Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Lupo's Italian Steakhouse - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Lupo's Italian Steakhouse, plus scores as of 7/21/11

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DYERSBURG, TN -

(WMC-TV) - THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP:  Lupo's Italian Steakhouse, 2320 Amanda Ave., Dyersburg, TN, 731-287-0088, http://luposrestaurant.com/

Dr. Tony Bacigalupo is the "Lupo" in Lupo's. His practice is right next door.

Four years ago, the third-generation Genoan Italian sought two investors to launch something this town's drive-thru's, fast food joints and diners have never seen:  a 300-seat luxury restaurant with a brick oven bar that'll satisfy the stingiest critic's cravings for pasta, pizza and steaks.

Four years later, Lupo's Italian Steakhouse nails it!

"I love the atmosphere," said customer Lynn Fritchey, who said Lupo's is comparable to restaurants she enjoyed while living in San Diego and Minneapolis. "In fact, my brother is from New York, and he always likes to come to Lupo's when he's in town."

Bacigalupo said old country Tuscan cuisine with authentic, imported ingredients is "in his blood." He craved to bring to Dyer County what his parents and grandparents brought to their dinner tables.

"We're trying to make something this whole area can be proud of," he said. "We're trying to get them to have an unique and wonderful dining experience without having to drive 80 to 100 miles."

He hired young and innovative staff, including Executive Chef John Lindamood and Pastry Chef Marcie Sierra. Both trained at the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, FL. Sierra worked the kitchen in Robert Redford's Sundance Zoom Restaurant in Park City, UT.

Lunch features excellent Italian sandwiches and salads. Dinner shows off Lindamood's skills with pastas, seafood and hand-carved steaks, especially the Porcini Rib Eye.

"Their steaks are outstanding, but there is such a variety, you can just about come here every night of the week and eat something different," said customer Debbie Bradshaw-Hart.

Lupo's is fancy, but family-friendly. Lindamood's staff encourages kids to sit at the brick oven bar and watch as the cooks fire-bake pizzas. The little ones may even find themselves with rolling pins, kneading their own piles of dough.

The full bar offers nice happy hour specials and patio seating. I'll be the guy sitting with his smoking hot wife, drinking a nice Malbec and eating Lindamood's Wild Mushroom Ravioli.

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  Wild Mushroom Ravioli, Porcini Rib Eye, Turkey Panini, White Pizza (Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Olive Oil), Filet Alla Griglia, Lobster Bisque, Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia, House Chocolate Tiramisu.

OTHER SCORES OF INTEREST:

Subway, 7850 Poplar Ave., Germantown, TN, 98 on July 20. 

Krystal, 3675 Lamar Ave., Southeast Memphis, 97 on July 19. 

Yogurt Mountain, 5865 Poplar Ave., I-240/Poplar Loop/East Memphis, 97 on July 19. 

Humdingers, 6300 Poplar Ave., East Memphis, 95 on July 18. 

Don Don's Hot Wings & Soul Food, 782 Washington Ave., Medical District/Le Bonheur, 94 on July 13. 

Jack Pirtle's Fried Chicken, 1798 Winchester Rd., Whitehaven, 94 on July 20. 

Green Beetle, 325 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 94 on July 21. 

Wendy's, 3196 Austin Peay Hwy, Raleigh/N. Memphis, 94 on July 18. 

B.J. Buffalo Style Wings & Things, 7825 Winchester Rd., Hacks Cross/Winchester Corridor/SE Memphis, 93 on July 21. 

Chao Praya Restaurant, 3588 Ridgeway Rd., Hickory Hill, 93 on July 19. 

Popeye's, 2235 Lamar Ave., Bethel Grove/E. Memphis, 93 on July 18. 

Taco Bell, 826 S. Third St., South Memphis, 92 on July 18. 

Moe's Southwest Grill, 6300 Poplar Ave., East Memphis, 91 on July 18. 

Lenny's Sub Shop, 6300 Poplar Ave., East Memphis, 90 on July 18. 

Yum's Sandwich Shop, 2265 Park Ave., Bethel Grove/E. Memphis, 90 on July 18. 

Burger King, 1027 Union Ave., Medical District, 89 on July 20. 

El Gallo Giro, 3991 Lamar Ave., Southeast Memphis, 89 on July 19. 

Salsa Mexican Restaurant, 6150 Poplar Ave., Regalia Shopping Center/E. Memphis (Scorecard Top 5 Cinco De Mayo!), 88 on July 19. 

Goodie Subs Restaurant, 1259 Winchester Rd., Whitehaven, 88 on July 21. 

Genghis Grill, 5849 Poplar Ave., I-240/Poplar Loop/East Memphis, 88 on July 19. 

Spindini, 383 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, 87 on July 20. 

Genghis Grill, 2362 N. Germantown Pkwy, Cordova, TN, 84 on July 21. 

Petra Café, 6641 Poplar Ave., The Carrefour at Kirby Woods/East Memphis, 82 on July 20. 

Outback Steakhouse, 2255 Union Ave., Midtown Memphis, 82 on July 21. 

Reese's Bar-B-Q, 4606 Winchester Rd., Parkway Village, 81 on July 19. 

Tops Bar-B-Q, 6130 Macon Rd., Shelby Crossing Shopping Ctr./East Memphis, 75 on July 19. 

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