Magazine article The New Yorker

Lulu

Magazine article The New Yorker

Lulu

Article excerpt

On a recent evening at this narrow, dimly lit restaurant, where the bar was more crowded than the dining area, a pair of young women discussed seasonal cupcakes: "I mean, summer is really for stone fruit." The bartender gave away free shots of watermelon kamikazes and served up pun-happy cocktails--Thyme for Pearadise, Tequila Mockingbird (a pungent combination of pineapple, cardamom, and chile). Two dapper men in three-piece suits with matching pocket squares raised their glasses to a young lady, who struggled to remember the relevant Italian: "Saluche?" The manager greeted guests by name, slung his arms around shoulders, kissed cheeks. It was louche and loose and lots of fun.

Once you're seated, in one of the two-person booths by the bar or back in the dining room (which feels vaguely illicit, thanks to diaphanous red curtains), the evening proceeds with a pleasant insouciance. "So we've got great Belgian beers, blah, blah, blah," a waiter, trilby perched on the back of his head, said. "If you have any questions, don't ask me. I don't know anything about it." Luckily, the menu is pretty straightforward: French, with a nod to American comfort food. Risotto fritters arrived stacked in a pyramid, crispy on the outside, a little gummy inside; their only real failing was a cold tomato sauce. …

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