Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Lupa Osteria Romana


Beachfan
 Share

Recommended Posts

One day I was looking forward to lunch at Tomoe but was disappointed to see they were closed. Walking a few steps further, I chanced upon Lupa. Of course, I had read a lot about the restaurant but had no idea it was so close to Tomoe. I managed to get one of the last tables for two and enjoyed a very satisfying and not that expensive lunch with the g/f. We had Seabass Milanese and the special, Pork Shoulder Braciole. The pork was especially nice. I look forward to going back here frequently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Boy, I hadn't been to Lupa in a number of months since we've kinda adopted 'inoteca and Schiller's as our neighborhood go-tos. But, we went for an early dinner last night, and it may have been better than ever.

For starters we had spinach hot and cold, as well as an oxtail vaccinara croquette. The spinach was simply blanched, served cold and made spicy (hot) with the addition of lots of chili - perfectly seasoned and just right for a hot evening. The croquette, however, was out of this world. Meltingly tender oxtail inside, crisp outside and perfectly fried (something Lupa has always done well) - I could have eaten 3 or 4 of these babies!

We shared a first course of a take on a "caesar" salad which was slightly wilted bitter greens with a barely cooked egg and guanciale - oh yeah, this was great.

For our mains, the mrs. had spaghetti a cacio e pepe and I had the pork braciole - the Sunday night special. No falloff here, as these were perfectly prepared and seasoned.

I know people have had their complaints (especially about the use of salt), and sometimes Lupa gets so crazy busy that the food may suffer, but going at a 6:00 PM on a Sunday it just rocked. However, that said, with 3 carafinas of wine, we did spend over $115 with a tip. I guess that's what makes it sort of a special dinner rather than someplace we can go out to a couple of times a week as we can pretty much eat twice at Schiller's or 'inoteca for the same $$.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What's vaccinara, though?

According to the Dictionary of Italian Food & Drink, "alla vaccinara" means "Butcher Style" - any of a variety of Roman dishes containing oxtails. From vaccinus (relating to a cow). A stew of oxtail braised with tomato, onion, celery, and white wine.

Simply put, delish!! And they're making a croquette of it, no less.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I meant to post two weeks ago but forgot, and all this activity reminded me. We went with two friends and were a group of four at Lupa looking to feast our brains out. We started with the Affetato Misto, the large plank of imported Prosciutto di Parma, and filled with home-made cold cuts. The marinated tongue and the head cheese were absolute standouts (and not overly salty at all). (We supplemented with some additional prosciutto as well.)

Then we moved on to several orders of the "Eggplant and Ricotta Rossa", and "White Beans al Fiasco" crudo. Both were mind-numbingly delicious. The eggplant, which I've had before, may be one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten (unless the beans are).

We followed that with the "Frutti di Mare", the assortment of house-cured fish, and everything was spectacular - the octopus, the sea bass, the Tuna Piccantino - just everything. And they snuck in a dish of the Arbequina olives in some sinful condiment that may actually have stolen the show. It made for quite a debate.

Then for a little intermediate course we split two orders of the Oxtail croquettes, which were absolutely sublime.

And then came the pastas, which we had them split and serve us all half orders - the Spaghetti Alla Carbonara which they took off the menu but agreed to make in keeping with our "feast" motif, the ever magnificent Bucatini All'Amatriciana, and the special of the day, a homemade fettucine with a slow-cooked pork and porcini mushroom ragu - and here the chef outdid himself on a night when each dish shone and outdid each other dish.

Two of our four threw in the towel just before the fettucine (and two - wouldn't you know that I was one of them- went the distance). Nobody knew what was coming because I arrived early and ordered the whole meal. But when I mentioned that a fish and roast pig were coming, they didn't even fall for it.

It was a truly spectacular meal, which we finished with some Apician Spiced Dates and Vanilla Ice Cream.

And oh, yes - some wine was consumed. Endlessly flowing quantities of the very delicious, and ridiculously reasonable Soave (Monte Tondo) from the superb 2004 vintage. We stopped counting after a while.

And the fabulous staff contributed as much to the festiveness of our dinner with their infectious enthusiasm as did the food pouring out of the kitchen - it was an orgy of pleasure, and made a wonderful introduction to Lupa for our friends who had never been there before.

Sadly, there are no photos, a first for us!

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Was in town Monday for a mtg and hit Lupa by myself at lunch. It was simple, delicious and, for NYC, reasonably affordable.

Started with the escarole salad. Perfectly dressed (increasingly unusual in my experience) and a great start to the meal.

Had the bucatini for my First. As reported by others, it was delicious. I could have licked the bowl clean if I was not looking forward to my Second. The guanciale with the sweet onions and tomatoes made for a sauce that had a great depth of flavor that kept me wanting more. Towards the end of the bowl, I was digging for more guanciale bits. This is the beauty of dining alone: No one to look at me as if I'm weird in my hunting of fat.

Had the braised pork shoulder with rose petal glaze for my Second. Ridiculously good. Having spent a number of previous years worshipping NC barbecue, I believe that I've found a match. The natural flavor of the pork, made fork tender by the slow braise, with the sweet & savory glaze. Oh my god it was good.

I rolled away from this spot fat and happy. You are lucky to have this place, all NYCers.

Edited to add: Excellent service at the bar from Kevin.

Edited by dscott (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I'm treating my mom and brothers to a lunch at Lupa later this month. We've never been before, and my two brother are 19 and 26, and not really ones to dress up. Can they get away with wearing jeans and sneakers to lunch?

Believe me, I tied my shoes once, and it was an overrated experience - King Jaffe Joffer, ruler of Zamunda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm treating my mom and brothers to a lunch at Lupa later this month. We've never been before, and my two brother are 19 and 26, and not really ones to dress up.  Can they get away with wearing jeans and sneakers to lunch?

Absolutely! They could wear jeans and sneakers to dinner at Lupa if they wanted.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Has anyone been to Lupa since Mark has "departed" for Del Posto?

Thoughts? Impressions?

Yes - I've been there at least 3 times since Mark Ladner has "departed" for Del Posto. Under Steve Connaughton, the second-in-command who moved up to fill his shoes, Lupa is as great as ever.

I was there in early November '05, when Mark was at the very end of his 'transition' for the Lupa Piedmont White-Truffle Luncheon Event, and I was told that this was the first event completely under Connaughton's control. It was magnificent, and better, even, than the photos show.

Since then, I have been back once in December, and once in January of '06, and I can report that all is great. Connaughton was always down in the cellar making the cured meats for Lupa, and it's pretty clear that he is one of the more talented members of the Batali organization.

Sorry for the belated reply.

Overheard at the Zabar’s prepared food counter in the 1970’s:

Woman (noticing a large bowl of cut fruit): “How much is the fruit salad?”

Counterman: “Three-ninety-eight a pound.”

Woman (incredulous, and loud): “THREE-NINETY EIGHT A POUND ????”

Counterman: “Who’s going to sit and cut fruit all day, lady… YOU?”

Newly updated: my online food photo extravaganza; cook-in/eat-out and photos from the 70's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got back to Lupa last night after a drink at Pegu Club (which was great, btw).

No ressies, so sat at the bar with a friend - had brussels w/pecorino, swiss chard braised with white beans, a 2-meat special app. (pork trenderloin sliced oh-so-thinly and lamb sausage served w/ salsa verde). For main we both had pasta - the tagliatelle with pork ragu and the gnocchi with fennel sausage. The total with 4 (or was it 5) carafinas was $100 - a bargain in this day and age, imo. Everything was super - oh, now I just have to go back more!

So while there I made a reservation for April 1st (at 9:30) and now that I'm looking at my calendar I realize I'm going to see a show that night and can't keep it. Anyone want it before I cancel?

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Went back again Saturday night for a light meal, as it was so good Thursday. Food was outstanding again.

Couple of interesting notes:

1. The whole foh staff was different - I didn't recognize a single person from Thursday night -, not the hostess, bartenders, wait staff, no one. I don't know if this is common (Thursday nighter's don't work Saturdays) or what, but just struck me as strange.

2. The pasta specials as they were announced were about 50% higher than during the week .. I mean they were $24 - $26, and I've never seen pasta that expensive at Lupa. We ordered off the regular menu and the pastas were both about $15.

Conclusion: Perhaps they don't really care all that much about who is working on Saturday night and let's charge whatever the market will bear for a few things, as we''re gonna be packed to the gills no matter what?

Edited by weinoo (log)

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to my recollection - at least no rarer than my Thursday night special, which was tagliatelle with pork bracciole ragu (umm, leftover pork made into a gravy!).

Hello, weinoo. I am afraid you have got your facts wrong. At Lupa, the pasta prices do not change at all from Thurs night to Sat night. And the highest you will pay for a pasta -such as the tagliatelle with pork ragu -is $22. The only exception is if the pasta is made with expensive ingredients (as the previous poster Pan pointed out) such as truffles, etc. On the Saturday night in question, the only truly expensive pasta on the menu was a special: ravioli stuffed with pork stracotto and served with a mushroom butter sauce containing whole fresh chiodini mushrooms (which happen to be very expensive). And that pasta was only $24.

The majority of pastas range between $12-17, which is a damn reasonable price here in New York considering that they are being made with the freshest ingredients and as good as any Italian grandmother. All the fresh pastas are made and shaped by hand. The tagliatelli that you so lovingly refered to as "leftovers" are not. And the tagliatelli are made fresh daily, each noodle painstakingly hand -cut by a human being. Fresh pasta at the end of the night is not served to customers the next day. It is rather sad that such artisanal pasta- making is going unappreciated and that there are people out there who are trying to nickle and dime quality.

"Quant'e' bella la liberta', una coscia qui...una coscia la'."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Theresa, welcome to the eGullet Society and thanks for clarifying things. Don't feel like the efforts put in at Lupa aren't appreciated here. Look through the rest of the thread and feel the love. For that matter, weinoo also praises the quality of his meals ("Food was outstanding again").

Just for the record, though, I wasn't really pointing anything out, just asking whether there had been any unusual or rare ingredients in those special pastas. You've clearly answered that in the affirmative. Can you describe the taste of chiodini mushrooms? (I realize how hard it is to describe tastes, of course.)

Edited by Pan (log)

Michael aka "Pan"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, weinoo.  I am afraid you have got your facts wrong.  At Lupa, the pasta prices do not change at all from Thurs night to Sat night.  And the highest you will pay for a pasta -such as the tagliatelle with pork ragu -is $22.  The only exception is if the pasta is made with expensive ingredients (as the previous poster Pan pointed out) such as truffles, etc.  On the Saturday night in question, the only truly expensive pasta on the menu was a special:  ravioli stuffed with pork stracotto and served with a mushroom butter sauce containing whole fresh chiodini mushrooms (which happen to be very expensive).  And that pasta was only $24. 

The majority of pastas range between $12-17, which is a damn reasonable price here in New York considering that they are being made with the freshest ingredients and as good as any Italian grandmother.  All the fresh pastas are made and shaped by hand.  The tagliatelli that you so lovingly refered to as "leftovers" are not.  And the tagliatelli are made fresh daily, each noodle painstakingly hand -cut by a human being.  Fresh pasta at the end of the night is not served to customers the next day.  It is rather sad that such artisanal pasta- making is going unappreciated and that there are people out there who are trying to nickle and dime quality.

Theresa,

Welcome and thanks for setting the record straight and clearing up my recollection. I've been wrong before and no doubt will be again. Lupa is one of my favorite restaurants in the city, and I have been dining there since the week it opened. I doubt that's gonna change simply because some pastas are approaching the $25 range.

I also understand that different pastas are made fresh daily.

Are all the sauces made fresh daily? With fresh ingredients? Or is there sometimes something that may not have sold out the night before that is "recycled" into a pasta sauce for a special?

Thanks.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Pan and Weinoo!!!

Pan, in answer to your question about chiodini mushrooms, I cannot say for certain because I am seriously allergic to mushrooms. From the aroma, they seem pretty intense. From what people tell me, they have a woodsiness but are not as earthy as porcini or hen of the woods.

In answer to your question, Weinoo, I cannot deny that certain ingredients are transformed into ragu'. As any good cook does, ingredients are never wasted and are put to creative good use. Lupa is a high-volume restaurant so most of the time the issue is whether we have enough rather than having too much. Braised meats are time-consuming to prepare and benefit in flavor from sitting a day-so often times we will prepare extra for the sole purpose of making ragu'.

Thanks for loving our restaurant and please understand that we take a great deal of pride and put our heart into what we do here. Sorry to be so defensive but it's only because I have a great deal of respect for this restaurant and I wouldn't defend it if I didn't.

"Quant'e' bella la liberta', una coscia qui...una coscia la'."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I hadn't been to Lupa in about four years before tonight, largely because it is always so busy-- for tonight's 10 pm reservation, I had to make a reservation exactly 30 days ago. All in all, I'm glad I made the effort to make the reservation, and will try to return again sooner rather than later.

My boyfriend and I arrived on time and were promptly seated for our reservations, which was a nice surprise! We decided to split two apps, the eggplant caponata and the octopus with ceci neri. Both were served at a refrigerated temperature. The eggplant caponata was very good; it tasted just like Otto's eggplant caponata. The octopus was different from octopus I had had before--no hint of rubberiness whatsoever. The octopus itself tasted very much like canned sardines, but in a good way.

I ordered the ricotta gnocchi with fennel and sausage as a main. This was delicious. My boyfriend ordered fettucini, which came in a very light cream sauce with a thinly sliced pork meat (I'm forgetting the name). The fettucini was very al dente--it had a great bite.

I finished dinner with the tartufo--a ball of ice cream in a light hazelnut-coated chocolate, served over a chocolate-hazelnut fudge sauce. Not surprising, but very good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to my recollection - at least no rarer than my Thursday night special, which was tagliatelle with pork bracciole ragu (umm, leftover pork made into a gravy!).

Hello, weinoo. I am afraid you have got your facts wrong. At Lupa, the pasta prices do not change at all from Thurs night to Sat night. And the highest you will pay for a pasta -such as the tagliatelle with pork ragu -is $22. The only exception is if the pasta is made with expensive ingredients (as the previous poster Pan pointed out) such as truffles, etc. On the Saturday night in question, the only truly expensive pasta on the menu was a special: ravioli stuffed with pork stracotto and served with a mushroom butter sauce containing whole fresh chiodini mushrooms (which happen to be very expensive). And that pasta was only $24.

The majority of pastas range between $12-17, which is a damn reasonable price here in New York considering that they are being made with the freshest ingredients and as good as any Italian grandmother. All the fresh pastas are made and shaped by hand. The tagliatelli that you so lovingly refered to as "leftovers" are not. And the tagliatelli are made fresh daily, each noodle painstakingly hand -cut by a human being. Fresh pasta at the end of the night is not served to customers the next day. It is rather sad that such artisanal pasta- making is going unappreciated and that there are people out there who are trying to nickle and dime quality.

my understanding, from reading Batali's cookbook, is that fresh pasta is made once or twice a week, frozen in individual portions in ziplock bags, as this is the only reasonable way to keep half a dozen fresh pastas on the menu at one time..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Theresa,

Thanks for your replies. I am not sure if you can answer this question. I had a braised pork shoulder there 3 months ago.

"Pork Shoulder with Rose Petal Glassato"

The memory of this dish still haunts me. I do not think this is a regular dish. Anyone know how I can get more?

:-) Love Lup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...