This is a northern Arizona member spotlight for Coppa Cafe in Flagstaff. Recently celebrating its third anniversary, Coppa Café is a true "locavore" restaurant in Flagstaff. Owned by husband and wife chefs, Brian Konefal and Paola Fioravanti, the menu reflects their taste for different European cuisines, which they both developed during their travels an while in culinary school in Italy.
After meeting at Italian culinary school, Brian spent several years traveling internationally and honing his skills under revered chefs and restaurateurs in Italy and Spain. n amazingly talented pastry chef, Paola honed her skills under top industry talents throughout Brazil, Italy and Spain. But it wasn't too long after that the couple made it back to the states so that they could challenge themselves in the many amazing American culinary scenes. Brian quickly climbed the ranks in renowned kitchens in San Francisco, New York City and Boston, transitioning from a cook to a chef in no time at all.
In San Francisco, Brian began working under Michelin-starred chef Daniel Humm, now of Eleven Madison Park in New York. Brian credits the chef as being "the man who taught him how to cook." He spent six years working with Humm, both in San Francisco and New York. Afterward, the couple moved to Boston, where they opened Bina Osteria in 2008 as executive chef and pastry chef. The restaurant received rave reviews, but when the recession presented greater challenges, the couple looked toward their next move.
After a few years working in the world's best culinary cities and fine tuning their crafts, the pair longed to returned to his former home of Flagstaff to open The Piano Room. This first venture was a speakeasy-style bar and gastro pub and gave them the experience they needed in the Flagstaff dining scene to prepare for Coppa Cafe. Coppa, a more food-focused restaurant presented as a European style eatery, allows them to combine their love, talent and skills honed abroad with their familial ties here in Flagstaff.
As Coppa’s tagline states, the intimate venue offers “a taste of Europe in the mountains of Flagstaff.” Brian and Paola and the culinary team takes a balanced approach with using local food, progressive techniques and old-world traditions. They favor house-cured meats, ingredients from nearby farms and ranches and foraged foods found in the forests to incorporate into their award-winning dishes.
Local sourcing is so important to Coppa Cafe and they buy what they can from local producers and grow their own herbs and vegetables when they can. They are currently working with a multitude of local farms all connected through the Flagstaff CSA, which really cares about creating a fair and sustainable food network in northern Arizona. Coppa Cafe is also using Kelly Beef for their tartare and for pasture-raised veal. They use Ridgeview Farms for quail, RisingHY sauces for the lunch turkey sandwich, Ramona Farms for tepary beans and Hopi corn, and many more! The menu changes seasonally so check with the website and stop by the restaurant for updated information.
Coppa Cafe is located at 1300 S. Milton Rd. #107A in Flagstaff and you can visit the website anytime at www.coppacafe.net. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.