We had dinner at Lupo for the first time last night (first time since it has been called Lupo) and it was exceptional. We were having trouble deciding between Cioppino's and Lupo and the fact that Cioppino's was closed for the Easter weekend made the decision, which was lucky for us because we loved it.
We shared sparkling water ($5.50), focaccia (5.00), and bruschetta to start (10.00). The focaccia was a freshly baked round topped with tomatoes and zucchini. It was almost like a little pizza and was great value for $. Bruschetta was done 3 ways: white bean (which we didn't have due to my allergy and they kindly doubled one of the other ones for us), garlic rapini topped with 2 prawns, and cheese and roasted red pepper. Both we tried were delicious and the red pepper w/cheese crostini was very rich but good.
For wine, we chose a beautiful barbera for $77 (sorry can't recall the name). Appetizer for my husband was the salumi (16.00), which was a very generous portion of assorted meats and condiments. He really enjoyed it. I ordered the Baby Gem Salad, which was like a tarter version of a Caesar salad with the addition of walnuts. It was a large portion for $9. I also had the special which was offered as a starter or entree size (all of their pastas are offered this way), which was a trio of tortelli filled with shrimp and crab in a red cream sauce which tasted like lobster bisque. This was the highlight of my meal. It was so rich and perfectly flavoured; it rivaled some of Cioppino's better pasta dishes on a great night! At this point we were both stuffed and had no room for dinner:). Which for myself was a full portion of mushroom risotto (21.00) and for my husband was a ricotta gnocchi w/pork cheek (20.00). Both of us were impressed with our mains but we ended up having to take it to go because we were stuffed at this point. We did however order a dessert to share because we didn't want to miss out on anything. The raspberry chocolate torte (9.00), which was like a cool creamy chocolate mousse encased in a thin dark chocolate shell, sprinkled with raspberries. I had room only for a bite and it was delicious. My husband managed to eat the rest even though he was full:). All of our dishes were fresh, delicious, and uncomplicated.
The service was impeccable. Although the restaurant is a bit more casual than it was when we last dined there (6 years ago when it was Villa Del Lupo), the service was professional, friendly, and reminded me of the type of attention and service you receive when you are dining at Le Crocodile. There is also very good value here as I enjoyed it just as much if not more than Cioppino's and the price points were excellent for the food quality received. In short, my husband and I enjoyed our experience at Lupo very much and the next time we are in the mood for Italian we will definitely be back. I would highly recommend for any type of occasion as you could dine here in jeans casually with friends or dress up for a date/night on the town.
Villa Del Lupo Restaurant Ltd
869 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2R7, CA
Le Crocodile Restaurant
909 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC V6Z2N2, CA