From the team behind Spigolo and The Gilroy, comes Copper Kettle Kitchen, a new concept intended to change the view of comfort food and matching cocktails in New York City and beyond. 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. Here, rustic wood, Edison light fixtures, and exposed brick walls hung with copper pots contribute to the homey, comfortable feeling. Copper Kettle Kitchen is the kind of place guests can return to again and again—in the same week.
The first Copper Kettle Cafe in Hartsdale, New York, grew out of the CIA grad’s 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 New York City’s 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 the front of the house is helmed by general manager Drew Blumenthal.
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 house-made 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 and seasonal. For example, a salad of baby organic kale is mixed with colors: baby carrots, red onions, thin sliced Jerusalem artichokes, pistachio nuts, and a whole grain mustard vinaigrette.
Additional comfort foods include 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 tender, flavorful grilled octopus with giant al dente Corona beans, red onion, and preserved lemon. For dessert, there’s a thick, rich brownie, with peanut butter sauce topped with torched homemade marshmallows, and the apple walnut cornbread with pumpkin-autumn spice glaze and vanilla cream.
There’s nothing on the menu that doesn’t taste better paired with a cocktail, wine, or beer. 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, Gotham is Burning, is 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 Belgian Pale Ale from the Bronx Brewery, Brooklyn East IPA form Brooklyn Brewery, and Toasted Lager from Blue Point. Even the soda pop is artisanal, featuring Harmony Springs Natural in flavors such as black cherry sarsaparilla, lemon, cream, and seltzer.