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First timer at Lupa -- What to order?

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I have never tried any of Batali's restaurants and am having lunch at Lupa tomorrow. What are your recommendations for some don't-miss dishes? I'm not picky and will try anything.

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  1. i'm a big fan of going with the basics there. for a party of 2, i generally share (they'll split an order of pasta into 2 separate bowls for you to make sharing easy): orechiette with sausage, spaghetti con pomodoro (sounds boring, but a testament to how great the food is that this dish is incredibly tasty), and a starter... usually the tuna w/ canneloni.

    1. the stand-outs from our last meal there were the house-cured meat sampler and the gnocchi with ground sausage and fennel. we also had several of the vegetable antipasti and contorni, which were excellent as usual. i don't think that you can go wrong with any of those, although i'm partial to anything involving escarole, brussel sprouts, or beets. and while i'm not a big dessert person, i think that the tartufo is a must-have.

      1. I know it sounds boring but the spaghetti con pomodoro is really good. Also, they have a kind of fruit de mer platter with lots of different cured/marinated fish that's good to share as an app. If I remember correctly they have a great prok shoulder.

        1. let me say up front that i have a heavy bias towards pastas at *all* batali places!

          the ricotta gnocchi with fennel sausage ragu and anything cacio e pepe (pecorino + black pepper) are my favorite pastas at lupa. i also enjoy the bucatini alla amatriciana, although it seems like they serve it at every batali restaurant.

          i agree with lukebdonnelly79 on the pork shoulder, although i prefer it there as an entree--i had it once in a pasta and it wasn't nearly as good.

          also, if you don't feel like having a glass of wine, try a bellini!

          1. I guess a lot of us have the same favorite dishes! I, too, recommend the ricotta gnocchi, cacio e pepe and the pork shoulder. And they'll usually have the orechiette w/ sausage as a special - if they do, get it! It is flavorful and rich and so delicious! They don't have it on the current menu, but I also love their Fettucine alla Papalina - I personally like it better than their Vermicelli Carbonara (for future reference).

            The bucatini alla amatriciana is delicious as well, but I would save that for a subsequent trip.

            The only dish that I didn't care for was the Saltimbocca. I thought it was dry and too salty - wasn't interesting enough for me.

            And end with the Tartufo - it sounds ordinary, but it is amazing. Plus, they have a great selection of Amaros for after dinner.

            I love this place, can you tell? :)

            1. How was your lunch? We are going for dinner a week from Monday, and I am really curious to see what it's like. Tried searching this board for Lupa suggestions and only found older reviews, mostly unfavorable, so it's good to see this one with all of the delicious sounding suggestions.
              We had a choice of 4:30pm or 9:45pm! We went for the latter but I'm kind of hoping if we show up at 9pm, they'll be able to accommodate us earlier...or we'll sit at the bar and salivate over the menu.

              1 Reply
              1. re: rabaja

                Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions! My husband and I ordered the spaghetti con pomodoro and the gnocchi with sausage for our first course and absolutely loved both. Like people said, the spaghetti is a simple dish but it was perfectly al dente and the sauce was excellent. The gnocchi was also amazing and among the best I've had -- soft, pillowy, flavorful and very satisfying without being too heavy.

                For our second course, we had the pork shoulder and whole roasted fish special (I forget what kind of fish it was) but weren't too impressed. The pork was melt-in-your mouth tender, but I wasn't wowed with the flavor and didn't think the sweet fig sauce was a good accompaniment. The fish wasn't all that interesting, either, but we both liked the roasted cauliflower side dish.

                The ambiance is charming, and everyone from the hostess and coat check girl to our waiter and bus boy were friendly and attentive. I would definitely go back, but only for the pastas.