Lulu and Po- Fort Greene
I have probably gone to this place 5 times in the last three weeks. Always sitting at the bar with my lovely bride. We have made it through most of their menu. The only problem is, well problem in terms of me eating the entire menu, is that they keep rotating in new specials..
The first dish that caught my eye was the Jersey Tomato Dish. Here you have wedges of perfectly in season Jersey Tomatoes that have been simply covered with Melted Butter and Salt. Melted Butter and salt? It makes perfect sense as the classic dish of olive oil and tomato has the same principal. .It's shocking how simple and delicious this is. The first time we were eating this dish, we were contemplating what this dish needed. Basil we thought, perhaps Thai Basil, maybe a little cheese, or balsamic, or chives. But, no, the chef knows these ingredients exist and he didn't want that. It showed a lot of restraint and simplicity. A beautiful dish.
Then we tried the pork dish which was ridiculously good. We have had the scallions with romesco sauce, we have eaten the corn soup, the fried anchovies, the grilled sardines, on and on. There is just an array of fresh ingredients cooked with such care and passion.
Last night, I went and had myself there double cheese burger. It is 11 dollars and it is a monster. In this day and age where you can't get out of a burger restaurant with your wife for less than 50 bucks, it's refreshing to see an 11 dollar burger. And this is an 11 dollar double burger. I was sitting and talking with fellow patrons at the bar last night so, I got all classy and used a knife and fork. This burger, could be split by two normal adults. I don't even know if it can be called a burger., It was an experience. Grilled onions were in this beautiful sauce. There was goat cheese and I think I may have blacked out. Go get this burger. Have you tried the burger, you should get the burger. Why are you still reading this, go get the f-ing burger.
The space is tiny but, well thought out. Beautiful lighting, beautiful woods. Love the open kitchen where you can see the folks cooking your meal. The dynamic duo, a male and female are banging out dish after dish and make it seem so easy. Bartenders have always been super friendly and know how to make a cocktail.
Seriously, go to this restaurant. It's a short walk from BAM, it's right off of Myrtle. It's a place that is truly special. It should be supported!
Okay, so I should have read up on this place before we went tonite. But, since I didn't, all I remembered was that Daniel liked the place and thought it was a shame that it wasn't more crowded. Ginny and I went and, waiting for a friend to get off work and get back to Bklyn, we sat at the bar and started a conversation with the woman to our left, tending to a child keeping herself amused with a computer game. It became clear after a couple of minutes that mom was Po and daughter was Lulu. They live in Clinton Hill and are thrilled to open a place close to home, where they've built most of the interior to spec and have control over what they're serving and where it comes from. And dad can cook and still see his family. Nice conversation about slow foods, farm to table, etc.... things I can talk about but only care about if the resulting food tastes good.
I felt that I recognized both bartenders but, given how much we eat out, this was not an unusual feeling. Then "Dad" comes up from downstairs and starts working in the open kitchen and I'm sure I recognize him as well. I finally ask Po what her husband's name is and, sure enough, it's Matt Hamilton (Ouvo then Belcourt, but you all know that -- I'm the only idiot that didn't). And it turns out that the bartenders are both from Belcourt as well, following Matt to his new place. You'd think I would have known this, given that we were at Belcourt pretty often over the past several years.
Well, our friend came and Lulu and Po left and we got to ordering and eating quite a bit of the menu. Fried anchovies are nice, albeit a smallish portion. Tomatoes w/butter and salt are quite good. Pizza dough w/pesto and ricotta is tasty. So far, okay, no revelations but worthwhile fare. Then, the horseradish & soy sauce roasted pork belly with red pepper relish- excellent and abundant...enough for 3 to share and get reasonable amounts each. One long octopus tentacle prepared exactly right with a mint sauce with a kick on the side. The side of fries was crispy and tasty as well. Ginny loves marrow so the bone marrow tacos (well, the makings are on the plate and you construct them, or not, as you wish) with parsley, cilantro, caper salad & grilled tortillas were a hit with her. I noticed others eating a very good looking dish of heirloom tomatoes & peaches with house made mozzarella & basil but we didn't order it. Nor did I get the "iron pressed Upstate New York firehouse chicken with celery & eggplant" (surprise -- no chicken for me tonite)... it looked pretty good as well. Instead, we ordered 2 burgers and split them 3 ways. The size of these double patty, greasy, tasty burgers w/goat cheese, pickles on a nice sesame bun was enough to feed 4 but somehow we got thru it all. He still makes a mean burger ($11, no fries included). Stuffed to the gills and quite happy having shared 2 bottles of decent french Sauvignon Blanc (@$31), we did not get dessert. All in, including a good tip, the 3 of us paid $200 and got a very solid, worth every penny dinner. Daniel's correct. Worth a visit. Or many.
re: Steve R
Steve, so glad you tried it and so glad you enjoyed it.
Personally, while I've drooled over the burger every time I've seen it go by I've never ordered it because it looked so filling and there's so much on the menu I want to try. (In other words, I think you made a mistake by ordering 2 burgers. I'd have ordered one or none and ordered 3 or 4 other small plates instead).
I agree on the octopus -- it's heavenly. It's a shame you didn't get the tomatoes and peaches -- it can be earth-shatteringly good.
Bottom line, I've been back to Lulu & Po 2 or 3 times since my last post (for a total of maybe 8 visits) and have found it consistent and well worth it. I hope all of you go because it's rarely crowded and I worry for their future.
Thank you so much for posting this.
My wife and I have been twice and have enjoyed every single plate they put in front of us (about 19 between the 2 visits) and LOVED the majority of them.
I don't have time to go into detail right now but I think this place really has a way with fresh ingredients -- I encourage everyone to go now while it's the height of what's fresh at the farmer's market.
Walters is all just a little too expensive. It's typical bistro type food. They have chicken wings, they have artichoke dip, a fried shrimp appetizer.. There is a raw bar and oyster selections. They have salads, fried catfish, a burger, a whole roasted fish of the day I think it was 34 dollars, there is a 34 dollar plate of lobster pasta, there is a fried chicken, a french dip, a steak. The fries are really nice. Reminds me of the Simplot fries they have at Bouchon, they most likely are.
But service is a little stuffy, the room is filled with two tops and the spacing is strange. Not a very comfortable room. I never leave there happy.