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  • Reservations Recommended

    Restaurant Review ~ Lupo Verde Osteria / 4814 MacArthur Blvd., NW

    The Palisades has recently welcomed the second Lupo restaurant in an iconic DC restaurant organization, the Lahlou Restaurant Group. District foodies surely know that the first Lupo Verde (Green Wolf) opened some years back on 14th Street, NW. It was met with howling success because of its cozy seating and inviting bar area — to say nothing of its delish food. It has dominated its corner location on T Street, but it sibling will be a challenge.

    photo--The InTowner

    photo–The InTowner

    Lupo Verde Osteria encompasses three floors and a patio, located in a former town house on MacArthur Boulevard. As you walk upstairs and enter the second floor dining area, you will be confronted by patrons’ chatter and staff carrying plates to and from the basement kitchen. The seating is ultra-chic and modern, with gleaming wood floors, unique hanging chandeliers, and fancy marble-topped bar area where high stools let patrons talk, drink, and eat.

    If the second-floor seating maxes out, patrons can head up the winding metal/wood staircase to what is a smaller and more private seating section, good for friends and family gatherings. And In warm spring and summer weather, the small, tidy front porch with its high tables and chairs is boxed in by wooden planters and boards enclosing the area.

    But the best seating is at the Alimentaria (rough translation from Spanish: I would feed) — the private party table adjacent to both the open kitchen and the imported food and wine area. Available only a few nights a week and by reservations only as a chef’s table, this setting puts diners right in view of the chefs scurrying around in the kitchen a napkin’s throw away.

    Wherever one sits, exploring the menu reveals some very traditional dishes and some with modern tweaks. Perhaps the most noteworthy, and one that made its entrance at the original Lupo Verde, is the whole fried artichoke served as an antipasto. Another first course must is the fried octopus tentacle topped with shaved fennel and a piece of compressed watermelon.

    Executive chef Matteo Venini, from Lake Como in Italy, oversees the kitchens at both Lupo Verdes, and while this is still new, chances are patrons will be dining there while he cooks feverishly downstairs. His entrée selections encompass expected pasta choices, from ravioli and gnocchi to homemade lobster ravioli. It would be very simple to spend the entire meal and one’s appetite selecting one of each.

    photo--The InTowner

    photo–The InTowner

    But that would skip past the ultimate in meat (dry-aged steak; seared duck breast; or a lamb chop with roasted garlic) and in seafood, with the stunning seared scallops Romanesco. Add to the meats fried fingerling potatoes, and that adds up to culinary heaven.

    Available now is a full-scale bar menu, and coming soon, according to the website, will be a weekend brunch menu.

    Lupo Verde Osteria / Hours: dinner nightly. (202) 506-6683.

     

    Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, editor, and restaurant reviewer. She has authored books on Asian and Mexican cuisines published by Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, and Macmillan. Other credits include restaurant reviews and food articles for national and regional publications, as well as former editor of the Vegetarian Times and former food editor/writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Click here to visit her website.