Main courses in small-plate-style restaurants are usually added to satisfy more conservative diners who like plates with protein, starch, and vegetable — and they usually taste as though offered grudgingly. Lulu's entrées are not nearly as fetching as the appetizers.

The shortlist includes half a free-range rotisserie chicken and a pair each of pastas, fish, and steak. Two small fillets of yellowtail snapper, which looked and tasted an awful lot like red snapper, were overburdened by an Alfredo-like cream sauce loaded with garlic and Parmesan; roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, and black olives were likewise drowned by the assertive sauce.

Fettuccine carbonara also employs an Alfredo cream instead of the traditional egg-based sauce. Bacon would have been an acceptable downgrade for guanciale had the blackened strips not tasted old and cold — as if overcooked in the morning for brunch and sitting around all day. If your heart is set on a big plate, the steak selections are less involved and therefore theoretically harder to screw up. Choices are a 12-ounce New York strip in shallot burgundy sauce and grilled churrasco with chimichurri and jalapeño mashed potatoes.

Lulu's yellowtail fillet. View our Lulu slide show.
Lulu's yellowtail fillet. View our Lulu slide show.
Bacon-wrapped roasted date
Bacon-wrapped roasted date

Location Info

Map

Lulu

3105 Commodore Plaza
Coconut Grove, FL 33133

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Coconut Grove

Details

3105 Commodore Plz., Coconut Grove; 305-447-5858; luluinthegrove.com. Lunch and dinner Monday and Tuesday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Wednesday through Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. to midnight.

View our Lulu slide show.

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The wine list is, price-wise, as user-friendly as can be. There are 22 bottles from the usual vine-oriented regions of Europe, Latin America, and Northern California, each priced at $25 (glasses are $8 apiece). A friendly and hard-working staff knows the menu well and served us in an efficient fashion — until we wanted the check. Then it was a prolonged wait shortened only by one of us getting up, going indoors, and asking for it. On a subsequent visit, getting the check was, again, a problem.

Desserts are presumably a work in progress. There were only three offered: a chocolate crème brûlée, tri-chocolate mousse, and tres leches, which translated to sweet bits of milk-soaked pound cake in a short, narrow glass topped with whipped cream. This will quiet a sugar craving, but overall it is a pallid version compared to the real Central American deal. A fruit-based dessert would be a considerate addition.

If it seems as though you have seen all of these menu items elsewhere, it's because you probably have. It's just as likely you've enjoyed them — which, to complete the circle, is why they are on the menu. The Bignons appear content to let others do the gastronomic trailblazing and instead concentrate on providing fresh, crisply executed renditions of likeable foods, affordable drinks, and a neighborly café setting in which to enjoy them. We're quite content with that too.

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3 comments
Batman
Batman

It's because Lee Klein doesn't actually visit many of the places he reviews. It's a proven fact. No foodie in Miami takes anything he says seriously. He's a standing joke in the food community. Maybe one day the NT management will wake-up to that fact.

Wow
Wow

We went here a couple days ago..it was terrible..another miami tourist trap..why is it that i rarely agree with lee klein?

 
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