Lupa is my friend’s daughter’s boyfriend’s roommate’s favorite Italian restaurant in New York City! Even if you cannot follow all that, I must say I am glad it is because Lupa is actually an amazing restaurant. The aforementioned friend was visiting from Texas and I had not seen her since we both moved from Paris a year ago. Lupa seemed for whatever reason the perfect place for our reunion.

© Caliwa Photography

Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich opened Lupa Osteria Romana in 1999 and it has been on the rise ever since. The restaurant has a pleasant setting especially during warm weather when they open the big windows; it feels like a terrace sheltered from the sun. The warm color of the walls and the brick alcoves behind the bar lend a homey atmosphere to the restaurant.

Homemade olive oil and rosemary bread © Caliwa Photography

Neither of the two owners is a novice in the restaurant industry. Mario Batali and Joe Bastinianich, along with Lidia Bastianich, Joe’s mother, own Eataly in the Flatiron District. Mario Batali is, among other things, the host of a TV show and the author of several cookbooks. Joe Bastianich owns, with other partnerships, thirty restaurants worldwide: in NY, Las Vegas, and Singapore. He is also a judge on Sky’s MasterChef Italy and has received awards for his groundbreaking work in the food and wine sector.

Asparagus with pine nuts and chili © Caliwa Photography

Once my friend and I were comfortably seated we ordered an Aperol Spritz – a cocktail made of Prosecco, Aperol, and soda water – always refreshing, especially when the weather is summery.

Aperol © Caliwa Photography

The server brought homemade olive oil and rosemary bread to dip in the olive oil accompanied with olive oil for dipping – the bread was warm and soft. So far so good!

Beets with pistachio, walnut & ricotta salata © Caliwa Photography

We start looking at the menu and everything sounded so delicious. From the antipasti we ordered asparagus with pine nuts and chili: the asparagus was perfectly grilled.

The beets with pistachio, walnut & ricotta salata, was nicely presented and the combination of all the ingredients was very delicate. The tuna carpaccio with spiced almonds & peppercorn tonnato – tuna sauce – was a smart blend.

Goat cheese & black truffle agnolotti with asparagus © Caliwa Photography

The pasta choices were all so appealing. The goat cheese & black truffle agnolotti with asparagus was a delight. The pork belly tortellini with sorrel pesto had the perfect stuffing. I don’t remember if I preferred the bucatini all’Amaticiana or the rigatoni with sausage & broccoli rabe, but they were both delicious. And need I say that the pasta was cooked to perfection! A glass of Primitivo from Puglia was a great choice to go with our lunch.

Bucatini all’Amaticiana © Caliwa Photography

After this we were too satisfied to order dessert. I shall have to go back to Lupa to try a few of them!

The beautiful images are provided by Caliwa Photography.


Lupa Osteria Romana
170 Thompson St, New York
📞+1 212-982-5089
Average price:
Antipasti: $14
Pasta dishes: $19
Secondi: $28
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