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Lupo Italian Kitchen

/ Updated on January 29, 2020

The late Matt Haley's Lupo Italian Kitchen (formerly Lupo di Mare) in downtown Rehoboth Beach bears his signature everywhere you look. The uncluttered and open decor sports lots of white space, with well-trained servers and basic ingredients treated to a creative twist. Rehoboth's Lupo Italian Kitchen is reminiscent of his first restaurant, Bluecoast, minus the view of Salt Pond.

Enough chit-chat. Our many meals there have all been very good. When SoDel Concepts purchased Crust & Craft in Midway in early 2019, opening chef Chris Parks was moved to that location, and a new chef was installed at Lupo. We've been back a couple of times since then.

First off, try the Fried Calamari. It's sprinkled with sea salt and served with a warm red sauce. Even at this update, Lupo's calamari is still at the top of the list for best calamari – though it could be edged out over so slightly by the same dish at Bluecoast. When I'm with more than four people, I secretly order two “for the table” (translation: one for them, one for me). I also like the White Bean and Roasted Garlic Dip (kind of a hummus without the chick peas and tahini) and the Prosciutto-wrapped fig with gorgonzola, walnuts and a balsamic syrup (hope that it's in season and on the menu!). Chris does interesting things with balsamic vinegar and in fact uses olive oil from SoDel Concepts' olive groves in Italy.

On one of our many visits, we enjoyed the cleverly constructed Baby Kale Salad with pistachio, radish, radicchio, apple and pecorino cheese topped with a delicious raisin vinaigrette (one of the Foodie's Pick Hits for best salad dressing around). It sports a range of textures that makes every bite a little party in your mouth. Don't forget the various beet salads, either. The same textural carnival applies. And speaking of carnivals, enjoy one in your mouth by ordering the arancini appetizer. Imagine cheesy risotto, very lightly fried to a crispy panko crust. There are no words.

One of my perpetual go-to dishes is the Parms. Lupo has both Veal Parmesan and Chicken Parmesan. Lupo's off-season half-price chicken parm special on Tuesdays is legendary, and it doesn't matter how cold it is outside: There's always a wait. One of the interesting things about Lupo is that they keep their half-price pasta deal going year-round (it's on Wednesdays). Again, it usually a madhouse in there, but always fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed the chicken parm. With the new chef in the kitchen, it still retains a polite crunch despite the generous coating of creamy mozzarella. However I have found it to be overly salty every time. Dining companions have also enjoyed the Grilled Artichoke and the Homemade Mozzarella.

Whatever you do, don't skip the Veal Meatballs. Rich and tender, they're slathered with a light red sauce that's a staple at Lupo Italian Kitchen. Roasted garlic, herbs and olive oil round it all out. While you're at it, the grilled sausage and peppers “starter” (if it's on the menu!) is also bright and flavorful. The Italian sausage is the real thing, with a peppery taste and a firm, non-greasy texture.

The menu has a separate section just for pasta. And no wonder! All the pasta at Lupo is now made on the premises. Our  experience suggests that the stars of the show are the Slow Roasted Pork Bolognese (with spinach, rosemary and orange zest); the Wild Mushroom Linguine (arugula, pancetta, brandy creme), and the Sausage and Pepper Linguine (onions, chiles, rabe, garlic). I'll remind you again: like many other Rehoboth Beach eateries, Lupo Italian Kitchen changes its menu on a regular basis, so some of these delights might not be available.

Another of my favorites is the Seared Jumbo Shrimp, nestled in a cozy bed of wild mushroom risotto with white balsamic butter. Beware: It looks like a small portion, but don't be fooled. It's very filling! Companions have also raved about the fallin'-off-the-bone Lamb Shank (decorated with polenta and braised fennel), and the Scallops (each encrusted with porcini mushrooms, surrounded by raisins and yellow tomato). I've singled these out because I can't get some of my Foodies-in-Waiting to order anything else.

One more thing: If they have the tiramisu on the menu, GET IT! I have never liked tiramisu; either there was too much wine or it was just way to messy. This is the tiramisu to which other tiramisus come to learn how to be tiramisu. You can trust your Foodie on this.

You can't miss the place. It's at 247 Rehoboth Avenue on the first floor of the big, yellow and very friendly Hotel Rehoboth at the corner of Lake Avenue and Rehoboth Avenue. They are open year-round. (302) 226-2240. Click here for the menu at Lupo Italian Kitchen. (D., Bar) Price Range: Expensive -.

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RehobothFoodie.com notes the sad passing of chef, award-winning restaurateur and SoDelConcepts founder Matt Haley, who passed away on August 19th, 2014 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle crash while on a humanitarian trip in the mountains of India. Matt is still sorely missed by many, many people.

Off-season Specials & Hours

Specials & Moods change quickly. Always call a restaurant first.

pp = per person.
BOGO = buy one, get one.
Bloody = bloody mary.
domestics = American-made beers (e.g., Bud).
imports = foreign beers (e.g., Heineken).
Rails = non call-brand alcohol.
Prix Fixe = one set price.
Mains = entrees.
Margs = margaritas.
Chix = chicken.
AYCE = all you can eat.
Lite = Miller Lite
drafts = draught beer.
Early Birds = arrive before a certain time.
Apps = Appetizers.
bottles = beer in a bottle.
à la carte = order off the menu (no prix fixe).
crafts = micro/artisanal brews (e.g., Old Leghumper Lager)

247-C Rehoboth Ave.
(302) 226-2240

Open 5-9
Open 5-9
Open 5-9
Open 5-9
Open 5-9

Open 5-10
Open 5-10
The Rehoboth Foodie

About the Author

"My goal is to promote Rehoboth Beach dining while remaining honest and impartial. I don’t gush unless a place deserves it, and I don’t pull punches, either. With so many good places to eat around here, it just doesn’t make sense to waste the calories — or the money — on anything less." View all articles written by The Rehoboth Foodie

Add Your Comment
  1. Avatar Julian Chrones says:

    On a recent vacation to Rehoboth Beach, my husband and I ate dinner at Lupo di Mare, an Italian restaurant located right underneath our room in our hotel, the beautiful Hotel Rehoboth. While I was initially hesitant to eat there due to my vegan, gluten-free diet, a quick glance at their menu enabled me to make peace with the decision to dine thre, as the restaurant had an extremely vegan and gluten-free friendly menu!

  2. Avatar davebanick@gmail.com says:

    Don’t know if they will still do this, with the revamping of the restaurant, but one of the nice things that many don’t know about Lupo is that you can order a half-sized portion of any of the pasta dishes (for exactly half-price). They don’t advertise this, and I found out about it by word of mouth. In case you’re just not that hungry, you can escape Lupo’s delicious clutches unstuffed.

  3. Avatar Gary and Rose says:

    Food is very good…service is excellent and everyone is very friendly. We have eaten at Lupo several times…steaks, pasta with veal meatballs, pasta with pork, and calamari . All were very good. Happy hour is good and food selections are good. Don’t miss going.

  4. Avatar K.J. Heidebrecht says:

    We dined here on Saturday, Nov. 22, with some excitement. We’d looked at the menu online and were pleased.

    My wife chose the braised pork bolognese. She was quite disappointed. The rigatoni was overcooked, and the bolognese was flavorless.

    I had the frutti de mare. The chef was generous with mussels; not so much with anything else (for example, one scallop, two shrimp, and the only thing resembling lobster was the meat from a very small claw). The linguine was starchy, pasty.

    The chocolate torte, with marscapone and strawberries in syrup, was excellent. Ambience nice — not too loud, but it wasn’t busy. Our server, Jen, on her first night there, was wonderful, the best part of our visit.

  5. Avatar bj sewell says:

    A very good, comfortable restaurant. Ambiance pleasant but not pretentious and good service. Food very good. Salads enough to share for at least two. Veal meatballs and other Italian specialties quite good. Definitely a go-to place for all. Just wish they took a reservation. Never a bad meal there and the prices are reasonable for the beach area.

  6. Avatar barbara says:

    Try to go to one of the Women and Wine events held monthly in the off season. Usually 39 bucks but you get 4 courses and paired wine so not a bad deal. Benefits go to local charity.

    They go over the top with the food
    PS They let guys in too. Saw one there last go around!

  7. Avatar Italian Lover says:

    Food is decent but not outstanding. Italian dishes are mostly basic red sauce type.
    But the noise level in the room is overbearing. They really must bring in a consultant to see what can be done about noice control.
    Also wish they would take reservations.
    Have gone to the restaurant for the past few years but don’t think I’ll return.

  8. Avatar Barbara says:

    Ate there tonight, had the veal meatballs for an aoppetizer. DH had the spinach salad and I had the gnocci for dinner. I highly recommend the gnoccci, waqs delicious with the apples. Drinks werent cheap but the food and service was excellent. Dressy nice place. Will be back

  9. Wes & Sandy Wes & Sandy says:

    Are you sure you were at Lupo de Mare? Your description does not sound anything like our many experiences there. They have their bad and good nights, but we have always gotten good food there.

  10. Avatar DelawareDecyric says:

    I am not sure why this is under Italian food. The food does not seem like italian. The pasta was overcooked, and the lobster was more fishy than I have ever tasted. Whoever reviewed this must be friends with the owner. The pork was fatty, gamey, and the sauce was bitter. Surprisingly the calamari was well prepared and delicious. The service was good, but the dining room was very loud. It was very pricey for the poor quality food. I would not advise eating there. If they halved the price and improved the food, I could possibly try it again. I somehow don’t see that happening.

  11. Avatar Alisa and Bob says:

    as always – love it!

  12. Avatar Priscilla Nemeth says:

    I agree with the Rehoboth Foodie that Red Fin was amazing and I, too, am still sorry it’s gone. But thrilled that Blue Coast opened in its stead. Every one of Matt Haley’s enterprises takes eating (and drinking) to a higher level along that portion of the coast and I am SO glad. I don’t think RF mentioned the shaved brussels sprouts with a tiny dash of white truffle oil mixed in. I don’t know if that’s still on the menu, but it was SO GOOD. Bitter and bright and tasty while succulent at the same time. I also loved that they had a small plate with high-quality nuts mixed with olive oil and herbs. Gosh, that was good with one of their new cocktails. Happy eating, all!

  13. Avatar Alisa and Bob says:

    Love Love Love this place. We eat here every time we visit Rehoboth! The octopus salade and brussel sprouts our always winners. We try a different main course with every visit and so far we have not been disappointed. The wait staff are friendly and service is very good. We had a special last visit – pasta with baby turnips! To die for delicious!

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