HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Lupa or L'artusi?

Lupa or L'artusi for a "romantic" couples dinner..? Would love to hear comments from people who have been to both recently, or at least this year... Similarities, differences, overall quality of food, service, atmosphere etc...

Thank you in advance!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I like Lupa, but romantic would hardly be a word I would use to describe it.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ann900

      What word would you use, if you had to?

      1. A NY Times critic called entering Lupa at a busy time an experience akin "to trying to squeeze onto the subway at rush hour."

        Have never had that problem at L'artusi.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kathryn

          Is L'artusi a slightly better choice for a couples dinner then? (it doesn't have to be that romantic...)

        2. Love Lupa but not romantic at all. Never been to L'artusi.

          1. The only romance I experienced at Lupa was with my Martini. Great food-romantic it's not!

            1 Reply
            1. I have been to both restaurants and I wouldn't exactly call both restaurants romantic...charming but not exactly romantic. Both have pretty straight forward service and both have pretty ok food but nothing that wowed me. If you are looking for Italian, maybe Mailiano? I personally love the atmosphere and the service there better than Lupa and L'artusi. Locanda Verde is nice too in terms of atmosphere though kinda hippish and young but service wasn't exactly personable.

              9 Replies
              1. re: Monica

                "Locanda Verde is nice too in terms of atmosphere though kinda hippish and young but service wasn't exactly personable."

                When I went, service was less than personable bordering on ice cold. Never went back despite the fact we liked the food. It's amazing how little effort some restaurants put into customer service.
                And speaking of customer service... I agree with your suggestion of Maialino. Excellent food, nice room and like any Danny Meyer restaurant, wonderful service.

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  You'd think, restaurants owners, after looking at Danny Meyer's success, would model after Danny Meyer but alot of them don't seem to understand that service is a big part of restaurant experience. The fact is, everyone wants to be treated like VIP...Danny Meyer is a true businessman as he seems to understand food isn't only thing that makes restaurant successful.

                2. re: Monica

                  I will check mailiano... thanks.

                  1. re: sarasmith

                    I don't find Maialino that romantic. Nice, big, bright, and family friendly.

                    For romantic Italian, I would prefer Scarpetta or maybe Peasant. Heard that Apizz is romantic as well.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      Yes, Peasant downstairs is a great date spot. About as romantic as it gets although it gets crazy loud sometimes.

                      1. re: kathryn

                        The OP later on said:

                        "(it doesn't have to be that romantic...)"

                        1. re: kathryn

                          Given the price points of Lupa and L'Artusi, I'm guessing that Scarpetta might not be quite what the OP had in mind budget-wise. Peasant is also a little more more expensive than those two, though not by as much.

                          I wouldn't really describe either of the OP's initial choices as romantic. Though I admit I've had some impure thoughts regarding Lupa's carbonara.

                          Apizz has a more romantic vibe, but I found the food there a bit one-note. It was good note, mind you, but I remember feeling once that our two pastas had exactly the same sauce on them, just different meats added. It's a great place for antipasti and wine, though - heck, I'd make a meal just out of apps, there.

                          dell'anima and L'Apicio have slightly more romantic ambiance than L'Artusi - at least the lighting is dimmer - and they're in the same restaurant family. Both solid. Worth checking out.

                          1. re: sgordon

                            Never heard of L'apicio, interesting.

                            1. re: Mariess77

                              It's the newest place in the L'Artusi / dell'anima / Anfora empire. Good, food is pretty much equal to dell'anima I'd say. Different crowd, dell'anima tends to be neighborhood folk, L'Apicio more of a sceney on-the-town crowd. Killer polenta at L'Apicio, though.

                    2. Not sure I would call either romantic but I recently had excellent dinners at L'Artusi and L'Apicio. Love that polenta at L'Apicio.

                      1. Got to Mercato instead. The back room is very intimate.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: rifkind81

                          Really? Every time I've been there it's been crowded and noisy. Far from romantic, to me at least.

                          1. re: rifkind81

                            Mercato has a back room? Perhaps its time for me to get off my bar stool and explore a bit

                          2. I get that neither is romantic, which one should I choose then, for a great meal? Thanks hounders!

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: sarasmith

                              Have only been to Lupa, a number of times. We love it.

                              1. re: sarasmith

                                Between the two, Lupa, hands down.

                                  1. re: sarasmith

                                    I haven't been to either, but this thread inspired me to look at the menus of both. Lupa's is by far the more recognizably Italian.

                                    1. re: sarasmith

                                      I just think the food is better. L'Artusi isn't bad, mind you, just like Lupa more. Nothin' more complex than that.

                                1. My now-husband took me to L'artusi last winter for my birthday and I thought it was fantastic - we had a small table upstairs, delicious food, and an amazing bottle of wine, making it pretty romantic in my opinion. I also really enjoyed dell 'anima - we ate at the bar, which is romantic to me, but maybe not to others. Peasant is also very romantic (probably the most out of those three).