Ivo & Lulu
558 Broome Street between Sixth Avenue and Varick Street
about $100 for three, BYOB, without tip
I was so happy to find another restaurant that let us bring our own wine for no corking fee. My friends from Los Angeles were in town and I had a bottle of Uruguayan red wine on my desk at work. Even though it was a rainy Friday night, we braved SoHo and waited at the bar next door to be seated at Ivo & LuLu.
Listings say the menu is French Caribbean: the rabbit and boar saucissons are truly français except for the extra kick in the spice. The grilled avocado with spinach mousse was interesting but even more so with shiitake-sesame dressing. The rain outside just made it more comfortable inside this sliver of a space off the Holland Tunnel.
I came with four other people during my second visit. We ordered the entire menu–less than 15 dishes–and shared everything with two bottles of wine. The French owners ended up closing the restaurant while we were still inside. They served us desserts on the house and sat with us to smoke and chat.
We found out that the bar next door is now part of the restaurant during a more recent visit. Three of us shared five dishes with two bottles of wine: the duck confit which was crispy outside, yet soft inside. The mussels in an addicting spicy sauce. The potato gratin and the roasted pear with blue cheese. The winter squash, roasted and served in its shell–the mushiness of the meat with carrots and peas was very comforting. I’m not sure if they will take the wall that separates the two spaces down but I hope the coziness of the place won’t change. I also hope that the food will stay the same.