Cafe Lou Lou is a hidden gem in the Louisville Highlands, tucked inside The Loop Mall on Dundee Road, just off Bardstown Road. There is a large parking lot nearby, which is unusual for the area. We had a reservation and were seated quickly.
We started with water all around, and JD ordered the Founders Porter: "The nose is sweet with strong chocolate and caramel malt presence. No absence of hops gives Founders robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect. Cozy like velvet. It's a lover, not a fighter." I took a sip and was surprised how thick and smooth the texture was. It had a really strong, bitter flavor. I think it would be good in an ice cream float. JD commented, "It's like drinking baker's chocolate. Try it again - it gets better as your taste buds get acclimated."
We ordered the "Spinach and Tomato Crispy Lavash - Flat bread topped with fresh tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and finished with smoked salt." This appetizer was like a pizza, built on cracker-thin crispy flat bread, even flatter than a tortilla. The tomatoes and spinach were delicious and fresh, and the cheeses were melted perfectly. It would make a good light entree for one person, paired with a soup or salad for a complete meal.
We also tried their soup of the day, a summer squash and corn chowder. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. As a chowder, I assumed it would be thick and creamy, but it was only a little thicker than a broth soup. It was expectedly sweet but was overwhelmed by nutmeg and pepper.
JD ordered a second beer with his meal, BBC Nut Brown Ale: "BBC Nut Brown Ale has a diverse grain bill which lends this traditional English ale a variety of flavors that coalesce into a remarkably smooth and pleasant drink. Additions of various pale, caramel and dark malts create a smooth, sweet malt profile with hints of roasted nuttiness. Multiple additions of English hops round out the flavors and give this classic beer a true flavor of the Old World." This one was not as strong as the Founders Porter, but it was still a full-flavored ale. I could really taste the caramel notes.
I had Ommegang Witte Ale with my meal: "Traditional Belgian-style wheat ale with whispers of sweet orange and a touch of tart lemon." This pale ale had a refreshing, light flavor that I enjoyed. JD remarked that it tasted like a wine cooler and that he liked his two dark brews better.
For our entrees, we had two pastas and a salad. Many of Cafe Lou Lou's entrees can be ordered as a small or large portion. I am always glad to see this, since a full portion is often way too much food, especially after appetizers!
"Pasta Jambalaya - Rotini with chicken, smoked sausage, crawfish, and shrimp and a sauce of tomatoes and chicken stock." Oh, man, this was so good. It was not too soupy or saucy, but the flavor was extraordinary. Just the right mix of meats and seafood and pasta.
"Pasta Bolognese - Penne pasta with ground veal, prosciutto, Italian sausage, mushrooms and tomato cream sauce." This pasta was plated and topped with a good helping of mozzarella cheese, then baked until the cheese melted. There was a good amount of ground veal, but I only encountered one piece of sausage.
"Greek Salad - Romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, red onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, green peppers, with sundried tomato vinaigrette." All of the ingredients in this salad were very fresh and flavorful.
Cafe Lou Lou: Highly Recommended
The Loop Mall
2216 Dundee Road
Louisville, Ky 40205