A password will be e-mailed to you.

By Priya Konings

Lupo Verde might mean “green wolf” but there is nothing scary about this Italian restaurant, except maybe the number of people who will fight you for snagging a table. What is all this hoopla for yet another Italian restaurant in DC? Well, the food sleuths at BYT are here to solve the mystery and the answer is shockingly simple: Lupo Verde is really fabulous. Yes, the décor is rustic and charming, the cocktails are divine, and the service is great. But it’s the food that has people filling every nook and cranny of this place.

Your food experience at Lupo Verde should start with cheese, largely because it is the basis of Italian cuisine, but mostly because Lupo Verde has its OWN cheese shop within the restaurant. Not only can you order a cheese plate for your table (and you MUST!) but you can also take cheese to-go, to eat at home. Or, in the car ride home. Or, while you are paying your bill. The cheese shop features about FIFTY (yes, FIFTY) different kinds of cheeses, all of which are either locally sourced or directly imported from Italy. If you are as clueless about Italian cheese as I am, here are some recommendations, straight from owner Antonio Matarazzo: Order the Ubriaccone, which is a sweet, drunken cheese; the Sottocenere, an earthy black truffle-infused cheese, and a creamy buffalo milk cheese called Quadrello. Each one will melt in your mouth, but has a different texture and flavor. The cheese is served on boards made from recycled wine cases, with all kinds of tidbits that make life good like walnuts and honey and raspberries and a basket of housemade focaccia.

Lupo Verde

After the cheeses, get some appetizers to share. They are all delicious, but the best one is the fried artichokes. These little golden nuggets of heaven will take you to a place no man has been before. Some people eat them with a fork and knife, other just grab them with their hands. Either way, just get them in your mouth.

After that you can get pasta, pizza, or one of their main courses, or all three. Their pastas are all made in house, which means they come in very artistic shapes and lengths. Standouts include the cacio e pepe pasta, or cheese and pepper pasta, which is an cheesy bowl of goodness, and the pasta alla norma, which has the never-failing trio of cherry tomatoes, roasted eggplant, and ricotta cheese, all served over thick, earthy maltagliati noodles (which basically means imperfect long noodles.)

Lupo Verde

Pizza is also a wise choice; the RA2 features goat cheese, pistachios, and honey, resulting in a sweet-and-tangy flavor profile, and the A3 has a savory tomato sauce with loads of seasonal veggies to make you feel like you haven’t crossed the line into complete and utter gluttony.

It may seem like your meal cannot bring you any closer to Italy, but there are desserts which you will regret if you do not order. The cocoa semifreddo comes in a coffee cup, filled to the brim, studded with hazelnuts, with a big dollop of nutella at the bottom of the cup. Yes, I said the magic word: Nutella. Just get it. The campari granite is an icy sweet and bitter treat, while the warm chocolate cake is almost to pretty to eat. Except that it tastes even prettier in your mouth.

Lupo Verde

Lupo Verde has three Italian wines on tap which are all good, but with a boutique wine list of over 100 wines you won’t run out of alcohol during your meal. Prices are surprisingly reasonable, which may be contributing to their popularity. Come early or late, or just enjoy some cocktails at the bar while you wait for your table. Either way, not checking out this place is not an option.

Lupo VerdeLupo VerdeLupo VerdeLupo VerdeLupo VerdeLupo Verde

X
X