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The Early Word at Chelsea's New Cuban Diner Coppelia

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Coppelia, Julian Medina's brand spanking new Cuban-influenced diner with plans to soon become a 24-hour production, is settling in nicely on West 14th Street. The chef behind both Yerba Buena outposts and Toloache has created a menu of moderately priced Nuevo Latino comfort food, with Pichet Ong on dessert duty. Even though they just opened two weeks ago, the people already have some things to say. To the early word:

The Great News: There are quite a few reviews on Yelp of Coppelia so far, and all but one have been positive. The bad Yelp review is of course below. Here are some highlights of a glowing review from Yelper Meg R. "Julian Medina has out done himself! My meal was outrageously AMAZING and on point. The mixed green salad with sherry vinaigrette was so fresh and vibrant. The potato crusted tilapia resting in plantain puree and tomato sals was sheer heaven. This was the best tilapia I have had... in years... possibly EVER. I also had a side of sauteed spinach that was perfect. The service was wonderful. Coppelia is my new home for yummy food... cant wait to try the blue corn meal pancakes this weekend!" [Yelp]

The Bad News: Not all is peachy keen on Coppelia's Yelp page. Alice C. writes about her rough experience: "Food came out SO SLOWLY. We ordered nachos as an appetizer to share, and it seriously took nearly an hour to arrive.. In that time, I'm pretty sure I could have gone to the nearest store to buy ingredients to make my own nachos... When our food finallyyyyy came, my boyfriend had to send his burger back as it looked extremely raw and red on the inside. It took awhile longer to get the burger back to him as well. Overall, the food itself was okay, but not spectacular... During our meal, my boyfriend said that they were talking by the register and pointing at our table, and so warned us to check the bill later. When the bill did arrive, sure enough, there were strange additions to it. When we pointed it out to the waiter, he went to make changes, but still brought it back with charges that we did not understand... It feels weird that everyone else has given this place 5 stars so far.. Maybe we ordered the wrong menu items to make a fair review? Unfortunately, the service is killing it for me at the moment, and I would not return until they get it together." [Yelp]

The Cuban Sandwich News: Zagat Buzz recently featured a Cuban Sandwich Smackdown, which included a critique of Coppelia's. They noted the exceptional mustard: "The drool-worthy thing that this sandwich has goin’ on is the mustard. It’s the perfect blend of savory and sweet, packing a lot of flavor while adding a spicy punch. Oh, and that bread? We want to say that the perfectly toasted Cuban baguette was as flat as the wooden board that this sandwich is served on, but we checked: the bread is flatter." In regards to whether it would fly in Havana: "Though the cutesy presentation may elicit a sarcastic comment or two, all snark would be put aside in the hopes that the staff would offer more yuca fries." [Zagat Buzz]

The Gael Greene News: Gael Greene has some early opinions to report on Coppelia. She tweets: "Difficult to choose f/menu @Coppelia lasngt We want everything.Still green waiting wine license,but looks like a big hit f/Julian Medina" So much love it could hardly be contained in 140 characters. [Twitter]

The Potentially Biased News: Eater commenter ECFontana happened to be "walking by" and was invited to join in on the Friends and Family. He writes about his wonderful experience: "If you ever imagined a Latin Diner...then this is the spot for you. The Tres Leches Torrejas....hello...they simply could not be more ridiculous and I mean that in the best of ways...god what a treat they were and soon to be had again, so you do the same when you visit." He also writes that he calls Chef Medina a friend, but he sounds like he genuinely enjoyed it. [ENY]

The Greatest News: Steve Roberts posted a review on NearSay about Coppelia. He calls it the latest and greatest from chef Julian Medina of Yuerba Buena and Toloache. Here's what he ate and how he felt: "I started with a cup of chicken soup (one of three choices) which was loaded with pollo and continued on with their Cuban sandwich. While being very tasty, please note it is not as big as most served in town." Fair enough. He also praises the variety and says he must come back to taste some more. [NearSay]

The Thumbs Up News: Jillian N. on Yelp also loved and praised Coppelia. She says: "Our night couldn't have went better. We were seated immediately, loved the food options as well as the choices we made, and had friendly and attentive service the entire evening. Their interior is festive without being at all cheesy, with Cuban/Spanish music playing quietly to set the mood. I ordered their mac & cheese with pork belly meat. It was SUPER spicy, which I wasn't expecting, but loved. Additionally I got fried plantains which were perfect. Thumbs up all around, and I'll like them even better after they get a liquor license!" [Yelp]
—Jackie Goldstein


207 West 14th Street, Manhattan, NY 10011 (212) 858-5001 Visit Website


207 West 14th St., New York, Ny