Meeting my girlfriend for lunch, albeit a late lunch that started at three, she and I sat back and indulged, like truly indulged in the dining experience that is Lupa. Like OTTO, which I recently raved to you all about, Lupa is a masterful restaurant created by the Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich team. Every blogger I know who saw that I was there through Snapchat or my Instagram Stories rapidly started texting me telling me how amazing this restaurant is—they were so right!
When you walk into the unembellished brick walled restaurant and find yourself standing at the hostess’ stand peering back through the archways leading your eye through to the back area, look to your immediate left. There you will find a box shelf filled with several figurines of the Roman wolf (aka. Lupa) with twin baby human brothers Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, sitting beneath and feeding from it—it’s my favorite little detail in the entire restaurant. There is something incredibly warm and homey about these tchotchkes that lingers in my brain even now as I sit here writing this a couple of weeks after the fact. This is where you will be greeted by the kindest hostess there is. From the effortless smile scrawled across her face, to the exuberant general manager, to a humble chef, I quite frankly have seldom had nicer words to say about any restaurant staff.
Then, there’s the food, well, wait, wait, wait, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there’s incredible wine! Sipping glass after glass and refill after refill of Bastianich Wines’ Flor Prosecco, I literally could not find myself in a happier happy place—I truly had the mindset of running out with on of those fleur de lis embellished bottles ‘cause, yeah, it’s that good! Ok, ok, the food. I don’t want to bore you by telling you what to order because after sitting there and eating five full courses, there is not a single dish that I wouldn’t recommend! You seriously cannot order wrong here. That said, two dishes I’d be sad to see you leave without having are the Bavette Cacio e Pepe and the Octopus Alla Piastra with Potatoes & Upland Cress. The pasta dish is a simple one that is executed to perfection, if you haven’t had Cacio e Pepe before, this is a great one to go all the way with. The octopus, oh boy, that octopus is thick, flavorful and cooked to utter perfection. Ugh, I want it again right this minute.
Rolling out at nearly eight o’clock on a Monday night, after over a four-and-a-half hour dining experience, I’m here to tell you to go visit Lupa and enjoy being teleported to a Roman Trattoria here on the streets of New York City.