Small Bite: Tedium Rare
Copia’s “Mediterranean steakhouse” concept falls flat with an abundance of well, abundance.
“Table 2! Table 10! Let’s go, guys, come on!” It’s hardly ideal dinner music, but it’s what’s playing at Copia, where chefs in the open kitchen bark orders into headsets and waiters scurry through the carpeted, hotel lobby–style dining room. The ambiance at the restaurant, named for the Roman goddess of abundance, is jarring. So is the food. Instead of a bounty of rustic Italian dishes, this is a “Mediterranean steakhouse,” with the expected pricey cuts plus fried calamari, pasta Bolognese, and moussaka all on offer. High points included a velvety butternut squash risotto with rock shrimp, and tender scallops accompanied by cauliflower purée.
Unfortunately, much of the menu—including, oddly, the Brussels sprouts—comes smothered in a thick, and unnecessary, tomato sauce. Perhaps chef Anthony Caturano’s affinity for the stuff is a result of his success at Prezza in the North End. Here, as there, he draws a crowd—the bar scene, filled with an attractive afterwork crowd, is especially lively. Just don’t overstay your welcome: Halfway through our meal, at around 9:30 p.m., the staff began vacuuming the carpet and resetting for the next day’s abundant, if flawed, pleasures.
100 City Sq., Charlestown, 617-242-6742, copiarestaurant.com.