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Lupo Verde’s new chef, Matteo Venini, has been part of the D.C. dining scene for quite some time, with two years as Tosca’s Executive Chef and eight years at Posto in Logan Circle. I may be biased because I love Italian food and I love Lupo Verde, but I will say his new menu at Lupo Verde, complete with seasonal influences, is pretty damn awesome. Venini is planning on keep some of the popular dishes from the old menu, changing up a few to add his own personal touch, and adding several new dishes that he has created. One of the favorites which will stay is the crispy fried artichokes, which never get old. The artichokes are so crispy and perfect I could eat a whole bowl. The burrata on the menu is specially created by Venini, where the luscious cheese is served with gently cooked tomatoes, hunks of breads, and sweet onions.

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The pastas at Lupo Verde have always been the highlight and they continue to be the pinnacle of dining at Lupo Verde. Venini is introducing butternut squash and ricotta ravioli, soaked in a heady brown butter sauce and topped with whole fried sage leaves. It will warm you from the inside out. The cacio e pepe, my favorite dish at Lupo Verde, will stay on the menu; its a beautiful, cheesy bowl of heaven. Other new pastas are soon to follow and salads and pizzas will change with the seasons.

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Desserts are also new, including a silky chocolate amaretto custard served with warm roasted pears, dollops of Italian meringue, and a crunchy amaretto cookie. A warm, gooey, made to order crumble embraces the best of the season with pears and salty caramel gelato.

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Wine and/or cocktails are essential, as is good company. The food is too good to waste on anything else.

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