LouLou Le Petit Bistro All-You-Can-Eat Mussels, 50 Percent Off Wine, and Brunch

LouLou in Brickell is debuting an easier spring menu and daily specials starting this week. Jacques Ardisson, owner, says he wanted to refresh the menu.

"Every day we'll have a different special," Ardisson said. "Monday, boeuf bourguignon; Tuesday, all-you-can-eat mussels ($19); 'Winesday'; 50 percent off of all wine bottles all day (Champagne and reserves not included), and coq au vin; Thursday, couscous; and Friday, bouillabaisse. From now on we're also going to be open on weekends and clients can expect an a la carte Sunday 'a la Francaise' brunch in the very near future."

Lunch formula is $15 which includes a soup of the day or appetizer, plus the catch or the suggestion of the day and a dessert. The lunch express is $9.50 for the soup of the day and half a sandwich of your choice. Not a bad deal when you find sandwiches such as a croque monsieur which is made with ham, melted Swiss cheese topped with a rich bechamel sauce on white bread. Or the saumon fume which is a smoked salmon with cream cheese, baby arugula, a twist of lemon, boiled egg and drizzled lightly with virgin olive oil. Most everything on the spring/lunch menu will be under $13.

Also new, the mini bites. They are smaller portions of the dishes found on the regular menu. A plate of mussels steamed in white wine with a splash of fresh cream, shallots and herbs plus French fries will be $9 but it's not as huge as the all-you-can-eat Tuesday special. It's less in volume but just as yummy.

"Fifteen years ago, I started Giacomo Restaurant on Brickell," said Ardisson. "Then the property was sold and I had to move. Fifteen years later, I'm here with LouLou Le Petit Bistro, just a few blocks away from my very first restaurant, but the property owners are getting rid of all of the businesses on this block, in a few years too. There are big plans for the downtown area and I'll be forced to move again."

In the meantime enjoy traditional French specialties for lunch and dinner. Bon Appetit.

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Marguerite Gil