Everything You Need to Know About Southie’s Coppersmith
When David Chang brazenly deemed The Cheesecake Factory to be one of the most influential restaurant in America, foodies and pundits everywhere laughed. Obviously, this was just another flippant comment from the champion of all things low-brow. The Cheesecake Factory’s penchant for colossal portions and cream-laden pastas seemed to fall right in line with the Momofuku chef’s fondness for baloney, American cheese, and cheap, watery lagers.
But we might have all missed the point. Service, flexibility, and an ear toward customers’ dining inclinations was really at the heart of Chang’s statement. Now that populist mindset is being embraced across the restaurant industry like tapas and small plates were a decade ago. And one of the better examples of this malleable, service-first ethos can be seen in South Boston’s most highly anticipated new restaurant, Coppersmith.
The massive, 200-plus-seat space at 40 West 3rd Street is being described as “community hub” by Red Door Hospitality, the restaurant group behind the concept, a fairly apt description when considering its anatomy. Over here is a full service café offering grab-and-go items like pastries, sandwiches, cold-pressed juices, house-made granola, and salads. Over there are two in-house food trucks serving “global comfort foods” like tacos, flat patty burgers, and pressed duck Cubanos. Above, on the rooftop deck is an Airstream trailer serving cocktails and raw bar mainstays—think oyster, clams, and crudos. There’s a kid’s menu (almost unheard of in fine dining circles), and during off-hours, community space in the dining room where anyone can take advantage of its sprawling interior, whether for a business meeting, a cup of coffee, or just a spell of free Wi-Fi.
Executive chef Chris Henry’s (South End Buttery, Drink) dinner menu even resides under a very loose, all-encompassing “globally-influenced” philosophy. This not only offers the chef a chance to veer a bit from his French training at the Barbara Lynch Gruppo, but gives the necessary leeway for a farm-to-table concept, and gives his customers the chance “to vote with their dollars.”
“We’re not tying ourselves to any one cuisine in particular,” Henry says. “Being ‘globally-influenced’ means I can put a banh mi, a gyro, and something Italian on my menu and it’s not going to clash with everything else going on. But it’s also going to be heavily influenced by what we can get from our purveyors. And I’m a firm believer in letting the guests of the restaurant tell us what they want from us. If we’re way off base with what we’re offering and we’re selling nothing but burgers and sandwiches, we’re going to respond to that. It’s a big operation, but we want to be agile enough to respond to the community.”
When Coppersmith opens at the end of the month, you’ll see that accessibility in everything from the bar snacks (spiced Marcona almonds and beef jerky) and appetizers (confit chicken wings and a Bloomin’ Tempura Oyster Mushroom) to shareable family style meals like a pig roast, Moroccan lamb, and fried chicken dinner. Other offerings on Henry’s heavily locavore menu will include farmer’s market salads (some of which will be sourced from a vertical garden on the roof), hand-crafted Agnolotti, a soft shell crab BLT, grass-fed steak tip frites, a classic New England lobster roll, and seafood boils on the patios.
According to the chef, the two food trucks will augment his oft-rotating dinner menu, with four casual offerings at each, all of which will be priced under $10. Coppersmith will initially launch with the trucks mainly servicing bar patrons, but they haven’t ruled out preparing morning breakfast offerings in the near future.
“After years in fine dining, it’s been invigorating to be able to take such an adventurous and cheeky approach to cooking again.” Henry said via a press release. “I’m literally playing with food again—focusing on flavors while challenging the idea of what is considered mainstream dining.”
When Coppersmith debuts at the end of May, the café will be open seven days a week starting at 6 a.m. Dinner service will be held Tuesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. until midnight.
40 W. 3rd, Boston; coppersmithboston.com.