Have you ever thought about having lunch or dinner at a restaurant inside a football stadium? This is the experience that La Coppa offers, the newest Italian restaurant within Allianz Parque, in São Paulo. In charge of the kitchen, the young and competent Giovanni Renê, winner of the last edition of the reality show Top Chef. Still in soft opening, it is the younger brother of Braza, opened in May, which is right next door. Inspired by La Scala, a theater in Milan, the decor is sophisticated and welcoming and the cuisine is authentic Italian. The pizzas are fantastic and the pasta is perfect! Indeed, a different and very fun experience, which I certainly recommend.
After all, how many times have you had a top-notch meal literally face to face? I even felt like I was at the Real Madrid Stadium, at the Santiago Bernabéu, in Spain, where I lived. Take the opportunity to also read about YU, a new Japanese restaurant in Itaim.
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Restaurant inside Allianz Parque
In front of the stadium's lawn, there is La Coppa, with a vibe felliniana, with fabric lamps, red velvet curtains covering the walls and photos of celebrities smearing themselves with pasta. At the head of the menu (both at La Coppa and Braza), chef Giovanni focuses on traditional Italian recipes, with contemporary touches. As well as some references from his paternal grandmother, a native of the Calabria region.
I ate a very fine and extremely well-seasoned carpaccio, as well as natural fermentation pizzas, Neapolitan style, and pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven, which were sensational. Certainly one of the best I've ever tasted. There are twelve flavors ranging from the classics, such as aliche and margherita, to creations such as cashew fermented with jataí honeycomb.
Among the pastas, after all, we are talking about an Italian restaurant, the highlight is the ones made in-house, such as the cavatelli covered in fresh and smoked sausage ragu. The chef prepared two classics for us: spaghetti carbonara and fusilli matriciana. It even seems like he guessed my appreciation for these culinary masterpieces.
To conclude, two traditional desserts revisited. The cannoli, a recipe from partner Mark Zammit's mother, originally from the Island of Malta, filled with ricotta and orange or dulce de leche. Meanwhile, the tiramisu came in layers of sponge cake soaked in espresso coffee, mascarpone cream and 100% cocoa. Both, in addition to being just the right amount of sweets, had a beautiful presentation!
Remembering that on game days and shows, La Coppa transforms into a real box, and therefore, special packages are sold. In other words, the house only opens for the event in question and the price is fixed, including food, drink and admission.
Gastronomy in sport
And finally, if you are a fan of a team other than Palmeiras – which is my case – open your mind and go check out La Coppa. After all, the issue in question is gastronomy and not football!
End: Rua Palestra Itália, 200, 3rd floor (Allianz Parque), Água Branca. Entry through Gate A.
Text and photos by Renata Araújo.