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LUPA..less than transcendent..

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LUPA..less than transcendent..

erica | Jul 3, 2006 12:31 AM

I am well aware that I am about to have the collective chowhound wrath fall down upon me as I write this brief report, but if I can't vent here than where can I vent?

Had an early dinner at Lupa last night. With no reservation, we were quickly seated at 5:45 at the shared long table in the front. Let me say here that I really LIKE this place. So homey, with good and knowledgeable staff who are not overbearing or pretentious. I had eaten here only once before and planned to return..we did so last night....liked siting at the front table, most of all to be able to spy what our neighbors were eating....

On the advice of fellow hounds, I began with the beet/pistachio app. Very nice...beets lightly hard, as in a tad undercooked for my taste. Interesting and tasty mix of flavors....something I wll try at home...roasted beets, chopped nuts, a touch of creamy dressing..creme fraiche? Mascarpone??? Anyone know???

Next, the two of us split the ricotta gnocchi and a special of orichiette with peas, onions and prosciutto. Gnocchi nice.....a little heavy; light touch of spicy tomato-based sauce. Nice, but not fabulous...I liked the rendition at Sigolo better... Orichiette: again, good. Home made pasta, a touch undercooked for my taste. I expected bright green green-market peas but these were cooked longer and thus a duller green....again, a very good dish but nothing I will remember next week....

Main course split between us as recommended by our friendly server: Braised pork in rose glassato. Falling off-the-bone-if-there-had been-a bone tender. My partner thought it was "dry." Slight touch of sweetness from the glaze which I loved..wish there had been more of it.... Presented with a few sauteed cucumbers (??)...interesting idea...again..very good; I would be proud if I could replicate it at home...but nothing I will long for (as I tend to do with certain dishes long after I have devoured them) for weeks to come. (Do wish I had some leftovers to make into a sandwich as I write)

One bicchiere of sylvaner from Alto Adige. Recent class in Italian wine prompted me to order this..know nothing about this grape but the region of origin prompted me..... the wine list is impressive.....many, many selections for under $40 bottle. Did not spot any of those over-priced "aia" super Tuscans and for this I have respect...looked like much to explore and enjoy on this front...

Bill: $78. before tip.

I wish there were places like this is my neighborhood. My partner kept repeating: "You were just in Bologna...how can you expect to have anything nearly as good here as you had over there....."
But Lupa is revered by everyone.....did I order wrong......did I expect too much....is Lupa a great neighborhood spot but not a destination place? Or am I truly spoiled by spending some table time in Italy....??....To summarize...we had a good meal but not one that will make me fight for a table in the near future.......I will return, if I am in the area and can snag a bar seat or table asap...

Thanks, all, for hearing me...

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