Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca in Yaletown

by Victoria on December 17, 2009

Victoria at Lupo with OlivesLast night I was trying to decide where to go for dinner and was having some problems getting last minute reservations anywhere. I thought back and realized one of my girlfriend’s had just mentioned that Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca was now open in Yaletown and had recommended I try it out (where Villa del Lupo used to be).  We called them up and then headed on over.

Michael, one of the owners (along with Executive Chef Julio Gonzalez Perini), stopped by and provided a little bit of history of the new restaurant (approx 30 seconds):


Now time to settle in and look at the menu!

We started off with a bottle of one of my favourite BC wines – the Black Hills Nota Bene.  Although I really only felt like having one glass of wine, I couldn’t pass up the chance for some of this, since it is often hard to find. The night was young, and we had to head over to a Black Hills Nota BeneChristmas Party at Pop Opera after dinner anyway.

Since we were really hungry, we ordered quite a few things, starting with the Antipasti dishes of the Winter Caprese Salad and the Wild Mushroom and Grilled Polenta. The description of the salad mentioned oven dried tomato, which actually kind of worried me a bit, but it turned out to only be slightly dried and still completely flavourful!  This, with a few cherry tomatoes and some very delicious Buffalo mozzarella with a pesto sauce and saba (like balsamic vinegar, it’s a syrup made from grape juice).
Winter Caprese Salad
The polenta dish came with a poached egg on the side, and it was soo amazing when I took a bite that had mushrooms and polenta all mixed together with the runny yolk.
Wild Mushroom and Grilled Polenta
For our Primi, we ordered the Ricotta Gnocchi, which is served with braised pork cheeks and porcini mushroom “sugo,” which means “juice” or “sauce” in Italian.  I love it when gnocchi is made from ricotta instead of potato, as it makes each morsel less rich and doughy, and all that more easy for me to eat bite after bite.  You should’ve seen the plate once we were done with it – there wasn’t an ounce of anything left.  The pork was soo tender and basically melted in my mouth – I remember thinking, really, what can get better than this?!
Ricotta Gnocchi
For our Secondi, we shared the Sablefish ‘Aqua Pazza’ and the Braised Beef Short Ribs. The seafood was great – it came with a portion of sablefish, along with a couple of very large and juicy mussels, some clams, a plump prawn, stuffed tender squid and a crostini, all in a tomato and chilli-based sauce.
Sablefish 'Aqua Pazza'
We enjoyed this with a side of Patatas Bravas, or crispy cubed potatoes, that were covered with a spicy vibrant red pepper chipotle. They were so delicious as well, but we had to be careful not to fill up with too many carbs too soon!
Patatas Bravas
Now on to the short ribs – these were absolutely amazing.  The meat was so tender and soft and filled with so much juicy flavour, and they were served on a bed of soft mascarpone polenta, with carrot, zucchini, and a slice of cured prosciutto.
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Again, we finished every last bite of both of our main courses, and almost didn’t order any dessert.  We had a few more sips of wine, and perused the after dinner options and of course, knowing my sweet tooth, we ended up ordering two choices – the Grand Marnier Crème Brûlée (upon our server’s suggestion) and the Frozen Chocolate Tangerine Semifreddo. Both of which were absolutely divine, I might add.
The crème brûlée was such a treat, especially after breaking through the layer of caramelized sugar and finding a variety of fresh fruit underneath in the custard – raspberries and cherries!  This was also served with a chocolate biscotti.
Grand Marnier Creme Brulee
The Semifreddo was like a frozen parfait – it was great because the texture was not very dense, but it was still a cold treat.  I loved the hint of orange flavouring the chocolate, and there was a beautiful crust along the bottom of the dessert. There were also fresh blackberries and raspberries decorating the plate.  The whole combination reminded of us of Christmas and wintertime, having orange flavoured chocolates when growing up.
Frozen Chocolate Tangerine Semifreddo
If you’d like to see more of the inside of the restaurant itself, I’ve also included a video below of a tour of the upstairs part of Lupo, which can be booked out for private events (approx. 2 mins 10 sec):

This place is definitely a hidden gem, and I will be back for more again and again!  A great place for a date, or just an outing with friends for some delicious Italian food in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere.

Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca
869 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, B.C.
604.569.2535

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Lupo on Urbanspoon

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lupo Restaurant December 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Great article Victoria, thank you!
We look forward to seeing you again soon.

The Lupo Family

p.s. it’s Buffalo Mozzarella on the Winter Caprese Salad.

Lupo Restaurant + Vinoteca
869 Hamilton Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 2R7
Reservations ~ 604.569.2535
http://www.luporestaurant.ca

Victoria December 28, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Thanks, Lupo. I’ve updated the post to state the correct cheese :)

Follow Me Foodie January 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

My beef short ribs didn’t look like yours. My post is going up this week, but my au jus was made pretty poorly especially compared to yours. The meat was good though. You need to see my pic.

Victoria January 18, 2010 at 10:22 am

Oh no!! I will definitely take a look at your post once it’s up.

Amy May 12, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I went to Lupo upon your suggestion and it was so amazing. The food was great, service fantastic and just overall a great place for a night out with the girls. Thanks again! (from a Seattle foodie)

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