It seems like a bad idea for a restaurant to let its diners rename their business, but the ploy has worked out well for Timothy Nishimoto and the crew at Vino Paradiso. The longtime Pearl District wine bar, which has been working hard to retool its food program and up its profile with a remodel and the hiring of former Genoa man Aren Steinbrecher and sous chef Jason Bokros, revealed its new name today: Coppia. Local eater Melissa Louie came up with the winning name.
What does that mean you ask? Coppia is Italian for couple or duo. "[It] references our passion for pairing food and wine, and to the fact that the business is both a restaurant and a wine bar," explains Nishimoto. "The launch date for the new name and look, including, but not limited to, the interior, menu and wine list formats, staff dress, and the roll-out of the Piedmontese dinner menu is set for September 1."
Read the details below:
Vino Paradiso is excited to congratulate the contest winner, Melissa Louie, for submitting the new name of the restaurant, coppia!! In English, the Italian word coppia means pairing, match, couple, duo, and references our passion for pairing food and wine, and to the fact that the business is both a restaurant and a wine bar. Also, it's a nod to the exciting new kitchen duo, Chef Aren Steinbrecher and Sous Chef Jason Bokros, and to the new business partnership between Timothy Nishimoto and Todd O'Connor.
Above and beyond all other references, however, the one-two punch of the fine cuisine and wines of Piedmont, Italy, which has inspired the dinner menu and wine list (both in the works) is the most important. Head Chef Aren Steinbrecher, who is an alumn of the kitchen team at Genoa Restaurant, has been gradually adding typical Piedmontese items to the menu over the past month. His goal is to have the best noodle in town, and he has already been wowing guests with his Tajarìn with Wild Boar Ragù, not to mention his Trout with Salsa Verde.
In addition, the newly appointed Sommelier, Wil Stasney, has been adding some of his favorite wines from Piedmont, and designing a wine list that is at once interesting for connoisseurs, and unintimidating for new wine lovers. The list will continue to showcase fine wines from other regions of the world, but will definitely favor both widely-known and obscure grapes of Piedmont.
There are only a handful of restaurants in Portland which focus on food and wine pairings, and coppia is proud to join that group. Our goal, however, is to be the best restaurant in town for pairings.