La Lupa is a Roman-style pizzeria not far from the edge of the Brisbane River, in a pocket of West End that’s come leaps and bounds in the years since the restaurant first opened in 2017.
And while La Lupa is one of the older restaurants in the area, its menu has always been progressive. Owners Valentina Vigni and Andrea Contin have partnered with initiatives such as the Goodfish Project to highlight their commitment to ethically sourced produce, particularly seafood. Elsewhere, they give equal billing to old- and new-school winemakers, with a focus on Italian varietals.
Antipasti, handcut pastas and larger mains round out the first page of the menu, with dishes rotating monthly. To start, you might order a coil of milky burrata, then a simple spaghetti tossed with ‘nduja and mussels. The tiramisu is a must-try dessert.
The second page is dedicated to La Lupa’s signature long-fermented pizzas, which are reason alone to visit. They’re made from organic stone-milled Italian flour and – true to the Roman style – are crisp, light and won’t weigh you down. Red and white bases ferry familiar toppings, from a classic Margherita to pancetta, potato and rosemary.
Aside from a few seats inside flanked by the wine cellar, most of the dining space is al fresco. And if after all this you’re not convinced of the Roman energy here, La Lupa takes its name from the symbol of Rome itself: the female wolf who raised Romulus – the founder of the city and its first king – and his brother Remus in ancient mythology.
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