DC Restaurant Openings

Lulu’s Winegarden soft opens on U Street

Serene, affordable Lulu’s to offer under-$50 wine bottles

Lulu’s Winegarden, a new communal and bottle-driven wine bar, is holding its soft opening today. The team behind Latin-inspired sister, Royal in LeDroit Park is opening this new restaurant and wine bar on U Street with more than 40 bottles for under $50. Two “lush” garden patios will be part of the setting for this new wine destination, as we reported earlier.

Lulu’s will evolve into the casual and affordable wine bar that Paul Carlson, owner and wine director, and partner Brittany Carlson imagined. Cable Smith, Lulu’s chef, and also a partner, has developed a menu for this social setting that leans Southwestern. Below is a list of tasty menu items as described by the Lulu’s team.

Lulu’s Winegarden menu

Snacks

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  • French Onion Toast, featuring caramelized onion dip and salt & vin chips dusted in onion ash atop grilled sourdough ($13)
  • roe-topped Smoked Whitefish with red onion, dill, pickled shallot and calabrian chile, with grilled bread and fresh, crisp cucumbers for dipping ($14)
  • Chicken Corn Dog Bleu, a house chicken sausage wrapped in melty swiss, fried and served alongside ham fat dijonnaise ($12).

Appetizers

  • Grilled Carrot Salad, featuring cucumber, herbs, almonds, onion and radish, dressed in a lime vinaigrette on a swipe of hatch chile harissa feta ($12)
  • visually-stunning Roasted Beets on a bed of hot pink beet yogurt, goat cheese, avocado, citrus, pickled mustard, pistachio and watercress ($12)
  • Mushroom Nduja Toast topped with pickled raisins and pine nuts on honey wheat ($13)
  • an avocado-dressed Lime Caesar with kale, romaine, sourdough crumb, avocado, onion, cucumbers and parmesan ($11)

Entrees

  • fermented chile-smothered Crispy Chicken Sandwich topped with dill pickled cabbage and house pickles on challah ($13)
  • a double-patty Lulu’s Burger griddled with melted kraft cheese, fancy sauce, bibb, house pickles, onion and tomato ($14)
  • fancy sauce-smothered House Shoestring Fries ($8) for snacking
The Crab Tostada is an example of bar bites that deliver. Photo by Lulu's Winegarden.
The Crab Tostada is an example of bar bites that deliver. Photo by Lulu’s Winegarden.

Shareable bar bites

  • White Queso with roasted green chiles, cilantro, red onion, sour cream and pico, with freshly-fried tostadas for dipping ($10)
  • Crab Tostada topped with avocado, jalapeño, radish, cilantro, grapefruit and old bay aioli ($15)
  • a smoked Pastrami Pork Belly with bbq aioli, crispy shallots, fermented red kraut and house pickles on Texas toast ($14)
  • and a fiery Whipped Feta spiced up with hatch chile harissa, house everything spice and grilled bread ($9), rounding out the casual but innovative offerings

In addition to the extensive wine list, “Lulu’s Winegarden will offer eight by-the-glass wines for those who prefer to try as they go. Coming soon will be a menu section titled “Mags + Minis” featuring sharable large-format wines, half-bottles and canned wine,” according to the restaurant’s announcement. Also, Paul Carlson, is throwing some good wine margins out the door to make this an affordable place to sample great wines.

A RAMW RAMMYS Cocktail Program of the Year Award finalist, Royal’s Alonzo Freeman has crafted six cocktails that are meant to dazzle:

Lulu’s Winegarden cocktail menu

  • Paid Vacation with mezcal, house tepache, Don Ciccio Mandarinetto and lime
  • the bubbly, spicy Est. 1930 with gin, strawberry habanero shrub, fino sherry and lemon
  • tropical The Oblinger with vodka, white rum, house coconut mint cordial and lime
  • the dry, tart From Miles Away with tequila, Suze, passionfruit and Bitter Bianco
  • the clarified Caribbean Milk Punch with dark rum, black tea, citrus, spices and clarified milk
  • Lulu’s Old Fashioned with a red wine reduction subbing in for simple syrup, with bourbon and bitters

Freeman incorporates wine into Lulu’s Old Fashioned in the red wine reduction. During the soft opening, Lulu’s Winegarden is open at 5 p.m. The soft opening will last until February 27 with limited hours. The grand opening will arrive February 28.

Photo credit: Lulu’s Winegarden

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