Finding a collaborator in the workplace -someone you instinctively understand, share values and seek the same ideals as- is next to impossible in the restaurant industry. Yet that’s just what happened when Julio Gonzalez Perini and Michael Mameli first worked together at Villa Del Lupo, one of Vancouver’s most beloved Italian restaurants. Perini hired Mameli in what would become Mameli’s first fine dining post. There, at Perini’s posh eatery where Holywood came to dine while in Vancouver, he set the standards of excellence and intensity that proved the foundation for Mameli’s continued career.
The menu is rooted in familiar dishes and Italian favourites but has a sense of adventure and extravagance that comes from Perini’s background in fine dining. There are no shortcuts when it comes to the food. In a humble and straightforward manner, Perini uses the best local, seasonal ingredients and creates everything in-house- from hand-rolled breadsticks to freshly ground sausage to pillowy pasta dough. Each distinct element of a recipe is created as if it is the only ingredient being used Despite this attention to detail, you will not see a genealogy of your dish listed on the menu. The food speaks for itself: quality ingredients, prepared well. Take for example the calamari, used in the Spaghetti Nero, which is braised for three hours before joining the ink squid pasta, the stuffed squid and the tomato soffritto. The extra touches are simply part of the package. With a knowing grin Perini says, “These little details are my advertising budget. If I feed my guests well, they come back for more”.
In front of the house, Mameli maintains an inviting dining room where conversation, great food and a hand-selected mix of music reigns supreme. Lupo captures the swank of high end but brings it down to earth in the décor, the menu and the friendly service. It is Mameli’s intention for guests to walk through the door and feel welcome. “It’s simple really -guests expect nice food in a comfortable place. We know what we like and how we want to be treated, so we re-created this for our guests when we built Lupo”. In addition, Mameli brings his passion for the grape to the thoughtfully created wine list, which highlights his preference for Italian and Bc favourites.
Situated between Yaletown and the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district, Lupo mirrors the effervescent community where it’s housed; trendy and new with a little historical charm. Affordably priced, and sourcing the best quality food and wine from BC and Europe, Lupo offers a little something for everyone. Lupo… keeping things decidedly fresh and cool on the edge of Yaletown.