Lulav restaurant owner Matt Lile, the owner of Lulav restaurant, on his way today to pick up wine barrels in Texas for use in the restaurant’s lounge, described for the Times the new name, menu and look that Lulav will assume Feb. 6: It will be the Italian Kitchen at Lulav, featuring a menu of both Southern and Northern Italian dishes at price points a bit lower than Lulav’s Mediterranean menu.
The wine barrels are empty — they’ll be used as tables with butcher board blocks as tops — but the wine cellar will be full, featuring up to 25 Italian wines, Lile said. Diners will choose their wines at a large round wine table, which will layer the restaurant’s offerings in three tiers: $15, $25 and $35 wines. That way, Lile said, customers can inspect the labels before ordering. Lulav has already remodeled its kitchen and dining room and has commissioned three 3-by-8-foot paintings by artists at the Art Loft. Edison Bulbs — long slender bulbs with glowing filaments — will add to the rustic look of the lounge.
Appetizers and salads will run from $6 to $8 and entrees, which will include handmade pastas and “a fantastic lobster claw,” Lile said, will run $12 to $16. More special features: Flavored balsamics, such as espresso, mission fig and blueberry, will be available to top off the garlic oil served with the focaccia bread and hand-mixed Italian sodas will be available, either spiked, with ice cream or virgin. “It’s going to be a real simple, interesting menu that we think will allow a lot of diners to come enjoy Lulav,” Lile said.
Chef Matthew Cooper will remain in charge; he was trained in the art of making pasta at the Cordon Bleu in Portland, Ore., Lile said.
The Loft Lounge will remain open on the second floor of the historic building at 220 W. Sixth St., which was Draughon’s School of Business a half-century ago.