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Mrs. Smith | Apr 19, 200206:09 PM

Yummy lunch today at LuLu. We were seated immediately (we'd a reservation) as soon as our entire party arrived. Our Mediteranean-accented waiter had a bit too much of a "surprised you want service" air for my taste, but things did improve.

We ordered 3 antipasti: asparagus with a fresh mozzarella, duck liver mousse, and beet salad. They were very delicious. Asparagus was cut up from thick stalks, and mozzarella chunks were not too large. The dressing was bit bland, but still very nice. The duck liver mousse was fantastic. I was surprised by it's being called "mousse" -- it was chunky and seemed much more like a country pate to me, but who cares what the name is? served with small olive-oiled crostini. Magnifique! I don't care much for beets, but they were sweet and of at least two varieties. The beet-eaters at the table gobbled them up and applauded.

Our main courses were the two sand dabs, deboned at the table (another case of the server doing deboning/fussing at the place of the person eating, even on this small table for four with bread plates and antipasti plates and glasses all crowding, but I digress). Very fresh and delicious. The roasted chicken sandwich came on ciabatta so enourmous it was difficult to eat. The potato salad and chicken itself were better than fine. The garlic tomato soup was only so-so. My personal dish was the papardelle with lamb ragout. It was so oversalted I could only manage a few bites. I sent it back to the kitchen (be proud of me, I'm a shy Midwesterner!). The server, who only now seemed to be awakened, was very apologetic, took it off the bill without asking, and offered me some other entree. I declined, as I was planning to have dessert, but was pleased they handled this problem correctly. He even reported back from the kitchen to say yes, indeed, it was too salty. After that I felt all was forgiven...

Because the rhubarb tart with vanilla ice cream was so good I was sad that I was sharing it! Now I love rhubarb passionately, and others who don't like this unusual vegetable-used-as-fruit would probably not enjoy it, but this tart was done exactly right. The rhubarb was still sour but surrounded by a properly sweetened and glazed tart crust. They must put magic in their vanilla ice cream, because it has a depth to it that I've never had in vanilla ice cream before. It tasted as if it had creme fraiche involved, or even some kind of whole milk liquified cheese culture? It's hard to say -- or maybe it was just made with the very freshest organic unpasteurized cream (or perhaps that is illegal?). Well, whatever they did, it topped off a better than average meal.

I will go back and try more entrees. I know this place has been around for a while, and I'm sure there are many more Chowhound comments. I did a Control+F search on it, and the only thing I came up with was my earlier question about their spice rubs. Let me know if there are other favorite dishes from there. So yum.

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