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Lupa Osteria Romana


Beachfan
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I continue to be impressed with the value orientation of Mario Battaglia's restaurants.  Today I wnet for a late dinner and had the Civitella Rosso 2000 ($36/bottle, $15 for a mini carafe) from Lazio and a Bricco San Bernardo 1999 ($30 I think).  The first is primarily Merlot, but far more interesting than the California Merlots at that price point.  The latter was a Dolcetto, but with far more structure than most - hard to pick it as a Dolcetto even if you knew it came from Piedmont.

There were many, many, many options in the $30 to $40 range.  Whenever I've followed the staffs recommendation, I've been very pleased.

By the way, the starter was mixed seafood appetizers (nice, not outstanding except for the cuttlefish), carrots with cumin (super) and striped bass (excellent).

If you have other restaurants that you think have a similarly good selection in the $40 and under range, I'd be very interested to hear them.

beachfan

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  • 2 months later...

I'm going to Lupa on this weekend with a party of 8 - they are making a prix fixe menu for us. anything that i should really look out for that's really spectacular if i have a choice in ordering? (i'm sure there will be a few choices per course).

bean (she who deflowers herself with her 1st egullet post -- yo nina!)

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I went to Lupa last year - The salami is awesome. I had gnocci in a tomato sauce, oxtails (2nd only to the ones I make), and a fennel panna cotta for dessert. Had a very good time at Lupa. This was last year late fall - so I am not sure if they still have these on the menu, but am sure you will have a wonderful meal.

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Last time I went (just over a month ago) I had 2 specials that were outstanding: grilled squid dressed with aceto and served at room temp, and beautiful, delicate sausage ravioli with some sort of butter sauce and chive flowers. Unbelievable.

Sometimes When You Are Right, You Can Still Be Wrong. ~De La Vega

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well, well, well. interesting night. some wonderful some so-so. we were a table of 8 and the person who got the reservation made sure that we were in the back room (not the back back private room for 10 but the back room past the bathrooms). thank goodness because it was nuts in the front room and still hard to hear in the back room. the bar was packed and so was the restaurant. we started out with cocktails -- a campari with fresh orange juice which was great and bellini's (i had one -- decided it was worth having something i don't usually go for since i'm a vodka gimlet girl myself) -- perhaps old hat but very good.

food/service: the food was good, some excellent some just very good. the service was very good - the waiter was clear and well spoken and focused but i felt that we rushed through dinner -- we are all wine drinkers and my friend is a wine-seller/buyer and we were through 2 courses before we were through our first bottle. it was a prix fixe tasting menu (unbelievably reasonable at $45 per person). we started with assorted prosciutto and salami - both excellent, anchovies marinated in oil and dill, chick peas (these were fabulous) with onions and a hint of chili, charred raddichio marinated in basalmic vinegar (also fab) and some marinated peppers (i didn't get to them). second course was family style pastas: a mini-penne with a broccolli rabbe pesto and gnocci with a tomato and sausage sauce. both very good though not awe-inspiring. i like al dente pasta but the penne was a bit too al dente for me. then a meat/fish course where we had 3 choices between a duck confit leg, deep fried lamb chops on top of carmelized onions and a sea bass filet on some differently carmelized onions. i had the sea bass and it was very very good. i was impressed because it was properly seasoned and perfectly cooked. it's just me but i would have liked something green besides the penne that evening. rushed because having gotten through the 3rd course, we were instantly asked if we wanted coffee and the waiter was taken aback when we told her we would like another bottle of wine which was brought but so were our desserts. if i were them i would have asked if we would have liked a cheese course or such but they seemed determined to shove us ahead.

desserts were: a tartuffe/bombe -- good but not my thing at all, biscotti (very good), and a panne cotte that was dusted with (i'm pretty sure) cardommon and sitting on some small slices of honeydew - the honeydew being a nod to the season but i thought the honeydew was irrelevant and could have been a dif. choice that would have wowed us...the panne cotte however was fabulous (i love custards). then coffee. all in all a good restaurant but not babbo - yes, i know, it isn't meant to be. but i must say that my husband and i went to bay ridge brooklyn on july 4 to try out a little new morrocan place and had a lovely luch of couscous and tagine and zallouf (sp?) and spent $40 with tip and he called me on his way to work this morning and said: great night but i through the morrocan place was allover a better meal....and i have to say, i agree. don't get me wrong, lupa was good and i'd recommend it with tip it came to about $85 pp.

sorry for the long post.

bean

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bean, thanks for the post. Why apologize for length? Come back and add more if you'd like. :wink:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Hi bean - thanks for posting, and welcome.

A question on Lupa. The $45 sounds like a steal for what you got. Is this standard for Lupa? If that price is standard, maybe the NY eGullet dinner team should add Lupa to the list! I wonder if they cure their own salami?

Will you be posting about the Morrocan place in Bay Ridge? It sounds like an interesting experience, and outside the DUMBO - Cobble Hill places often discussed.

Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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A question on Lupa. The $45 sounds like a steal for what you got. Is this standard for Lupa? If that price is standard, maybe the NY eGullet dinner team should add Lupa to the list!  I wonder if they cure their own salami?

Will you be posting about the Morrocan place in Bay Ridge? It sounds like an interesting experience, and outside the DUMBO - Cobble Hill places often discussed.

hmmm....the wine distributor in our party knew someone there and the reservation for 8 was guaranteed with a credit card and we were told that for more than 6 it had to be the prix fixe. i think you should call and ask. the only thing i didn't like about more than six there was that it was a long table and my husband who sat on the end couldn't hear a thing 1/2way down the table because it's LOUD in there.

is this the right place to post about the morrocan joint in bay ridge? cause i have a lot to say! ;

bean

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is this the right place to post about the morrocan joint in bay ridge? cause i have a lot to say! ;

More or less the right place. I mean this is the right board on the site, but it would be best to start a new thread so your comments will be more likely to be noticed by someone interested in morrocan joint in bay ridge.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I had a quick lunch at Lupa the other day. It was mediocre. Lupa has always been my least favorite of the Batali ventures, but even so the food I had was below expectations. My main course consisted of overcooked (as in dry) pork tenderloin with too much fennel and some onions. I started out with some prosciutto and parmigiano. The prosciutto was nicely presented on a wooden board in suitably thin slices, and it was a fine specimen, but the parsimonious mini-chunk of parmigiano was chalky. I didn't have dessert, but a cute girl at the next table had some dates with mascarpone and those looked good.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm always amazed to see dry and overcooked pork tenderloin. That's one of the simplest cuts of meat to cook properly, yet your experience is not all that unusual. Do diners still have a phobia over pork that is cooked less than medium-well? I certainly hope that this isn't what led to the overcooking. But then, what's worse, an ignorant or inattentive staff?

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I had a quick lunch at Lupa the other day. It was mediocre. Lupa has always been my least favorite of the Batali ventures, but even so the food I had was below expectations. My main course consisted of overcooked (as in dry) pork tenderloin with too much fennel and some onions. I started out with some prosciutto and parmigiano. The prosciutto was nicely presented on a wooden board in suitably thin slices, and it was a fine specimen, but the parsimonious mini-chunk of parmigiano was chalky. I didn't have dessert, but a cute girl at the next table had some dates with mascarpone and those looked good.

Surprising; I really like Lupa. I've been there 3 times; always late in the evening. The fish special is what I usually get and it's been excellent. I also like the gnocchi.

beachfan

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I had supper with our very own Blondie at Lupa a couple of weeks ago. I have to be honest and say I was totally underwhelmed ( not by Blondie by whom I was very definitely whelmed ) by the food. The mortadella(sp?) was very good, but what can you say to that? "well sliced guys"

The pork dish I had was meant to be fatty and gelatinous but was very dry. I remember on of the side dishes being quite good, but for the life of me I can't remember which one, which speaks volumes

The service, whilst a little on the theatrical side was efficient and the waiter did persuade me to a wine a good $20 cheaper than the wine I chose. The wine list seemed excellent, to a non italian wine expert.

S

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  • 3 months later...

A quick overview on our dinner at lupa. There was four of us all cooks. My soon to be wife, my good friend joe is is one of the cooks at the tasting room, and the pastry chef at cafe boloud. We went after the wine tasting so we were feeling preety good by then but were in the mood to sit down and eat. We got to lupa and the place was rockin. I thought to myself is this monday night????????

So we put out names in and were told that the wait was like 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. We said ok and went to that corner bar for a drink while we waited. We came back like 45 minutes later and said it would be another half hour. So while me and joe waited outside and talked about cooking and wine the lady's went to get food rubs across the strete at the massage parlor. Can you belive that!!!!!!

Well anyway we get seated fianally. We sit down and look at the wine menu. We ordered a inexpensive bottle of itallian sauvignon that we thought would be easy to drink since our wine taste buds were overloaded by the 60 wines we just tried earlier. We ordered a tasting plate of the meat and the fish starters. The meat plate consisted of proscuito(sp) de parma, house made head cheese, superseta(sp), fennel sausage, and house made mortadella. The proscuito was very good ofcourse, The head cheese was good but slightly bland. I think it could have had more body to it and sprinkled with some sal grie. But it was preety good anyway. The superseta and fennel sausage were both very good. To finish the mortadella was also very good but again maybe a little sal grie sprinkled on top would have brought it up another level.

The seafood platter was very interesting. It consisisted of smoked bacala, cured tuna, marinated salmon, ink cured octopus, and lemon preserved sardines. The bacala was excellent, and the tuna was even better. The salmon was very good considering i dont like salmon. I enjoyed the octopus alot. I thought it was very interesting. The sardine was good as well but a little strong for me. But hey its a sardine!!!

Joe and jenn both had the gnocci for there entrees. It came with lamb sausage in a light tomato sauce. It tasted great and probably some of the best gnocci i have tried to date. Veronica a dthe hand made orchietta with sweet sausage. Man that was great. The orchietta were incredible and the sausage was salty but sweet. It was a great dish that was being run as a special. I had the chicken liver ravioli with black truffles. Now growing up eating chicken livers im used to that rich taste. So i was expecting an interesting dish to come. I wasn't disapointed. The ravioli were great and it went so well with the truffles and truffle oil in the dish. The richness of the liver was great and the truffle flavor was right on, not to strong but they were there. All in all it was a great meal and i wont hesitate to go back for more.

On a side note be carefull what you order on the menu. They have a index of what everything is on the back. I think some people like the lady next to us didn't know what she ordered. So when a huge pice of roasted fat back came out she wasn't very happy.

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The pork fat would have been enjoyed by anyone of the four of us at my table. We all almost cried when she didn't eat it.

Im glad i can contribute a profetional opinion to the board. I plan on doing so for as long as i can. Wait until i eat at the tasting room the tuesday after next. I have a bad feeling its going to be a long night since like i said one of my closest friends works there. I may have to starve myself for two days.

Very interesting you all talk about cookbooks being right on. Ive found many of the better chefs cookbooks are very acurate. Babbo book is good, ofcourse the french laundry book is exact(I know because i have made many a recipe from it!!!!), If you guys get a chance to read the element of taste by kuntz(sp). That book is preety exact as well. Some of the ingrediants are hard to get sometimes but the recipes are preety good.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had another in a series of very good dinners at Lupa last night, highlighted by the special I ordered- porchetta.

As described by the server, a small organic, nicely killed pig is de-boned, then laid out "flat." The arms and legs are then removed, ground and made into sausage. The sausage is then stuffed back into the pig, which is then roasted and served in slices. Each round slice is sausage, and pieces of the rest of the pig, fat, tenderloin, crispy skin, etc.

Absolutely delicious.

Cheers,

Charles

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porchetta.  

As described by the server, a small organic, nicely killed pig is de-boned,  then laid out "flat."  The arms and legs are then removed, ground and made into sausage.   The sausage is then stuffed back into the pig, which is then roasted and served in slices.  Each round slice is sausage, and pieces of the rest of the pig,  fat, tenderloin, crispy skin, etc.

The pork they get at Lupa is so delicious, and the meat guy there is doing wonderful things with it. What did they serve with the porchetta?

There's a recipe for "pork loin alla porchetta" in Batali's Simple Italian Food that sounds like it simplifies what they did at Lupa -- just stuff a butterflied pork loin with sausage meat made from the ground pork shoulder, herbs, garlic, eggs, fennel.

In Nancy Harmon Jenkins' Flavors of Tuscany, there's a recipe for porchetta made by stuffing fresh pork belly with fennel seeds, rosemary garlic and a little chopped pork liver.

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