Friday, July 24, 2009

Lupa Osteria Romana NYC

Lupa is one of the most popular restaurants in the Greenwich Village serving “Roman trattoria fare”. Behind the restaurant stand four men: Jason Denton, Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich, and Mark Ladner. Lupa serves solid food and is somewhat more casual and less costly than some other Batali restaurants. 

Don’t take me wrong, I have been fortunate enough to eat at Lupa four times as guest of friends within the last few years but I just don’t get the herd of people waiting hours to grab a tiny table and rub elbows with the diners at the next table. Food is good but why go all the hassle that I don’t get.

My last visit to Lupa was on a Tuesday night so the crowds were almost non-existent but we still have to wait about twenty minutes for our table. Because most walk-ins eat at the bar, you really don’t have any place to stand so you have to wait on the sidewalk for you table to be ready which could take longer than expected as in our case. It seemed like the diners before us decided to take their time with their desserts so six of us ended up waiting about forth-five minutes to actually sit down. Manager was nice enough to offer us a rose for our trouble which I did appreciate. 

Menu is somewhat limited to other well know Italian restaurants in the area but still offers a good selection of meat, fish and fowl. We wanted to order bunch of appetizers to share and our own main course. So our selection of starters (about $6 - $10 each) included; Ricotta Gnocchi which was better than I thought but no match for Chef Marco Canaro’s gnocchi served at the Hearth. Besides the gnocchi, we ordered the Prosciutto Di Parma, Escarole, Brussels Sprouts with pecorino, Beets with pistachio, Mixed Olives, Tuna & Cannellini, They were all good choices, maybe some too salty for our taste.

Main course included Pork Saltimbocca, Skate with corn & guanciale, Pollo Alla Diavola (Chicken is quiet spicy so watch out) and Martedi crispy duck "agrodolce"(Special dish for Tuesdays, take a look at the web site for daily specials, one dish per day). For dessert we ordered Black Pepper Panna Cotta & Rhubarb, Various Sorbettos and Lupa Tartufo.

Overall Lupa offers good food at moderate prices but waiting for tables even with reservations and sitting at tiny tables, placed so close to each other makes me want to think twice about going back to this place if I can convince my Lupa cult friends.

Sebastian Saint

LUPA
170 Thompson Street
between Houston St. 
and Bleecker St. 
New York, NY 10012
(212) 982-5089

Website: http://www.luparestaurant.com
OpenTable: http://www.opentable.com/single.aspx?rid=11266&restref=11266

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