening, my eyes as big as saucers. All the while thinking, I am not an event planner. What the hell have I gotten myself into?
I was in such a tizzy that afternoon, I can hardly remember the food, just that it was substantial and tasty. I had the frittata, which is made with organic Pennsylvania eggs. It was filled with cremini mushrooms, red onions, and red peppers. It was tasty, but a bit too heavy on the mushrooms for my liking.
There were roasted potatoes on the side, which were more like French fries than actual breakfast potatoes. I did love the Italian styled bacon, which is thin and greasy. Oh, and another great addition to the plate was the warm, soft biscuit served with whipped butter.
Kiara had one of the paninis, though I can’t recall which (I would ask her, but the woman is too busy, honestly). Perhaps it was the Melanzane, which has roasted eggplant, cremini mushroom, red pepper, smoked mozzarella and baby artichoke. That sounds amazing.
Or perhaps it was the Santino, with prosciutto, soppresatta, smoked mozzarella, mixed greens, red onion, roasted red peppers, and pepperoncini peppers. No … maybe it was the Merguez, which has feta, cucumbers, red onion and lamb sausage. So good. Why didn’t I get a Panini?
We didn’t attempt one of their famous pizzas, though the wood burning oven and bored kitchen boys sitting at the bar made it very tempting. There are many Italian pizza options, from the Biana Sette Colli (mozzarella, pancetta, and garlic) to the Salmone Affumicato (smoked salmon, sheep’s milk feta, ricotta, and more). Will definitely try go for a traditional pie next time.
Perhaps because there was no one else in the restaurant, the service was excellent. We were pampered: mimosas refilled before they were empty, advice given on the dishes, even a free dessert at the end of the meal: delicious cinnamon bread with powdered sugar on top.
After a few hours of charting my course, Kiara was done with brunch, and I was near tears. My list was enormous, and though Cori Sue was already off running with hers, how ever would we get it all done in time?
Breathe, I thought. And then take another sip of your mimosa. That’s how.
The Bitches say: B+ Great bottomless drinks, decent food, good service, just desolate and a bit odd.
1414 U Street NW
Washington, DC 20009