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C.O.P. Welcome to the gallery of culinary delights

Tuesday, February 28 2023
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Opening Times

Tuesday to Saturday 18-23

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C.O.P.
Biberstraße 8
1010 Vienna-district 1
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.copvienna.at

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The dishes are presented on the marble counter like an oil-painted still life. Bright yellow lemons. Brown butter piled up into edible sculptures. Glass bells with dried fruits and candied oranges. Shiny oysters and enormous loaves of crusty baked bread.

"And what is this here, these golden-yellow corals?""So, we get this beautiful honey from Klosterneuburg..." With shining eyes, chef Elihay Berliner raves about this "wonderful honey", which they get from Wolfgang Schmid in Lower Austria, caramelise and serve as a crunchy sweet with chicken livers or desserts.

The passion for good food has accompanied Elihay since childhood. Even at the age of six, he dreamed of becoming a chef. And he did. For many years he worked in renowned restaurants in Paris, and in his early 20s, he came to Vienna. Now he is the culinary-creative heart of C.O.P., which opens at the end of 2022.

C.O.P. stands for "Collection of Produce" because, according to Elihay: The focus is on the products and the people who produce them. "We are simply curating the things we love," he says. Consequently, the counter covered with these favourite products forms the heart of the restaurant. The bar and anything else that might distract has been banished to the kitchen.

C.O.P. I © Nuriel Molcho
C.O.P. I Wein I © Jana Perusich
C.O.P. I Ceviche I © Jana Perusich
C.O.P. I Grilled Sardines I © Elihay Berliner
C.O.P. I Mais mit Chili Butter I © Nuriel Molcho
C.O.P. I Tomaten I © Nuriel Molcho
C.O.P. I Elihay Berliner I Foto Verena Meyer

Since they "take whatever the producers have to offer", the menu is reprinted daily (usually a few hours or minutes before the first guests arrive). If you turn it over, you will find the long list of all those who contribute to the dinner with oysters, herbs, gelato and cheese.

The quality of the products speaks for itself, and the plates are accordingly purist. To start, there are small dishes to share: French oysters, olives, Iberico ham, and ceviche.

And a wonderfully creamy Anatolian cheese. It bathes in grass-green chive oil, wears a bonnet of fresh herbs and goes ideally with the freshly baked focaccia, which comes cloud-light and warm from the wood-fired oven.

The menu at C.O.P. is divided according to points because, as we all know, the eyes are bigger than the stomach, and this applies all the more when the dishes sound as tempting as they do here. You should calculate five points per person.

That makes ten points for the two of us, which we choose from snacks (1 point, 4-12 euros), small (2 points, 12-18 euros) and large main courses (3 points, 30-50 euros). (Desserts don't count, of course, because, as we know, you have your own sweet stomach for that!).

Little by little, the plates trickle in: Braised beetroot with chicory and labneh, melt-in-the-mouth chicken liver pâté with honey and crusty toasted sourdough bread, marrowbone with black walnuts and herb salad. For those who have never had a marrowbone before: Absolutely recommended! Crispy on top, creamy on the inside.

After the staff has nimbly mounted a small extension on the edge of the table, we continue: a velvety-bite raviolo ("40 egg yolks per kilo of flour") with Jerusalem artichoke and sage butter, followed by tender calamari on cabbage polenta and "tomatoes from last summer". 

The plates at C.O.P. are not overloaded - a few ingredients, that's all it takes. However, the quality of the products speaks for itself. But of course, even the best ingredients need experienced kitchen hands to refine them, combine them, and transform them into artful dishes.

The accompanying wines are surprising and full of character, the service is discreet and relaxed. From time to time, the chef himself drops by the table, telling us in his calm, charming way how this and that was prepared or what we absolutely have to try.

Dessert, of course! All three? "You can handle it," he says with a laugh. The butterscotch crème (a modified crème brulée) is baked at the table using fire-hot irons. This does set off the fire alarm from time to time. But: this also gives the crème a subtle smoky flavour that balances the fatty sweetness. (Rumour has it that the cream could become a signature dessert). 

The other desserts of the evening are also French-inspired (crêpe suzette and chocolate cream), and yes: we did handle it and polished off all the plates.

Finally, the chef goes back to the marble counter where the still life is laid out and comes back with some sweets ("sweets for grown-ups "): handmade fruit jelly, Viennese raspberry sweets and Provençal chocolate confectionery. 

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