See the food and beverages offered at Evansville, IN’s Copper House

Intentional.

When bartender Casey Dellafosse told us she had worked at several local establishments but served at copper house on Franklin Street in Evansville was her favorite because every detail from the food and drink to the decor is intentional, she hit the nail on the head.

Welcome to the House of Copper

When my team and I first entered Copper House, I was immediately greeted by Andrew Cutini, the front desk manager. He was kind and welcoming and set our table with a spectacular view of the restaurant’s custom artwork: a mural by local artist Michael Smith of orange moon, Jefferson the Giraffe – a life-size wire and wire sculpture by Matt Perezand a copper shingle installation piece by local metal artist Cory Lamb.

Fancy a drink?

We started with adult drinks at the bar. The cocktail menu was delicious. I love trying out-of-the-ordinary concoctions when visiting new restaurants. In this case, I let Casey choose my fate and she chose the perfectly refreshing and summery Lavender Lemon Drop for me. Crisp, fresh, refreshing and worth every penny (if you know what I mean.) The dried lavender buds that sprinkled the top made it both appealing to the eyes and added just the right amount of floral notes. The lavender flavor can get overwhelming quickly, but this drink was honestly my favorite part of our experience.

One of my table mates, Ryan O’bryan of 99.5 WKDQ chose an Old Fashioned. He let me try one of the dark brown luxardo cherries and they were less sweet but so much richer than a typical maraschino cherry.

To start…

Then come our appetizers. We sampled the Midwestern charcuterie plate, the spicy curry red lentil dip, and the goat cheese bites.

Charcuterie platter

The charcuterie plate was a burst of color and freshness. Owner Charisa Perkins told us the plate includes fresh Dewig Meats charcuterie, cheeses, breads and an interesting array of heirloom vegetables.

Spicy red lentil and curry dip

The red lentil dip was light and a great choice for those looking for a healthier appetizer that doesn’t skimp on flavor. And the accompanying bread really piqued my curiosity. It was like a flattened herb cookie and it was delicious.

Goat Cheese Bites

My second favorite sample of the day was the goat cheese bites. Herbed goat cheese is rolled into a crispy layer and fried. It is served with hot bacon jam. If you are a goat cheese fan, this is a must on your foodie wish list.

After the heart of this southern girl

Next, Charisa released four of her most popular dishes: If Pigs Could Fly, Bacon Pimento Cheese Burger, Apricot Salmon and Spicy Shrimp & Grits.

Salmon Apricot

We started our sampling with the apricot salmon. Apricot is one of my favorite flavors. There used to be a restaurant in town that served apricot tea and I couldn’t get enough of it, so when I heard apricot was a featured flavor I was excited to try it. The salmon was very tender and had a nice coral color which meant it was fresh. The apricot glaze added a nice clean flavor to the fish. It wasn’t damning – just a nice compliment. The fish is served on a pearl couscous with green beans and red onions. The couscous had a nice lemony flavor that also complimented the fish without being overpowering. Andrew told me it was by far the best selling dish at Copper House. I can see why.

Creole Shrimps & Grits

Then I enjoyed the shrimp and grits. My favorite dish we tried but again, I’m from the South. Perfectly cooked spicy shrimp served with creamy grits. Topped with Creole sauce and a fried egg, the classic Southern dish stole the heart of this New Orleans girl. My 99.5 WKDQ table mate Ryan told us he’s not usually a fan of oatmeal but he changed his tune yesterday. And maybe we should have stopped Kat from 103GBF diving and swimming.

If pigs could fly

If pigs could fly was our next agenda. Fried pork belly in Asian glaze, served taco style with coleslaw, wontons and wasabi cream sauce, Charisa told us she named the dish because pork belly is fried like wings of chicken. Soft, tender and a break from the norm – we all swooned over the piggies. Little surprises were sprinkled into every bite. Kat called them killer and Ryan said it was a mix between shrimp and grits (again, not a grits fan) and tacos. I couldn’t agree more.

Bacon and cheese burger

We finished with the Bacon Pimento Cheese Burger. Classic American cuisine with a twist. The meat was grilled and had those nice crispy edges. The bacon is house-smoked and nice and thick. Now let’s talk about chili cheese. I’m not a fan of P-Cheese. But damn it, I couldn’t not love this burger. All the flavors blended together so smoothly.

The building is a work of art

With a full stomach, Charisa told us the story of the birth of the Copper House. Located in the former Tin Man Brewery, Charisa was no stranger to the building. After attending Culinary School in Louisville, KY, she began her career at The Tin Man working her way up to Kitchen Manager. After cutting her teeth at various other restaurants in the area, she decided she wanted to open her own restaurant, but she made every corner of the building her own.

She started with the name. In its early days, the building was the Franklin Street Boarding House & Saloon. She wanted to bring back an original part of the name and with the help of her mother and grandmother, Copper House was born.

The garden room

Where the brewery used to be, you will find the Garden Room. Beautiful trees and plants adorn the room which overlooks the kitchen. Aromas of smoked bacon invade the room. She told us the room is available for rent but they are using it mainly for overflow seating at the moment.

Upstairs

There are also rooms upstairs for small meetings or gatherings, and another area has two adjoining rooms with a small bar and an outdoor patio for rent that can accommodate around 85 people or less if you want to convert a room on the dance floor.

A sweet goodbye

We were about to leave when Andrew let us know that he had boxed two desserts to try at home – You need this cheesecake and the brown sugar cake. My daughter and I had our own little taste test last night and the cheesecake was topped with edible flowers from Beautiful edibles grow in Newburgh. The floral notes were again complementary – not overpowering and the cheesecake was fresh and delicious. My daughter was a fan. A big fan. She ate it all. The brown sugar cake – yes, please. It was covered in a sweet and salty caramel glaze. Totally unexpected. Total perfection.

Copper House was a beautiful dining experience from top to bottom, front to back. Perfect for weekend brunch, a date, a work lunch, or just because you like good food – not good food!

See the whole menu and more at the copper house.

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A resident of Evansville recently posted a question in the “I grew up in Evansville, Indiana” Facebook group ask other members to share hidden or little-known facts about our city that few locals would know. The responses were varied, covering everything from our manufacturing history to our place in the Civil War, to some popular monuments still standing today that were the first in the entire state of Indiana. No matter how long you’ve lived here, chances are there are things on this list you didn’t know about the city we call home.

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