Last Fri. (11/10) I had dinner at Lupa. The reservations were for 9:45, which was late, but didn't bother me since I rarely eat before 10:00 on weekends anyway. The place was packed, as I had expected it to be, but we ended up waiting for over an hour and were seated in the front room (I was under the impression that people with reservations sat in the back) at the same time as walk-ins who'd arrived a good 45 min. after we did.
Since this was my first time dining at Lupa, I was wondering if this was standard or out of the ordinary. When we asked the waiter as to how one goes about getting seated in the back, he said that it had nothing to do with reservations, that it's arbitrary, and tried to convince us that the front room was the more desirable space by saying that "older people" sometimes prefer the back, but that the front was really better. With a bar full of people spilling into the front dining area, I found this hard to believe.
Despite the long wait, I wasn't disappointed by the food. Everything was amazing as I'd hoped it would be. I did the tasting menu and had the citrus-cured sardines, bucatini all'amatriciana, a seafood stew, the oxtail and tartufo for dessert. I thought the sardines and the oxtail were knockouts. I did get a little nervous when the waiter brought out two plates of saltimbocca (one of which my dining partner had ordered). I'm the type who hates to make fusses about wrong orders, but I really wanted that oxtail! I was a little galled when he came back with the veal and made it seem like it would take too much time to cook the oxtail. I'm usually a pushover in these situations, but after waiting until 11:00 to eat, there was no way I was not going to get my oxtail.
Anyway, enough rambling. The food was memorable enough to make me want to go back, but I don't know if it will be any time soon, and definitely not on a weekend.