From the team behind Spigolo and The Gilroy, comes a new concept, Copper Kettle Kitchen in New York City. While Spigolo was the epitome of intimate, creative Italian, and Gilroy is a specialized Italian cocktail bar specializing in Italian-influenced amaro- based and Negroni cocktails, the Copper Kettle Kitchen gives a view inside chef/owner Joseph D’Angelo’s head—featuring everything that he loves to eat. Here, rustic wood, Edison light fixtures, and exposed brick walls hung with copper pots contribute to the homey, comfortable feeling.
The first Copper Kettle Cafe in Hartsdale grew out of The Culinary Institute of America grad’s desperate desire for the kind of hand-crafted, hearty food that he couldn’t find where he lived. Based on the popularity of the casual, homey restaurant that he created there, he decided to bring a similar feeling of community to the Upper East Side neighborhood that has been home to Spigolo for over a decade. While D’Angelo looks for a new corner for his former trattoria, he enlisted many of his Spigolo team to work on the new concept. Chef de Cuisine Matthew Capone helped develop the menu in Hartsdale and managing the front of the house is GM Drew Blumenthal, a member, who ensures the comfort and satisfaction of every customer.
But it’s not so hard to keep every customer happy at a place so clearly designed to satisfy a range of tastes. The menu—divided into Dips and Flats for the Table, Greens & Grains, Daily Presses (sandwiches), Comforts, and Features for Two—is designed for grazing and sharing. Guests are encouraged to begin with something for the table—while they sip on cocktails and plan their meal. Dips, served with housemade bread, include butternut squash, smooth and creamy with mascarpone and candied walnuts while flatbreads might feature wild mushrooms with goat cheese and truffle oil, or homemade fennel sausage with crushed tomatoes, provolone and caramelized onions. Salads are fresh, seasonal and a delight for the eyes. For example, a salad of baby organic kale is mixed with colors: baby carrots, red onions, thin sliced Jerusalem artichokes, pistachio and a whole grain mustard vinaigrette. The pressed sandwiches are another treat: try the noble pig, slow roasted pork, sharp provolone and charred broccoli rabe, zesty with preserved lemons, or other sandwiches prepared on house made challah or ciabatta.
Then it’s on to the irresistible comforts: Homemade potato pierogies with New York cheddar and onions, Spigolo favorites such as meatless eggplant “meatballs,” light and fluffy in bright, fresh tomato sauce; homemade ricotta gnocchi with butternut squash, mushrooms, hazelnuts and parmigiano; and the most tender and flavorful grilled octopus with giant al dente Corona beans, red onion and preserved lemon. Other options include free-range chicken pot pie; wild striped bass; and surprisingly light dumplings served in a luscious broth with Fazio Farm rabbit. The features for two offer big flavors and big portions: Dijon crusted rack of lamb accompanied by butternut squash spatzle, roasted baby Brussels sprouts in a natural reduction or double cut pork chops with rapini, rosemary roasted gold potatoes and cherry peppers.
For dessert, there’s a thick, rich brownie with peanut butter sauce topped with torched homemade marshmallows, apple walnut cornbread with pumpkin-autumn spice glaze and vanilla cream; and semifreddo served with mini chocolate chip cookies and a copper cut filled with cream soda, that you pour over in a cool version of an affogato.
Brunch will also be featured: Lemon ricotta pancakes with spiced butter and Vermont maple syrup; slow-roasted short ribs with poached eggs, beech mushrooms and gremolata; overnight brisket hash with two up eggs, tomato marmalade; and Blooming Hill Farm cheesy grits with sharp cheddar and poached eggs, and other options.
The innovative cocktail menu, designed by mixologist Josh Mazza, also of The Gilroy, is composed of creative riffs on classic cocktails. In a Nutshell is the Copper Kettle version of an old fashioned, with peanut-washed mellow corn whisky, cane syrup and bitters—infused with peanut flavor; the Aztec Sazerac is a mellow, warming, lightly sweet variation on the classic, with cacao nib infused Old Overholt rye, Remy 1738 cognac, cane syrup, absinthe and peychaud bitters. A house favorite is Gotham is Burning, a creative take on the Manhattan that gets a smokey kick from distilled charcoal vinegar and Elijah Craig bourbon, plus sweet vermouth. There’s also a well-edited list of domestic craft beers including among others, Belgian Pale Ale from the Bronx Brewery, Brooklyn East IPA form Brooklyn Brewery and Toasted Lager from Blue Point, LI. Even the soda pop is artisanal, featuring Harmony Springs Natural in flavors such as black cherry sarsaparilla, lemon, cream and seltzer. Wines by the glass or bottle come from the U.S., Italy, Austria and France.