This past week I traveled to Vancouver for work. And I immediately began researching where to eat like any good food blogger would do. I had read some good things about Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca, so I made dinner reservations before I even left California.
What I was not anticipating is what an adventure it would be to dine at Lupo. Since Vancouver is a very walkable city, we set off on foot, bundled in our coats and scarves (because 35F is cold for us Californians) and relied on Google maps to lead us to Italian deliciousness. Unfortunately the GPS and us got confused, and after walking in circles in the cold, we gave up on Lupo and ended up at Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House, which was actually quite fortuitous since my grilled cod was delicious and my pear sorbet for dessert was out of this world. Our missed dinner at Lupo was quickly forgotten.
The next day, after a drive out to the countryside to attend the Canadian Motorcycle Show, we were once again faced with the dilemma of what to have for dinner. As we drove back into the city, we suddenly spotted a sign for Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca! It was as if fate was telling us we had to dine there. We quickly found a parking spot and the restaurant was kind enough to accommodate us and seat us at the bar even though we had no reservation.
One of the coolest things about Lupo is the layout – the restaurant is in a converted town home, so you have dining tables on two levels, and the bar is upstairs. It’s a pretty cool concept if you ask me.
For our appetizers we ordered the Bufala Mozzarella and the Asparagus + Parmesan Fonduta. I am NOT an asparagus fan at all so I was a bit skeptical. (Also apologies in advance for the picture quality – I only had my point and shoot on this trip).
The asparagus was excellent. It was cooked perfectly so it still had a bit of crunch to it and wasn’t overly mushy. I’d eat asparagus every day if it was prepared like that.
The Bufala Mozzarella was good and came with fresh tomatoes and olives. This was also quite good, but I generally find that most Bufala Mozzarella dishes at restaurants are pretty good.
I really wanted the Short Rib Brasato for my main course, especially since it came braised in a Chianti reduction. The original dish came with a side of polenta, but Lupo was kind enough to let me swap the polenta for rosemary fingerling potatoes.
This dish was awesome. The meat was tender and flavorful and cooked to perfection. I WILL learn how to make short ribs this year because I could eat them everyday.
We also ordered a Penne Bolognese which was topped with a delicious meat sauce. All of the dishes are made fresh in-house and it shows.
For dessert, it was all about the Grand Mariner Creme Brulee and the homemade Chocolate Hazelnut and Cherry Gelato.
The creme brulee was good but not mind-blowing. The Grand Mariner flavor was almost too overpowering.
On the gelato front, I actually liked the cherry better than the chocolate hazelnut which was surprising. The chocolate hazelnut was almost too rich, and had too much of an orange flavor to it.
If you ever make it up to Vancouver be sure to check out Lupo Restaurant and Vinoteca. The food is delicious (and the menu changes seasonally) and reasonably priced. Just don’t rely on Google maps to get you there.