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Copa Wine Bar & Tapas

The tasting plate of cured meats and cheeses

The tasting plate of cured meats and cheeses comes with three sauces. (Sept. 3, 2009) Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

In Spain, tapas are appetizers that go with drinks and make a meal. In Bridgehampton, they jump-start dining out.

Copa, a sharp and stylish wine-and-tapas bar, is the new Hamptons classic, full of small plates and big flavors. The familiar address, which once was host to 95 School Street and Alison by the Beach, now keeps crowds nibbling and imbibing from midday to early morning. The redesign is complete, with a zinc bar centerpiece, dozens of wines by the glass, and enough savory dishes to keep you coming back year-round.

The best

Chef Eddy Phooprasert, a veteran of Wynn Las Vegas, ups the ante here with a new take of traditional tapas. He adds New American accents and eye-catching presentations, plus grilled seafood and meats and two paellas. Enjoy gilded Serrano-ham croquettes and crisp crabmeat purses; and spinach, artichoke and manchego cheese empanadas. He excels with dishes as diverse as Italian-style meatballs with shavings of Parmesan cheese to a Spanish-inspired flatbread with beef short rib, apple-smoked bacon and horseradish cream. The cured-meat tasting, available late-night, too, brings in sweet, nutty and expensive Iberico ham; the firmer, more assertive Serrano; and zesty chorizo, as well as mandatory prosciutto di Parma, and bresaola, or salted and air-dried beef. Pair it with the cheese sampler, starring the mild blue, La Peral, and you're ready for more than one glass of sherry. Copa also prepares tasty salads, including a Serrano and La Peral combo, and a lettuce-liberated Greek. For a huskier production: roasted pork with green-apple compote. Later - sliders, lobster salad. And finish with a sangria-poached pear, crème Catalan, lemon cakes, sorbets.

The rest

Powder-keg "patatas bravas," or spicy potatoes; so-so zucchini croquettes; overdone Spanish omelet.

The bottom line

Just what you want.

Copa Wine Bar & Tapas is located at 95 School St., Bridgehampton, 631-613-6469, copawineandtapas.com

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