Lulu Kitchen Coming Soon to Sag Harbor
By Dawn Watson
The sounds of construction aren’t usually pleasing noises, but right now on Main Street, a few doors down from where the Sag Harbor Cinema once ruled, they are music to the ears.
There’s a welcome buzz in the air as the machinery constantly hums and the workers happily chat to one another as they make progress on Sag Harbor’s newest restaurant space. Previously occupied for short stints by Doppio Artisan Bistro and Madison & Main before that, 126 Main Street—fondly remembered by locals as the Paradise Café—will soon reopen as Lulu Kitchen & Bar.
Owned by Apollo Global Management co-founder Marc Rowan, who also owns Duryea’s Lobster Deck and Arbor in Montauk, the eatery will return to its roots as a year-round dining destination.
Featuring an open kitchen centered on a wood-burning grill and oven, the space will be hospitable and welcoming, says Managing Director Steven Jauffrineau.
“The food will be simple but delicious,” he said during a tour of Lulu last week. “And the oven will be the beautiful, sexy, warm focal point.”
Under the direction of Chef Phillippe Corbet, the woodburning cuisine will be centered on what’s locally available and what can be made in the oven. Opening in mid-to-late April, Lulu will offer lunch, dinner, a late-night menu and Sunday brunch all year long.
The menu, which is in the process of being finalized, will feature such fare as seafood platters, including Montauk Pearl oysters, Bonac razor clams and tuna tartare; appetizers such as Corbet’s signature Grilled Heirloom Cauliflower with spicy Long Island grapes, toasted sesame, tahini, white balsamic vinaigrette and mint oil; Duck Leg Confit with frisee salad, and House Meatballs with wood-fire roasted tomato sauce and goat cheese risotto. Of course there will also be wood-fired pizzas. Other entrée selections will include a signature Lulu Cheeseburger served on a house-made brioche bun with Mecox cheddar, smoked pickles, heirloom tomato, gem lettuce, grilled onions and fries; a Wood-Oven Cast-Iron Market Fish with roasted garlic, baby bok choy, peewee potato and lemon juice; Organic Chicken with porcini rub, potato gratin, market vegetable and mustard jus; and Grilled Prawns with saffron rice and smoked ratatouille. The menu will also feature weekly specials each day, such as Monday’s Bouillabaisse and Tuesday’s All You Can Eat Chef’s Mussels.
The concept is the brainchild of Mr. Corbet, a French-trained chef who last led the kitchen at Arbor in Montauk. Though he has plenty of experience in Michelin-star rated restaurants, the chef says that he’s been longing to create food that’s tasty yet accessible.
“For me, it’s going back to the roots of cooking,” he says. “I’ve been wanting to do this for many years.
“It will be a fusional, erotic relationship between the food and the fire, adds Mr. Jauffrineau. “You’ll be able to taste the passion.”
As for the space, the 1,800-square-foot, 120-seat restaurant will offer casual lounge-like dining in the front with a view of the bustling main street through its French doors. The middle of the restaurant will open to the kitchen, the garde-mange station and the oven, with comfy leather chairs and banquettes facing the preparation areas. The rear of the space will offer table-clothed dining with rustic chandeliers, exposed brick walls, vintage European mirrors, and leather chairs. And the back deck will feature chic yet simple outdoor dining under an awning.
Mr. Jauffrineau says that he hopes that the eatery will be the kind of place that fits in seamlessly with the neighborhood and is welcoming to all.
“Lulu Kitchen & Bar is all about the great energy of Sag Harbor all year long,” he says. “We plan to embrace the local culture, to offer locally driven cuisine with friendly service and to make this the kind of space you’ll want to come back to again and again.”
Lulu Kitchen & Bar in Sag Harbor will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner and brunch on Sundays. A special late night menu will be offered every night from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Learn more at www.lulusagharbor.com.