A cheesy panini hits the spot at Coperta.EXPAND
A cheesy panini hits the spot at Coperta.
Mark Antonation

Baby, It's Cold Outside: Time for Soup and Grilled Cheese, Italian Style

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.

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.

The soup of the day at Coperta always captures the soul of Italy.EXPAND
The soup of the day at Coperta always captures the soul of Italy.
Mark Antonation

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