Mark Estee's Cucina Lupo to open Nov. 12 in downtown Carson City

Cucina Lupo team members, from left: James Vandegrift, Luis Fragoso, Nick Meyer, Tommy Linnett and Steve Sanchez.

Cucina Lupo team members, from left: James Vandegrift, Luis Fragoso, Nick Meyer, Tommy Linnett and Steve Sanchez.

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Cucina Lupo, Carson City's newest modern Italian restaurant spearheaded by Reno restaurateur Mark Estee, will officially open Nov. 12.

Cucina Lupo fills the space the Basque-themed Martin Hotel restaurant vacated in September.

When John Arant, owner of the Martin Hotel, announced he was closing the restaurant, Steve Neighbors, a member of the Hop & Mae Foundation who built the mixed-use complex at 308 N. Curry St., reportedly reached out to Mark Estee and the Reno Local Food Group with the opportunity.

According to previous reports, Reno Local Food Group consists of Estee and partners Tanya McCaffrey, Nick Meyer and Tommy Linnett. The group also operates The Union on Carson Street just across Curry Street from its new restaurant, and Overland Restaurant & Pub in Gardnerville.

“Reno Local Food Group worked closely with Steve Neighbors to bring The Union Brewpub to life,” Estee said in a Nov. 1 press release provided by In Plain Sight Marketing. “We knew we were lucky to have this opportunity to bring Lupo in and continue to be a part of the expanding Carson City dining experience.”

The mixed-use complex that will house Cucina Lupo is located at 308 N. Curry St.

Cucina Lupo will serve modern Italian dishes, influenced by the flavors of both northern and southern Italy, with a local Basque flair.

"Locals who enjoyed the Martin's signature picon can still find it on the menu at Lupo," according to the Nov. 1 release.

“We've kept on as many of the Martin staff members as we could and will donate a portion of proceeds from each picon sold to the Carson City 4-H Club in the Martin's name,” Estee said. “To round out our team, we've brought over general manager James Vandegrift, formerly an assistant manager at The Union, and executive chef Luis Fragoso, from Liberty Events and Catering. I'm also very happy to announce that long-time sommelier from Adele's, Steve Sanchez will be joining us at Lupo.”

Estee said Lupo is focused on creating seasonally inspired Italian cuisine sourced from local farms and purveyors in Northern Nevada. Modern dishes like squid ink spaghetti will be served alongside classic favorites like chicken parmigiana and fettuccine alfredo, with housemade pastas and breads.

Upon opening Nov. 12, Cucina Lupo will operate full lunch and dinner services Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. through 9 p.m.

The restaurant originally was scheduled to open by Nevada Day, according to a report from the Nevada Appeal, but was unable to do so in time.


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