One of the most anticipated restaurants of winter, Lula, also happens to be a microdistillery. It’s the first restaurant of its kind heading to New Orleans, and the hot Lower Garden District destination is planning to open at 1532 St. Charles Avenue in January 2016, Helen Freund reports this week.
Freund chats with Lula’s chef and partner Jess Bourgeois about what to expect booze-wise at the 10,000-square-foot restaurant, which has been in the making for over two years now. Here’s what you need to know:
Bourgeois and his partner Bear Caffery first learned how to fully operate their distillery equipment during a course at Dry Fly Distilling course in Spokane, Washington.
Lula’s microdistillery will produce gluten-free vodka, gin and rum from Louisiana sugarcane in custom built copper stills.
You won’t be able buy Lula’s booze elsewhere (due to Louisiana’s distribution laws) but you can get bottles on site.
There will be a draught cocktail system at the restaurant, but Bourgeois notes that the emphasis here isn’t about cramming a bunch of drink pairings down everyone’s throats:
We want people to try our spirits and cocktails with their appetizers and entrees, but we don't want to be super pushy about it. I don't think that spirits on their own always lend themselves well to food, but I do think you can incorporate fresh, bright flavors with food in the same way as you would with drinks.
The menu features Cajun eats including boiled seafood, boudin stuffed quail and braised rabbit with white beans, dirty rice and boudin eggrolls. Fried pickled mirliton, smoked pompano dip, a selection of salads, sandwiches and a burger also round things out with a Louisiana twist.
- 3-course interview: Chef Jess Bourgeois of Lula Restaurant-Distillery [Gambit]
- Lula [Official Website]
- All Eater Tracking [ENOLA]