To everything, turn, turn, turn. And so we turn to Lupa! First, a recap: As we reported last month, owner Jason Denton’s mighty sword tapped the shoulders of Lupa chef Steve Connaughton, who will head Denton’s as-yet unnamed new venture in Gramercy Park. But Lupa’s loyal (er, cultlike) customers can rest easy in the knowledge that though the maestro is leaving in December, he’ll be replaced by a damn safe bet: Cruz Goler. A ten-year Batali veteran, Goler was the right-hand man of Lupa’s original chef, Mark Ladner, and followed the latter to Del Posto, where Goler was his “go-to guy” in the kitchen. They like to keep it in the family, you see.
Denton tells us that Goler can be counted upon to keep Lupa just the way it’s always been: “We’re happy with Lupa, and Cruz will have the same Roman approach we’ve taken all along.” Phew, exhale. And while we had Denton’s ear, we thought we’d take the opportunity to ask him if the frequently rumored Lupa spinoff was ever going to take place. “I don’t think so,” he said. “We like it just the way it is, where it is.” Fair enough: Lupa certainly isn’t broke, so no need to fix it.