When the temperature drops into the teens and single digits and snow swirls around in the wind, all we want is a warm blanket and some comforting, home-style food, like soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. Thankfully, Coperta — named after the Italian word for blanket — has you covered for lunch.
When you're looking for a midday retreat from the icy chill, a restaurant with cozy nooks far from the front entrance makes for a perfect hideaway. Skip the bar at the front of Coperta and head to one of the back dining rooms — the closer to the kitchen, the better — and grab a seat and a hot cup of coffee to chase away the shivers. Then ask about the soup of the day; if you're lucky, it will be Italian wedding soup, here fortified with dense but tender meatballs, little tubes of ziti and an herb-packed chicken broth that will bring back the best childhood memories of coming in from the cold to be greeted by a steaming bowl of chicken-noodle soup.
Of course, a wintertime bowl of soup wouldn't feel like a complete meal without a grilled cheese sandwich. Coperta's lunch menu boasts four hearty panini, any one of which would make a great companion to soup, but the Quattro is the cheesiest. Four cheeses — chèvre, mozzarella, provolone and Parmesan — meld into a gooey, tangy filling between two crusty, toasty triangles of focaccia from Babettes Artisan Breads. Warmed from the inside, you'll feel fortified to meet the arctic blast outside head on.
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Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at Coperta, which is only a few blocks from downtown at the corner of East 20th Avenue and Logan Street.