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Feb 16, 2010 07:58 AM

Anyone been to Lupa recently?

Hi, I am a fan of Babbo and Lupa, (more Babbo always...) for many years. I stopped going to Lupa for a couple of years, however. The last two visits, a couple of years ago, pasta was incredibly salty and the portion was crazy small. It was very disappointing since previous to those two times, I have always loved Lupa, my alternative to Babbo. Since then, I have stuck to Babbo, but since Babbo reservations are so hard to come by and I do actually prefer Lupa's casual ambiance, I am thinking of giving Lupa another shot for dinner and got a reservation. The reservation was surprisingly easy to get, and I am wondering if their quality has really gone down since the last time I visited. Has anyone been there recently? For those of you who have gone there consistently, do you see their quality slipping? I would appreciate your thoughts!

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  1. I ate there in January and had a great experience, but I have always loved Lupa every time I've been. I don't find the portions to be too small or oversalted (although I like salty food!). My experience there has been consistently great over 3 or 4 years.

    1. the salt complaint is a common one for both Lupa and Babbo. I've never felt like I've had anything oversalted at Lupa (including one recent lunch and one recent dinner), but I do like aggressivly seasoned food. As for portion sizes I've also not noticed any real change. I tend to order pasta as a main dish there (after spliiting vegetable and meat sides) and have never left anything but stuffed.

      2 Replies
      1. re: prdct

        Thanks! I have never had a problem at Babbo, saltiness or what not. Nor did I at Lupa before those two times when the food was almost unrecognizable. I hate it when a favorite restaurant loses its steam, and your recent experiences are reassuring. So I think maybe I will give it a shot again. I would love to hear more if anyone has been to Lupa recently! Thanks.

        1. re: kim77

          I went there for dinner with my girlfriend within the past 3 months or so. I don't remember finding anything oversalted, and actually, everything we had was great.

          I'm curious what time you got a reservation for. When I've gotten reservations, they've always been annoyingly early or very late, so I usually don't bother and just show up with a Plan B and Plan C in case the wait is unreasonable.

      2. I have been going regularly for several years, and have never had a bad meal. Once or twice I did get something that was slightly oversalted, but I have not noticed any change recently. It has been a bit easier to get a res in the last year or so, but I think that is due to the economy, not to any change in quality. I've also been happy with portion sizes.

        1. Lupa has always been good whe we've been there. Never a bad meal. I really cannot stand Chef Battali when I see him on TV and such, bit I must say I really like all of his restaurants.
          As for the salt issue...I'm wondering if this is a case of the pendulum swinging back the other way. For so long we have been told to avoide salt and I'm sure a lot of places cut back on it. But salt is an important part of cooking and I feel more and more chefs are adding it back the way it's meant to be used. Maybe this is why you thought the food at Lupa oversalted. Just a shot in the dark.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy

            I ate at Lupa yesterday. The only thing overly salty was the olives. The pasta was perfectly al dente and perfectly seasoned. I would say the portions were on the smaller size i.e. you would need an appetizer.

            1. re: jycnyc

              Had a very nice lunch recently: bucatini all'amatriciana was perfectly sauced, and this in a dish that can be salty. Portion size perfect. Another main of arctic char was tasty, but the portion just this side of small. Service during a full house was proficient, though an upsell push for a starter glass of prosecco before any order was taken grated a bit.

              1. re: jycnyc

                I have never found their pasta portions small, but I never expect to have only one course at Lupa. I always get at least two appetizers to share with my dining partner, and I very seldom dispense with a secondo after my pasta. Then, we share the tartufo for dessert. It's a big meal, usually with some wine, and not cheap, but a pleasant experience and a good value.

                I think it's a fallacy to expect to get full on just a primo piatto at an Italian (as opposed to Italian-American) restaurant.