The Washington Post
Lupo Verde to open Feb. 20 with pizza, pasta and a cheese shop
By Maura Judkis | February 6, 2014
Update: Lupo Verde sends word that their opening has been pushed back to Feb. 20
One thing that sets Lupo Verde apart from a crowded market of Italian restaurants on 14th Street? It's the only Italian eatery in the neighborhood that has a cheese and charcuterie shop, along with an extensive to-go menu.
When the handsome neighborhood spot opens Feb. 11 Feb. 20, it will highlight the cuisine of southern Italy, with pizza, pasta and grilled meats that can be eaten in the 100-seat restaurant, or brought home as take-out.
Owner Antonio Matarazzo knows that he has competition in Etto, Ghibellina, Posto, and other restaurants in the neighborhood, but he says that Lupo Verde will stand out from the pack. "I believe that we are a more cozy, warm, and intimate place," he said. And he's planning to offer a better value, especially on bottles of wine. "You can find the same bottles of wine [at our competitors], but here, they're thirty percent cheaper."
The drinks: You'll find five beers and four wines on tap, priced no higher than $6. The wine list features 100 bottles, priced from $22 to $350, but most under $100. The cocktail list includes barrel-aged cocktails, including a 27-day aged Negroni. The daily happy hour will begin as soon as the restaurant opens, with $2 off wine and beer on tap, and discounts on pizzas and some appetizers, from 3-7 p.m. each day.
The food: Chef de cuisine Domenico Apollaro's menu features appetizers like squid confit with broccoli, prawns with 'nduja and tortellini soup. Pastas include a cacio e pepe, a carbonara and a bottarga with tuna paste. Pizzas, inspired by Naples and Sicily, will be individual-sized. Most dishes will be under $24. Lupo Verde will be open for dinner at first, but will roll out lunch, brunch and breakfast service, in that order.
The shop: Lupo Verde will open with 25 cheeses, either imported from Italy or from local purveyors, and will eventually increase its stock to 50, alongside 15 types of charcuterie. Sauces and dry pastas will be available for purchase. And if that's too much work, stay tuned for the debut of what Matarazzo is calling the "Lazy Box," a pre-packaged meal, such as lasagna or pasta, for two.
The ambiance: Lupo Verde feels casual, with its exposed brick and chalkboards, but luxe with its marble bar. There are a few two-tops and several tables that seat between six and eight. A small room on the second floor can be curtained off for private dining. And upstairs, all of the tables will be named after Italian movie stars. The primo table is the Sophia Loren, a round table beneath the second-floor cupola. In warmer weather, an outdoor patio will have 30 seats.
Lupo Verde, 1401 T Street, NW. 202-827-4752. Opens Feb. 20.