Search This Blog

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Vote Ivo

Greg was on the hunt for a new BYOB restaurant this weekend - he had to find someplace special to impress Susan's brother, Nick, who was visiting from New Orleans.  He ended up finding Ivo & Lulu, a French-Caribbean restaurant that would have been great by virtue of their no corkage fee-BYOB policy alone, but it turns out the food was amazing, too.

The restaurant is teeny tiny - just one long table that seats maybe 20 people max, so make sure you get a rezzy.  The menu is made up of mostly traditionally French dishes that have been prepared with funkier Caribbean spices.  It was the perfect fusion.  We decided to start by ordering a bunch of apps and sharing around the table:
  • Crevettes: shrimp in a rum, cilantro, and chili butter sauce.  There was plenty of garlic in the sauce and I was glad the waiter kept bringing bread so we could do some dipping.
  • Terrine de Venison: Venison pate with truffle oil, rum, brie, and puff pastry.  This was gone in less time than it would take to pronounce the name of the dish.
  • Gratin Dauphinois: scalloped potatoes, bechemel, and gruyere.  
  • Avocat Grille: Grilled avocado filled with a veggie mousse and topped with shitake mushroom vinaigrette.  This was probably my favorite appetizer because it was so surprising.  I have no idea how I would go about making it, which is sad because it was that good.
There was neither a single complaint nor a crumb on any plate after the entrees, which all come with your choice of cous cous, jasmine rice, or haricots verts:

  • Susan and I really wanted two of the dishes so we went halfsies:
    • Mergez: This spicy lamb sausage is as common as hot dogs in France but is somehow very difficult to find in the US.  This dish with its nice sweet sauce took me right back to bar-b-ques with my French family.
    • Confit: roast duck leg with jerk seasoning and mango marinade.  The duck was cooked perfectly with a nice crust of skin and the perfect balance of sweetness and pepper.
  • I also had a bite of Greg's boar and sage sausage with blueberry sauce.  There is something about the pairing of sausage with a sweet berry sauce.  Yum yum.
We had only gone through four bottles of wine and still had one left so we decided to order dessert so we could keep drinking.  I couldn't find a single thing to complain about when it came to the appetizers and entrees, but the desserts were just ok - if I were you I would forgo them and get one extra app.  We ordered the mango mousse (which had a consistency more like flan), the chocolate mousse, and a coconut flan (which was more like a bread pudding) that was on the house.  I don't mean to sound overconfident, but I'm thinking I had a little something to do with our free dessert.  When I ordered the mergez, the waiter asked if I studied French because I pronounced the name of the dish with a very good accent.  That lead to a long conversation all en francais.  It was fun to break out the French and if it had anything to do with our free dessert, I think it's something I may have to try more often.
Avocado Grille and Turine
Boar and Sage Sausage
Ivo & Lulu is sort of in the middle of nowhere.  It's on the outskirts of SoHo so it's not right in the center of a billion other things, but I highly encourage a visit to this less visited piece of the neighborhood.  It was still close enough to busier areas so it wasn't too hard to find a bar.  We were on our way to Don Hill's or Sway, but the crazy wind and frigid air was making the three block walk too much to handle so we only made it about two blocks to The Emerald.  I had only been to The Emerald once, before my bday party at The Anchor (which is next door) two years ago.  Then, I was there at about 10 PM and it was just your average Irish pub.  Apparently, if you go later (we were there at 12:30), you'll walk into a packed bar full of good looking people who are all enjoying the great music that's pumping.

Great night.  I know Greg set out to impress Nick with his restaurant and bar choices.  I can't speak for him, but I know I was dazzled.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails