September 4, 2003
There are several sure things about Lupa, Mario Batali’s wonderfully rustic, Roman Osteria. First, the line to get a table will wind its way down Thompson Street. Second, the heavenly spaghettini with spicy cauliflower ragout (chef-partner Mark Ladner’s signature dish since he opened the place in 1999) will leave you wondering how you ever hated cauliflower. Third, the antipasti board—a massive butcher block piled high with housemade cured meats and sausages—will leave you unable to eat these heavenly pork products anywhere else. I could go on and on about Luupa. There are other sure things like the amazing wine list, the perfect atmosphere, the friendly and smart service, and the hip vibe. Lets put it simply. This is a desert island restaurant. If I had only one to take with me, it'd be this one (and Ladner, he is so dreamy.) Run, don't walk. Lupa, 170 Thompson Street, b/w Bleecker & Houston Sts., 212-982-5089.
REPRINTED FROM THE MOBIL TRAVEL GUIDE