We had late reservations at Lupa at 10:30(Thanks, JG!). Basically we ended up going right back to where we had spent the entire day, so bad planning on my part. We ordered a tasting menu, which they told me could be tailored to suit our tastes. After much thought and a peek at the menu, I went with NO sardines, organ meats, or broccoli rabe/rape. YES to pig's jowls, homemade pasta and oxtails.
Our starter or amuse bouche were a pair of tiny little prosciutto balls. They were like sausage balls coated with a light crumb - delicious. Next they brought out a giant selection of antipasto. Everthing was superb - beets w pistachio, asparagus with pecorino, Baccala with Potatoes, white beans with tuna, radicchio with lemon and wild mushrooms with. There was also fresh prosciutto and homemade coppa cotto, coppa cruda and sporasetta
If they had just brought out the dessert next, we would have gone home remembering that as one of the best meals of our lives. Unfortunately it was a case of diminishing returns. The asparagus and marscapone cappelleti were lovely and perfect for Spring.
The spaghetti with pig's jowls and spring onion seemed like it was made in consideration of our tastes. However, the jowl was incredibly salty, which would have been enough for the entire dish. But the pasta was also salted, making the dish difficult to enjoy even if the spaghetti had not been underdone. If it was intentional, their pasta is the al dentiest. To be honest, it seemed like right before that dish the good chef went home leaving instructions for a less capable hand.
The rest of the meal was not served in cute little individual portions as the rest of the meal had been. Standard menu items were plopped down on our table for us to split. We were the last seating, so maybe they just wanted us to get the hell out of there. The skate was not similar to calamari as I had expected. It was more like delicate whitefish with the texture of shredded chicken breast. It was nicely coated and pan-fried. The Pork was a bit sweet and actually reminded me of shoulder cooked with Coca Cola. The potatoes were lovely, and we were pretty full by this time anyways.
The cheese course consisted of a goat cheese that we inhaled, a pecorino, and something akin to a sharp white cheddar (again, they don't tell you these things in The City). The stewed apples were a nice accompaniment. But the dessert - the dessert was spectacular! Tartufo!!! Oh my God, delicious chocolate embraced hazelnut ice cream and a chocolatey core. I had to stop after a few bites, but Bob reported a glaceed cherry sat in the center.
We hailed a taxi back to our room, and I'm surprised he didn't add on a freight charge for the two of us.