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Lupa-A Bad Time

Wow It was a stunner. Rude staff and horrible crowd. Foood extremely mediocre ie. gnocci and particularly the dry chicken. Anybody know what is good there? Is it possible the place is all hype?

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  1. Thank God....finally someone says the same thing!!! I was beginning to think that I was the only one on earth to have had a bad experience there. I am not anti-Batali because I love Casa mono and Otto, but Lupa misses the spot absolutely. The wine was almost boiling hot. Nowadays, high end restaurants should have wine cellars to serve the wine at the right temperature.

    The service and the food were mediocre at best. We had the veal saltimbacco and we did not like it.

    There are restaurants sometimes where everyone goes and you wonder why and this is one of those places. It is well located and promoted by Batali as the poor man's Babbo. I have never been to Babbo, but I hope that it is better than Lupa!

    2 Replies
    1. re: cricri7

      I've only been to Lupa a couple of times - and only for lunch - but I've also had a good if not great experience there. Good food - can't remember what right now, friendly service, etc.

      Edit: Not saying, obviously, that others haven't had a bad experience - just that mine as not been bad.

      1. re: cricri7

        Too funny. We posted in another thread that we went there for the first time this past February, and that we would never walk through that door again! The food was very mediocre and the staff was more than rude. We have tried Batali's food there and other places and it is always very mediocre. Go to Da Enzo Ristorante for good sicilian and great gelato.

      2. i posted about the rude reception there a couple months ago...i've always enjoyed the food though, but i've scratched it off my list because of the attitude...

        1. The time I went, I too was unimpressed...and I am a huge Babbo fan. We were seated at a table in the front room, by the bar. Every time a waitstaff person passed my friend's chair they knocked into it, so it was constant all night. The service was "distant". I ordered pasta and was very unimpressed. Based on our total experience it made me never want to go back.

          1. And how everyone just loooooooooooooves Babbo is beyond me. I went there a few years ago for my anniversary. The bar was JAM packed and people were pushing their way through the entrance. Is that "fun" for people? One of the best restaurants in the city shouldn't feel like walking into a cattle holding pen. It was awful. We were seated at a lovely table upstairs ... but the food ... eh .... whatever. We did a wine pairing and had all the usual suspects (veal cheek ravioli) ... all fine but nothing spectacular. But the worst part: waking up hours later, dying of thirst from the overly generous amount of SALT in the dishes. Yuck. That experience alone made me never want to go to another Batali venture ever again. Luckily, I managed to have a good time at Bar Jamon (despite their initial cold greeting). Anyway ... don't get me started!

            3 Replies
            1. re: SnowWhite

              The lamb chops at Lupa were so salty, they were not edible.

              1. re: MIKELOCK34

                ALL of Batali's places at this point are pretty much a joke and a rip-off.
                I have eaten at all of them over the past 18 months at least twice and the only one worth
                its salt is Mono and the prices there are crazy for what you get.

                1. re: scars

                  ive been saying that babbo is by far the most overrated, generally loved chowhound restaurant. otto is just plain terrible and lupa isnt much better.

                  bring me crispo...bring me 'ino...thats good eats.

            2. I must strongly disagree. The two times I went to Lupa, I was blown away by excellent food and some of the best service I've every had. I would easily categorize Lupa as one of my favorite restaurants in NYC. With that said, every place has off nights, but I firmly believe that the criticisms of Lupa are the exception and not the rule - unless things have changed for the worse recently.

              1. I was somewhat unimpressed by the food, and the pork shoulder was rather visually unappealing (see photo). I described it on Word of Mouth as looking like a lump of shit on a plate.


                2 Replies
                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  Don't give Mario any ideas. He already has people spending a fortune and suffering crowding and jostling for mediocre, organ heavy menu dinners. Is excrescence cuisine that far away?

                  1. re: sing me a bar

                    I've never had a horrible meal there, and resist the appeal of the organ meat obsession, but have nopticed an increasingly slapdash quality to the dishes--too much salt, frequently, or sloppily plated. Wines always well served (and priced), service usually enthusiastic if sometimes too casual. What keeps us away at key times is the crush and the unbearable noise levels. Unless it's an off hour and day, nope.

                2. Sounds like you got unlucky with the food. Did you by any chance eat at the bar? I've had bad service there...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                    After spending several years on review sites for all kinds of stuff one becomes cognizant of which posts to ignore and for what probable reasons.

                    That said, there is one post in this thread I find to be sincere.

                    While I'm at it, Lupa is an outstanding restaurant. My wife and I eat there about every month or so and if you aren't being treated well it might be because it's not the place for you.

                    In closing, how is it not offensive to assign the owner an Italian accent like that?

                  2. the hostess has become a bit too cunty for my likes, bring back any of the first two or three that were there.. the food is pretty consistent, it's been pretty much the same kitchen throughout the life of this place. Pastas are solid, meats are salty. Antipasti and verduri are the way to go here, along with primi and dolci.

                    Someone mentioned that they had the saltimbuca but they fail to mention the rest of their meal, i'm curious what they had..

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jesse

                      When I went there I had the saltimbanco and we also had appetizers. I had the squid in its ink and it definitely was not for me. I eat squid often, so it is not because I do not eat seafood, but I could not stomach the ink part. My friend had taken something like prosciutto, I don' remember exactly, and he offered to trade with me. I liked the appetizer, but it is not too difficult to serve meats like prosciutto as appetizers!
                      I mentionned the wine because you do not serve red wine boiling hot which it was.

                      I always said that I should give it a try again, but I would stick with pastas!

                    2. I love, love Lupa, but we always make a reservation and sit in the back room. Our experiences have always been stellar -- excellent service and exemplary food. Agree with Jesse -- after lots of trial and error and ordering lots of different items on the menu, our favorite dishes are antipasti, pastas, verduri and desserts. Wine, too, has always been exceptional. Younghood, so sorry that you had a bad experience there.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Cuoca

                        I was there for the first time friday night with my wife and completely enjoyed it - great food and excellent service. My wife and i split the baccala and beet salad appetizers which were delicious and for dinner, my wife had sea bass which was sublime and my skirt steak was great. Fun atmosphere, helpful waiter, a great night.

                      2. Right on! Ditto my experience there with 3 friends. Uppity, bitchy maitre 'd wouldn't seat us because a friend was late though on the way, even after we said we could start ordering appetizers. The food? Laughably mediocre. The place was crammed & noisy as hell too. Seems that all these Batali restaurants are all hype.

                        1. i used to love lupa. a wonderful, casual night out with some interesting wine. but right around the time wade left, things started going to a bad place. the food tanked, the wine service got spotty, and the crowd, well better not to touch on that unfortunate turn of events.
                          as for babbo, in the early days there were some good moments, but in my opinion that was always an over rated place that frankly had little to do with italian cooking.
                          nyc is a town filled with good restos at all price points. lupa and babbo are not two of them.