Since John has been slugging away in the bowels of his law firm, I've needed a dinner partner. I mean, even though I CAN eat for two (because I have a large appetite) doesn't mean I should. At least not every day. So I called in reinforcements in the form of the IMOM: The International Man of Mystery to those of you who haven't been paying attention.
The IMOM prefers to stay shrouded in mystery. Can you imagine the paparazzi bombardment that would ensue if he were caught on this blog? Yeah...we'll let those crickets continue to chirp and I will talk about FOOD!
The IMOM and I made our way to Lupa. Can you believe I had never been? True story. Anyway, Lupa is billed as a Roman Trattoria, or "Osteria Romana", therefore the dishes served there are typical of food you would find in Rome. On the back of the menu, there's even a handy glossary of terms to help those unfamiliar with "Carbonara" and "Amatriciana". I liked that.
I also liked the simplicity of presentation of their dishes, which in no way compromised the taste. The IMOM was feeling a bit "hefty" or so he said...so we began light.
I ordered a Mixed Green Salad with shaved Peccorino (typical of the Roman region), and the IMOM selected the Octopus with Farro and Salsa. The salad was light and refreshing with a tangy lemon vinaigrette. The octopus didn't look like much (that's why there isn't a photo here). It was a bunch of chunky single tentacles balanced over salsa on a square dish.
Let me tell you, looks can be deceiving, especially where this octopus is concerned, as it was fabulous. The meat itself was perfectly tender and flavorful - not a hint of that gum-like chewyness that comes with over-cooking. The salsa was light and fresh - somewhere between a light marinara and a salsa, and there were bonus fried chick peas rolling around on the side for a bit of texture. A must order.
Moving on to dinner, the IMOM (who had pushed his extra Octopus off to me, distracting me with a lengthy and meaningful conversation about the benefits of me having my own in-apartment meat slicer) ordered the Spaghetti Pomodoro. I was about to reprimand him for being so dull, but that was before I tasted the pomodoro sauce. The tomatoes delicately enveloped each and every strand of spaghetti so delicately and entirely, you could never imagine them apart. The healthy addition (not too much, but noticeable) of red pepper flakes gave the sauce added heat and impact.
For myself, I was feeling some fish. I selected the Market Fish of the Day, which was a Red Snapper filet dressed with Sunchokes, Grapefruit and Broccoli. The palm-sized filet (kudos for appropriate portion sizing!) was pan fried to give it a nice crust on the top. The veggies loomed over it like blossoming Wisteria, adding some meatier texture (the sunchokes), tangy refreshment (grapefruit), and a bit of earthy greenery (the broccoli).
Now, although the IMOM had sworn not to overdo it at this meal, I couldn't pass up the homemade Dark Chocolate Gelato, and so I forced some on him as well. Smooth, rich, velvety....and complemented by about three after dinner Amaretto's on behalf of the IMOM. I admit to stealing a few sips...
In parting, I will say this:
The Octopus: Get it
An in-home meat slicer: very tempting...consider it.
Pomodoro: Simplicity in a bowl...share it as an app at least!
Market Fish: Perfection in preparation and size.
Dessert: Make the gelato happen.
After dinner drinks: Know your limits.
The Bathrooms: Visit them.
I cruised into my apartment, humming something about a yellow brick road and wondering if I could store my new meat slicer in the bathtub when I wasn't using it.
Overall Eating Experience: Shawshank Redemption
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