It was a warm evening in NYC, around 9pm, when we walked around the Greenwich Village searching for a place to eat dinner. After walking away from Minetta Tavern's 45 minute long wait, we headed to Lupa and only had to wait around 15 minutes for a couple seats at the bar. Having dined at Mario Batali's other restaurants (Otto, Del Posto, Tarry Lodge, Babbo, Esca), we were hopeful for a good Italian dinner. And for the most part, Lupa did not disappoint.
With a couple glasses of wine, we started off with a salad of Local Summer Greens, Snap Peas, and Warm Guanciale ($12). The greens were bitter to balance the fatty pork jowl (an Italian smoked bacon). Because there was so much guanciale, it definitely didn't seem like the healthiest salad but my husband couldn't stop eating it. He definitely wished more salads were like this one!
The pasta special ($24) that night was one of the best pasta dishes we've ever eaten! We loved the plump homemade Cavatelli with the housemade pork sausage and cabbage. There was a slight bit of heat from the sausage. This dish was like a warm hug in my belly! (Note - Our pasta dishes were split in two so that it was easier for us to share)
In comparison to the pasta special, the Garganelli with Corn, Zucchini, and Tomato ($17) was just ok. I found it a tad too salty, though we did like the seasonal vegetables in it.
Pork Arista ($25): Our server told us that this would be a very Rustic pork shoulder dish. It's cooked on the bone and was very juicy. Served with greens and radishes, this large slab of meat was another dish my husband thoroughly enjoyed. (Maybe it was the caveman in him!)
Lupa is located at 170 Thompson St (btwn Bleecker and West Houston Sts).