Weekend Brunch: Coperta Brings Italian to Breakfast

BY Linnea Covington

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It’s no secret Denver loves brunch. Each Friday we’ll divulge the newest and best brunches around. Not only will we highlight our favorite spots for all your brunching needs, but also add lists of things you crave. So pour a mimosa, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to eat.

Walking into Coperta in Uptown feels like you’ve just entered a classic, generationally-run cafe in Rome, which in a sense proves true. Owned by brother and sister duo, chef Paul C. Reilly and Aileen V. Reilly, and Aileen’s husband JP Taylor, Jr., Coperta truly is a family affair, without the bickering. 

Since 2016 the owners have brought their collected knowledge of food (Paul), wine (JP), and hospitality (Aileen) to the forefront. Not only does the love of Roman fare shine through, but the team spends plenty of time in Italy researching, tasting, and diving into the culture in order to bring it back to Denver. 

For the longest time diners could only really experience this dedication at dinner. But now, there’s brunch, another meal to showcase the beauty of Roman food. 

white plate with eggs and polenta
The polenta with mushroom ragu won brunch. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Eat the Menu

While some items on the brunch menu feel familiar, think french toast and a classic two-egg breakfast, most of the fare on Coperta’s leans more toward Roman staples. Classic Italian flavors shine through on most dishes, with prosciutto, rosemary, and artichoke taking center stage on both the antipasti and the piatti menus. 

Start with the antipasti, a list of goodies mostly modeled after comforting Roman street food. A plate of warm Roman street fritters ($6) will get the meal going right, it’s basically the Italian version of a doughnut hole. Follow that up with an equally indulgent plate of suppli al telefono ($12), which leans toward what we know as a mozzarella stick, but enhanced with prosciutto.

Cut the richness of the fritters with a brunch salad ($15), a delightful mix of berries, seeds, pecorino, and a silky prosecco vinaigrette. Off the piatti menu, the heirloom polenta with mushroom ragu ($18.50) melds creamy corn with a rich, earthy sauce, and yes, there’s a sunny side egg on top. On the meaty side, the eggs Benedict with prosciutto and the perfect chive hollandaise sauce ($17.50) satisfies with a side of rosemary potatoes and fruit.  

Drink Up

With JP Taylor, Jr. behind the menu, of course the drink program is top notch. Like most brunches, the Bloody Mary ($11) is on point. Done Coperta style, this mixture features san marzano tomatoes and fennel-salt along the rim with a choice of vodka, calabrian-chili-infused vodka, gin, tequila, or whiskey. 

Wake up with a take on the classic Espresso Martini, the Chia High Martini ($13), a mixture of whiskey, chai syrup, and espresso. Follow it up with the Upside Down Latte ($12), featuring french-toast-spiced rum, coffee whip and a choice of milk. Of course a solid cup of regular coffee or tea also hits home, and refills are included.

table with four white plates and pasta, fritters and a napkin
Order a spread of Italian delights for brunch at Coperta. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Don’t Miss 

Absolutely make room for Coperta’s brunch carbonara, which comes in a smaller portion ($14) or full meal size ($28).  Not only does chef Kenneth Minton III give it a morning twist, but instead of the usual long noodles he uses rigatoni. This allows for ultimate stabbing so one can score a perfect bite of pasta, sauce, and your choice of artichoke or cured pork. We went for the artichoke, and it definitely added something new to the dish that will be repeated the next time brunch comes around. Unlike most dinner-made-breakfast dishes, the carbonara doesn’t have an egg on top, instead it’s mixed into the sauce as the original recipe calls for. 

Visit Coperta for brunch Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 400 E.  20th Ave., Denver, copertadenver.com

Good For:

Dates

Older kids

Parties 6 and under

Wine aficionados

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.

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