(212) 982-5089 | Reserve Onlinewww.luparestaurant.com
Mon - Sun: 12PM - Midnight
Just "like home" – but "with incredible food" – this "informal" Villager is a showcase for Mario Batali's "simple" yet "flavorful" Roman dishes and "terrific wines" dispatched in "rustic" digs by a "good-humored" crew; "reasonable prices" offset the "seating squeeze" and "boisterous" decibels ("lunch is quieter"), and regulars report that "advance reservations" are a must.
Part of Lupa's allure is the boisterous vibe that kicks in when it gets crowded — practically every night since Mario Batali opened this Roman-style Greenwich Village trattoria in 1999. Young professionals pony up to the bar (the wine list includes more than 400 bottles, many priced under $50) while waiting for a table in the casual front room, which is simply decorated with terracotta tile floors and wood tables, the quieter back room with white tablecloths or on the small patio. Executive Chef Mark Ladner, who began his Batali career at Babbo, prepares straightforward and delicious Roman recipes with locally sourced ingredients. House-cured meats, such as coppa cotta (pork shoulder), testa (head cheese), and lingua (tongue), highlight the antipasti menu. Handmade pastas, like sweet potato ravioli or hollow spaghetti in a spicy tomato sauce, are always perfectly al dente. And the veal saltimbocca (veal with prosciutto and sage) is a popular main course. Homemade desserts pair well with the impressive collection of grappa, Sambuca and Italian bitters. When the check comes, the only hard part may be parting from the festive atmosphere — prices are surprisingly affordable for a Batali-backed restaurant. To sample the food without all the commotion, try eating mid-afternoon before the dinner rush takes hold.
1 to Houston St.; C, E to Spring St.; B, D, F, M to Broadway – Lafayette St.
What to tell a cabbie
Take me to Thompson St. between Bleecker St. and Houston St.
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