I had dinner at Lupo Verde with coworkers on 7-24-2017. This has been on my list for a while and I’m so glad to have finally gone! I don’t seem to eat Italian that often and sometimes you just need some pasta in your life. This certainly did the trick and they have so many other wonderful dishes as well!
Atmosphere: 4 out of 5
Food & Drink: 4 out of 5
This two-story restaurant is located on the corner of 14th and T Streets with a great patio. Below is a view from the front door at the main level including the bar.
And here is the second level, which is where we ate.
The decor is very rustic (think rough hewn wood and exposed brick) but in an Edison bulb, highly stylized kind of way that I love.
The food is similarly rustic but by no means simple. The portions are reasonable and let you really enjoy it without feeling like you ate enough for two. That may be obvious but in so many U.S. Italian restaurants the goal seems to be a heaping portion rather than quality ingredients.
Selection from the caseificio and salumeria. Apparently you can also order this to-go and it’s so easy to see why people would. I’m also definitely going to order it again when dining-in. The semi-hard Moringhello cheese had a great rich great flavor. The prosciutto was fantastic and not as sort of fatty tasting as can sometimes be the case. The duck prosciutto too was on point and elsewhere it’s been too fatty/gamey for me. The casalingo hard salami was great and the Toscono was a bit lighter and also delicious.
Polpo alla griglia (grilled baby octopus, n’duja salami, cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, tomato jam). The sauce on this was interesting and more viscous than I expected. It was a bit oily, with both umami and citrus flavors, which combined with the tomato jam sort of overwhelmed the dish a bit. However the char on the outside of the octopus was nice and I loved the crunch of the chick peas!
Tonnarelli cacio & pepe (homemade tonnarelli, cacio di Roma, Pecorino Romano, pepe). Well this was lovely! The pasta was of course perfectly al dente and the warm, cheesy goodness of the sauce was definitely comfort food.
Fusilli campani (homemade fusilli, ragu all’Avellinese, Pecorino Romano, pinenuts). This was probably my favorite dish of the meal. The flavors in the sauce were so straightforward yet well balanced including olive oil, tomato, and maybe wine. Someone else at the table ordered this and I’m definitely getting it next time I go back.
Bomboloni. These were a gift from the chef–thank you! And how can you go wrong with Italian donuts? The dough itself had a great lemon-y flavor and were perched atop a bed of chocolate (Nutella maybe?). In the bowl was something like Chantilly cream and really nice for dipping.
A selfie with Executive Chef Matteo Venini, who is just so nice! I’ve met him a few times but this was my first time having a sit down dinner at Lupo Verde. I had a lovely time: great food, great space, great location. I will definitely be back!