So the topic is - Why is Osteria Lupa my favorite restaurant? Easy...it is consistent and delicious.
Let's back up. I was working on a movie called Things We Lost in the Fire in early 2007. We did the last three months of post production in New York City (January to March - damn cold it was). I was able to rent a cute little apartment in Soho. It was a great neighborhood to hang in, and if it wasn't for the cold, I might have been converted to being a New Yorker. But Los Angeles rules on weather, so there ya go.
But the best part of my apartment is that it was walking distance from Osteria Lupa - a small little Roman Italian joint owned by Mario Batali and under the direction of chef Mark Ladner (a true artist). My first meal there was a Saturday night...it was packed, but I was able to get a seat at the beautiful bar. I was glad I did, because that bar became my spot (I wish more restaurants had eat-in bars...makes being a single party a lot more relaxing). My first meal was an amazing one - the special Lamb Chops Scottadito (truly heaven on a plate) and a parsnip custard that was out of this world (their menu changes seasonally).
I was hooked. I literally went to Lupa one to two times a week in those three months. And because of that, I got to try many dishes on the menu: Crispy Duck, Lupa Rabbit Sausage, all their pastas, sardines, wonderful vegetable sides (they specialize in small plates that you can share). And the most amazing thing is that I never had a bad meal. All those times and it was always top notch. I took my brother, Adam, to Lupa and I think he just about died (he is not a fan of lamb, yet said the bite he had of my Scottadito made him a convert).
There are favorite restaurants of mine all over that have once in a while given me a mediocre meal. Not Lupa...and that is why it is my favorite. That and they are just plain nice at this joint. Within a couple of weeks they entered me as a "regular" in their computer system. I would walk in and they would say, "Hey, Justin. We'll get you a seat in a bit." You just cannot beat that type of personal touch.
So, when in Manhattan, run don't walk to Osteria Lupa. Your taste buds will be very happy with you indeed.
Five Smacks...every single time!!!!!
170 Thompson St.
New York, NY 10012