It's a Date!
by Fiorella Valdesolo, New York Observer contributor, 12/08/2008
10. Ivo & Lulu
558 Broome St. • 212-226-4399
Though the quality of food at Ivo & Lulu has dipped since the original chef departed, the restaurant remains as jam-packed as ever, thanks in large part to very digestible prices—an entrée here costs about the same as a sandwich in neighboring Soho. Dual storefront spaces are finished in mustard-yellow walls, decorated with strange inky paintings and scarves draped across the ceiling. While the décor is unremarkable, the infectious, boisterous vibe is not—on a recent visit, four birthday celebrations were in progress at once. By the time you finally score a table, half your bottle of wine may be caput (it's BYOB, and since there is often a wait, savvy diners stock up on extra vino). Although the kitchen may be miniscule, the food is served fast. A sizzling plate of shrimp comes floating in a so-spicy-your-eyeballs-will-throb sauce of rum, cilantro, and chili butter. Entrées, served with couscous, carrot purée or string beans, are highlighted by a savory duck confit coated in jerk spice and topped with tart mango, and a smoky sliced chicken breast smothered in a goat cheese sauce. Even on a night when dessert options are decimated by birthday soirees, the warm female proprietors will manage one last helping of mango mousse for you and your date.
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