To the delight of Lulu's legion of fans, one of Old Town's favorite restaurants expands their menu, their dining area, and their hours.
The dining area, once intertwined through the rambling Maggie May’s art gallery (126 Main Street), now gives diners a choice between high-ceiling rooms lined with original paintings, or a roomy (and bug free) screened-in porch. No one’s going to be bumping elbows in either area.
Even the kitchen has grown, from a cramped room to a spacious state-of-the-art chef’s dream.
In fact, this all is a dream, one that owner/chef Nancy Moynan has been nurturing for decades.
“It’s been my dream and my passion and finally I’m living it,” she says. “All I’ve ever wanted is a place where the food, the service and the ambiance combine to give diners an outstanding experience.”
Moynan brings a lot of outstanding experience of her own to the table. She grew up learning the nuances of flavor by watching her grandmother and mom. She cooked for three years in the legendary Commander’s Palace restaurant in New Orleans. She also worked for five years as private chef for a Lebanese family, adding expertise in Mediterranean cooking to her Creole and Italian mix.
The new menu reflects all those influences, with Creole, Italian and Mediterranean choices. Even vegetarians will find delightful options. Loyal fans of Lulu’s lunch will still find the Chicken Salad, Eggplant Panini and the Roast Beef Po’ Boy - that many believe is the best on the coast.
The Sunday Brunch menu tempts diners with traditional favorites and scrumptious flights of fancy. Authentic Grillades and Grits (a dish very difficult to find on menus now - even in New Orleans eateries), Crabby Lulu (a scrumptious crab cake and egg creation) and a Sausage soufflé.
There’s also the tantalizing Redfish Florentine. It features fresh gulf redfish, seared and served with a creamy spinach Madeleine, sautéed mushrooms and artichoke hearts and two poached eggs. The whole seductive dish is covered in a homemade hollandaise sauce. Bringing friends who will share tastes of their own plates is highly recommended.
Desserts served at all meals include homemade ice creams and sorbets, Lulu’s Chocolate Mud, and Betty’s Bread Pudding, named after the chef’s mom.
Even little things like the saltine crackers that come with the chicken salad showcase Nancy’s distinctive flair. What magic does she work to make them so savory, and downright addictive? She holds her cards close to her vest, but encourages diners to experiment in their own kitchens at home.
“That’s the best compliment someone can pay,” Moynan says. “ I want them to leave looking forward to their next meal here.”