Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca serves modern Italian food in a relaxed setting. Offers a pre-event menu from 5pm - 6:15 on event nights with reasonably priced 2 or 3 course options.
What a disappointing evening. We’ve been looking for a good replacement for Il Giardino which was our favorite restaurant that has since closed. Lupo is not it. On the surface when looking at the menu on line the prices seemed to be a bit lower than Il Giardino was but the food is no where near as good and they make up for the somewhat reasonable prices with the over the top wine prices.
There are many different rooms so you are not crowded or too close to the other tables. They had very modern artwork on the walls of the room we were in and it just did not seem to be a good fit with a fine dining Italian restaurant. Another aspect I found rather strange was that in two of the rooms they only had tablecloths on 2 tables. Why bother? Either put tablecloths on all the tables or leave them all uncovered. I didn’t look at the wine list but my husband said that the cheapest white was $48.00 and the cheapest red was $46.00. There were a couple of bottles that were around $50.00 but after that the prices climbed dramatically. We paid $50.00 for a bottle of mediocre red wine not worth $40.00 never mind $50.00.
Our waitress was okay but certainly did not project any warmth. There was a gentleman there who welcomed us at the door, showed us to our seat and checked on us during dinner who was very nice.
To start my husband and I shared the pasta of the day – homemade ravioli stuffed with veal and mascarpone cheese and topped with truffle cream sauce and smoked chorizo sausage. When the waitress told us the daily specials we had to ask her the prices for the items we were interested in. What is the big secret? You should automatically provide pricing when you recite the specials. She told us what the price was for the pasta but did not provide information on whether it was available in a smaller size like all the regular pastas. We had to ask. I hate when I’m expected to be a mind reader when I’m dining out. Some things should just be automatic. There was such a meniscal amount of chorizo in the dish that if I didn’t know it was supposed to be there I would have missed it entirely. 2 bits of chorizo about ¼” in diameter. I kid you not. For entrees my husband had the veal breast with pepper and I had the steelhead trout. They were decent but not very flavourful. The steelhead was supposed to come with cauliflower puree but I think they substituted very tiny bits of cauliflower mixed with other non descript items. It was very lacking in taste and I left most of it on my plate. At a table beside us a gentleman asked for pepper. The waitress went away and came back with a small peppermill that she just plopped on his table. At a supposedly fine dining restaurant! Are you kidding me?
For dessert we shared a Grand Marnier crème brulee. I should have sent it back before she even put it on the table. It came in a 3” ramekin and had less than ½” of crème brulee in the dish. It was accompanied by 1 raspberry and 1 blackberry. It cost $12.00. This is such poor value. We had 3 very small spoonfulls each. That works out to $2.00 a bit. When we commented on the size to our waitress her only comment was – it’s a very rich dessert. We eat out a lot and have never paid that kind of money for such a tiny portion of crème brulee. Our servers attitude did not help. The serving was about the size you would get if it was part of a dessert trio – sampler.
It is unlikely that we would return. There is potential there but overall if I’m paying the kind of prices that are being charged I want good service, really good food and decent size servings
I had never been to the old Villa del Lupo but when I found out that it had been renovated and re-opened as simply "Lupo", I decided to give it a try. The restaurant is set in what looks like a heritage house with a couple dining rooms on the main floor and then a small bar, dining area, private room and washrooms upstairs. Its a unique setting unlike most restaurants in Vancouver and a fantastic place to enjoy some Italian food, one of my favourites.
The waiter recommended a reasonably priced bottle of malbec, can't remember the name but it paired well with all food. We started with the octopus salad which was unbelievably tender. We split a small order of linguine and clams which had a very healthy amount of clams and was simple and tasty. For mains, I had the veal chop and my dining partner had the sable fish. The veal chop was a little pricey but well worth it at $39; I have never had such a juicy and tender chop in my life. Overall, the food was fantastic and rivaled (perhaps bettered) any Italian meal I have had in town.
The entire meal was excellent especially the value which was much better than I expected. They offer their pasta dishes in two sizes which allows you to have a pasta starter and still have room for a main. I will definitely be back when I am craving inventive, modern Italian food which I have a feeling will be often.
food was outstanding! we enjoyed every dish that we ordered. service was top notch. there was always someone near by with a smile eager to answer any questions we had about the food or any other requests we had. the mgr/owner came by to see how the food was. he noticed my b/f putting his jkt on and came over to ask if the temperature was ok...we were sitting by a window and he thought it might have been drafty so adjusted the temperature for us. this impressed us and just his general friendliness which was apparent as he went from table to table. we would def put this restaurant into our rotation for fine dining.
For my DH's birthday dinner we decided to dine at Lupo, as Villa Del Lupo it had been recommended very highly by friends. The dining rooms were rooms of a heritage house that had been refurbished, I like this kind of dining but it can be a bit noisy at times. The service was excellent, only one small serving snafu which was quickly remedied.
NOW for the food -- this is the toughest to quantify. We started with a special beet salad with fresh mozzarella. The mozzarella was OUTSTANDING, maybe the best I've ever had, but I felt it did not go with the beet salad below it at all. In fact, the beets were a bit bitter and swimming in slightly bitter oil, I thought it might be grapeseed oil?
Then came the appetizers, I had a rabbit paparedelle, which again was great, except the paparedelle was a hair underdone, even for al dente. This put a small damper on what would have otherwise been an outsdanding dish. My DH had the pomodoro, which was very good but a bit salty. For the main I was highly recommended the special steak by the server, it was good, but paired with 1) super truffley mushrooms and 2) slow cooked onions with balsamic vinegar. These sides were good, but masked the flavor of the steak, and they didn't taste good with each other. My DH had a good mushroom pasta.
Our dessert was a lucia cake that was soaked with some kind of strong almond flavor syrup. This syrup drowned out any other flavors the cake might have presented, and was way too strong for me. I wished for some whip cream or something to cut the flavor.
Overall, we did have a great night out, we enjoyed our evening, and although things didn't always come together food-wise we enjoyed our meal. Because of the good aspects of the food we would definitely give this place another shot. But the consistent missteps of the chef will cause me to be a bit more wary the next time around...
Went here for dinner last night. The ambiance is still amazing, service is okay (albeit a bit rushed), but the food in general, while still deserving of an honourable mention, lacks flavour. One of the dishes we ordered was the fettucine bolognese (a staple of Italian restaurants and often a sign of the quality of the cooking), which the server described as "amazing, but the fettucine was a tad overcooked and the meat sauce lacked the deep flavours you'd expect in a sauce that's been cooked for hours. The spaghetti nero was a bit bolder tasting but one of the clams we got was fishy. The veal we ordered was cooked nicely but again, lacked taste while the surrounding chanterelles and roasted garlic were quite delicious. The standout was the osso bucco, which was delicious and very reasonably priced. The server did recommend a nice bottle of wine though and prices are good. All in all a great place for a date or a small group gathering, but I miss the old Villa Del Lupo.
We loved Villa Del Lupo and had been many times, but it had taken a bit of a downturn, unfortunately. When Lupo opened, we'd read some good reviews and decided to try it again. Nowhere near what Villa Del Lupo was. We likely won't be back. Service was inadequate. Food was decent but nothing special. It was so loud and crowded in there. It looks like they crammed as many tables in to the small rooms as possible, thereby getting rid of much of the ambiance. We were also made to feel rushed out - that, along with the poor service made for a rather unpleasant dining experience.
I dined here in Oct using Open Table Reservations.
Everyone was super friendly, they explained the menu and the winelist. When the food came - before I even began taking a bite, the aromas alone coming off the plate - just had to be savored. It was a great meal.
Go and have a fun night out.!!!!
Recently visited the "new" LUPO with a mid sized group and was disappointed by the quality of food. My husband and I go out to eat several times a month and like to try out new places to see if they match up. We had been to LUPO when it was VILLA DEL LUPO , which was a wonderful restaurant, and had great expectations. Firstly the waiter went out of his way to mention wines that he thought were well priced and noted a number of times that the restaurant was supposed to be a more affordable version of the old VILLA. We don't generally purchase outrageously expensive bottles of wine but enjoyed a number of lower priced bottles with the 3 courses that we ordered. Appetizers, the ravioli was good, probably the best part of the meal - melt in your mouth .. yummy. We tried the special appetizer and it tasted like pate out of a grocery store package not terrible but defiantly not great. Our mains included the osso bucco which was not tender and accompanied by a risotto resembling macaroni and cheese, and a number of fish dishes- one in which the fish had a mushy texture and another with fish that was much too dry. No one had the pasta so have no comment on this as a main. Dessert was standard and fine but nothing special. In terms of value there are many other places to go which are better priced with much much better food. Thumbs down