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A revisit to Lupa--Batali/Bastianich's first foray into the restaurant biz a decade ago--shows a menu just as vigorous and inquisitive as it was when this Osteria Romana ("Roman Inn") first opened a decade ago. The head cheese is just as warm and crumbly (always go for the asterisked house-made charcuterie); the composed vegetables dishes still brilliant and served in little alabaster terrines (winter squash with pumpkin seeds our favorite this time around); and the pastas every bit as scintillating, and Rome-appropriate. Italian food doesn't get any better than this in NYC.
Silky as a hundred-dollar blouse, ruddy as a stevedore's face in a high wind, the prosciutto di Parma ($9) swirls around the plate, mocking a pair of dumpy roast figs slouched like cartoon characters in the middle. You've never tasted ham this... More »
Cozy trattoria that's not the fancy you might expect when a celebrity chef is involved - and the prices are totally reasonable. Go during an off-hour or have a seat at the bar in lieu of getting a reservation. The menu is seasonal, but I recommend trying some veggies from the antipasti or sides menu to start, then dig in to some pasta (amatriciana fits with the rustic vibe). Waiters have a competent understanding of the wine list and make tasty suggestions.
We are just back from Rome and where we have essentially ate our way across the city, so going to an Italian restaurant in New York is definitely taking our chances. BTW, there is no bad pasta in Rome, but there is terrible Pizza. Lupa, the she wolf, symbol of Rome, is wonderful bistro, on Thompson Street, nyc, that gets it right. The waiters are extremely knowledgeable, (do you know the difference between Borsci and Lucano digestifs) and are actually helpful, rare in New York. Appetizers are served in soup bowls and are tasty and distinctive. I liked the Winter Squash alla Romana. Pastas are bountiful and have interesting twists; the Bavette Cacio has a bread crumb topping. The major compliant is that the selection is small. The main courses fish or meat are seasoned just so. Sorry, Vegans need not apply. While the wine list is not cheap the variety is amazing and half carafes are available. Desserts are definitely Italian style and even the Tartufo, an ice cream bombe, has a certain savior faire. Italians entertain at restaurants not usually at home and Lupa always has several large groups going at one time. Rather than assign a single waiter to a large table teams of waiters work together and that way everyone gets served together. Warning the front room is noisy and reservations are not only a must, but weekend reservations are hard to get. Dinner for two with an inexpensive wine comes to about $140. for more see www.ditmasestates.com
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