* Click here for rating key
Zuppa Restaurant Review: Zuppa puts an upscale spin on home-style Italian cooking. Located in the middle of a city block, the space boasts a stylish lounge flanked by comfortable window-view booths and accented by a modern granite bar serving top-shelf martinis and pours of Italian wines. Hardwood floors, warm earth tones, unfinished curios and country kitchen knick-knacks decorate the dining area. The seasonal menu is from chef David DiBari, a former disciple of Mario Batali. DiBari’s pastas are all made daily on the premises. Starters include inventive salads such as a mustard greens/red onion/fagioli mix with ricotta salata shavings, and small plates like skewers of calamari grilled with orange aromatic breadcrumbs. Squid ink pasta with seafood misto in pomodoro sauce and a spinach and egg pasta with mushrooms showcase how simple preparations can yield complex flavors in Italian cuisine. Heartier fare --- think milk-fed veal tenderloin --- will satisfy more carnivorous appetites. For dessert, there’s the “cubo,” an oven-baked chocolate cube with a molten fudge interior served with cappuccino gelato, and on the fruitier side, the “pera,” a saffron poached Bosc pear atop risotto pudding.