I suggested Lupino for dinner as we haven't really explored that end of town and my friend Stef had recommended it.
It was busy enough in Lupino and they didn't have a table for us but could seat us at the kitchen bar which we were more than happy about. There were three chefs there - two gentlemen right in front of us and a lady working on desserts, some entrées and pizzas just on the side. It was certainly a busy and frenzied service and watching the professionals get stuck in was impressive.
Our waitress was friendly and efficient. She was speedy and explained the menu well. We decided to share a few entrées before selecting a main course each.
Main courses were a difficult choice especially when we could see all these beautiful dishes being cooked in front of us. The rabbit risotto was so appealing as was the lamb shank and polenta. There was a chicken wrapped in bacon and beautiful crumbed veal with a huge chunk of burrata not to mention golden fish fillets on colourful vegetables... There was a tortellini in broth that looked so fresh, light and zingy and broth is so my thing but in the end I went with the classic spaghettini marinara. I guess I just can't resist that when I see it on a menu. Steve also went classic and couldn't get past the lasagne.
The spaghettini was beautiful. Huge, plump and succulent mussels, clams with a bit of texture, chunks of fish, sweet prawn, garlic and olive oil. It was salty and tasted of the sea and the waitress brought me some fresh chilli oil to add some heat which was an addition I loved. The only problem is I like things quite spicy and by adding oil to a dish already well oiled meant that towards the end of eating I was beginning to feel a bit too oiled!
Steve commented that the lasagne was very good. It had a crispy edge and he enjoyed the braised chunks of beef over mince. The tomato sauce was fresh and tangy and the colour of the melted cheese and grilled top was very appetising.
Desserts looked wonderful but we were truly stuffed so had to bow out. Next time though for sure! Lupino is a really good Italian and now that we've discovered it I think it may become somewhere we revisit. I think the prices are reasonable for the portion size and location.