An up-and-coming chef with a resume spanning 25 years of experience across Italy and the U.S. joined the Lupo Verde team in September. Growing up in Rome, and most recently opening Italian restaurants in Virginia Beach and Arlington, Virginia, Chef Marco De Rossi specializes in pasta, breads and cheeses and now brings his vast experience to the popular 14th street Italian restaurant.
He jumped headfirst into revamping the fall and winter menus at the restaurant, with a focus on homemade pastas, local vegetables, meats cured in-house and specialty ingredients imported from Italy.
On why he joined the Lupo Verde team, De Rossi says, “The team gives me all the tools to do my job well, so I’m really excited to be here.”
De Rossi strives to bring Italian and Mediterranean dishes to the forefront through innovative combinations with traditional and modern flavors and ingredients. And the menu authentically reflects De Rossi’s mission: a selection of antipasti ranges from “tuna stotatto,” seared tuna loin with an avocado and cherry tomato salad and a dash of Calabrian chili oil, to avocado bruschettone — a twist on the popular avocado toast with the Italian classic combination of prosciutto and pears. The secondi selection also features many Italian staples like veal chops, rack of lamb, a whole branzino, braised short rib and more.
But the clear star of the show is their house-made pasta selection, which is extensive and showcases a mélange of pastas. Whether you want a hearty tagliatelle with wild boar ragu, a butternut squash ravioli with brown butter or a cacio e pepe — you’ll find various traditional flavors and pasta dishes on the menu. Due to its popularity and significance, De Rossi makes a point for the pasta to be made fresh daily with one of their cooks dedicated to making just pasta.
De Rossi’s passion for pasta runs deep and far. He first began experimenting in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant back in Rome, which specialized in homemade pasta and bread.
“Pasta has always been a focal point, and I have so many memories of cooking fresh pasta with my family.”
Surprisingly though, the starchy decadent dish on the current menu which captures De Rossi’s heart is not pasta.
“The risotto is one of my favorites,” De Rossi admits. “We have herbs pureed and infused with the risotto, and separately we add the seafood and tomato sauce (rosemary, thyme, basil) to puree and combine [it] with risotto. Separately we add the seafood with the tomato sauce. This way, the flavors are complementary but not mixed.”
With his new role at Lupo Verde, De Rossi says he hopes to continue to introduce new menu items featuring a blend of traditional and modern dishes, with inspiration from his childhood memories. Eventually, he hopes to create a seasonally rotating menu while keeping some of the standards that have kept Lupo Verde a go-to for Italian cuisine.
Dinner is served seven days a week, 5-11 p.m. Lunch is served Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-3.p.m. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.