Lupa and inoteca - Too much of the Same?
I've posted before about my upcoming 2 day trip to Manhattan and since we're only going to be there for 2 lunches and 2 dinners, I'm second guessing my planned choices right and left. We have Sunday night reservations at Lupa about which we are very psyched. I had tentatively planned inoteca for Monday lunch, but now I'm starting to wonder if that's going to be too much of the same. Much of what we are planning to savor at Lupa, i.e. small plates, pastas, quartinos of wine they also have at inoteca.
Should we save inoteca for a different trip or can we carve out two distinctive experiences?
They are very different in style, even if they come from the same philosophical ground, so to speak.
Think of Inoteca as an Italian tapas bar, with excellent wines and very good food. Think of Lupa as an outstanding Italian restaurant.
In style, Inoteca is very informal. Lupa, without being white-glove formal, has a more serious tone and intent.
Save Inoteca. For lunch, go a different direction completely and go to Balthazar, or something similar.
If you are looking forward to small plates and quartinos, but you don't want to go with Italian both days, you might want to consider Casa Mono. You will still enjoy the small plates/tapas and quartinos.
I second the Casa Mono rec. plus, it's a lot easier to get a table there at lunch time. It's Mario Batali's take on Spanish food and they have great Spanish wine too. Hope you enjoy Lupa as well, it is still one of my favorite spots in the city. It's strength lies in it's pastas and affetati...the chocolate hazelnut (tartufo) dessert is always a nice way to end the meal as well...i also like their ricotta with honey which is simply delish!
re: Sean Dell
I don't know why you call Casa Mono a cheapster joint but, I find the stuffs in Inoteca a lot cheaper than Casa Mono which is technically not cheap. If, I were to judge the place based on the type of clientele it attracts specially on the weekend. I can definitely say that Inoteca is the more cheapster place of the two as it attracts the type of crowd that I really don't think spend much of their time nor money for food. I really think the food in Casa Mono is a lot better than Inoteca. Only thing I like in Inoteca actually is there truffled egg toast. It's popular I think more because of it's excellent location right in the middle of the action in the LES...great people watching spot specially during the summer.