There are many reasons to make an excursion to the Flatiron district around Madison Square Park. But the greatest of these is to visit Lulu & Me, a gastro bar featuring the extraordinary culinary talents of longtime Manhattan chef Karen Forholtz Miele.
With its romantic, white-tiled interior and big wooden bar, Lulu & Me is a blast of cool air, a relaxing retreat from the bustling city. Chef Miele presents a varied menu ranging from small plates and salads to steak, pasta, sandwiches and fish. Recommended by the Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine, Lulu & Me, on 5th Avenue at 28th Street, also features an excellent wine and beer selection and a full range of cocktails.
Lobster tail, grapefruit and frisee salad.
Miele opened Lulu & Me in 2011 with her husband, co-owner and creative partner, Michael Miele. The duo have designed and operated popular restaurants and bars in Manhattan for the last 30 years — most famously, Amsterdam’s Bar & Rotisserie, a hotspot in the 1980s for actors and celebrities on the Upper West Side.
Miele, a self-taught chef, made a name for herself in the 80s Manhattan restaurant scene by sourcing the finest – and most fresh – of local ingredients, and by making everything from scratch, down to the ketchup that was served with her popular house-cut fries. Back then, such painstaking ingredient selection and preparation was rare. Gourmet Magazine, in a feature on the chef, said that her dishes were “amply proportioned, intelligently composed, and handsomely presented.”
The slight redhead can be seen today picking through tables of produce at the Union Square farmer’s market for Lulu & Me’s daily menu. The chef has cooked for a number of stars, from Madonna and David Letterman to Mary J. Blige and Bono, and it’s her attention to detail that earns her so many fans.
Lulu & Me’s menu ranges from bar snacks (beef skewers marinated in Korean seasoning, shrimp and cod cakes, roasted mushrooms) to elegant dinner offerings such as hake wrapped in kale, mushroom fettuccini and mussels in a white wine broth. Miele’s sausages and meatballs are always a hit – wherever they are found on the menu, they are recommended.
This summer the Mieles are offering a South Brooklyn Post special — a free dessert with any order of food. Just mention “South Brooklyn Post.”
While you are at it, make the Flatiron District a day’s outing. The area around Madison Square Park didn’t used to be all that nice, or all that interesting; but that’s so yesterday. Right now, the Flatiron area is a terrific place to take the kids (or not!) for a day’s adventure – or a romantic evening out on the town.
Madison Square Park is absolutely beautiful — the landscaping is lovely, flowers abound, there’s a great playground for the little ones (perfect for age 3 to 8) including a fun water feature (a rotating bucket pouring water out) and a tire swing. The park offers a summer-long itinerary of free music (adult and kids’ shows) and kids craft workshops.
There’s always an interesting art installation at the park; currently, New York-based artist Orly Gender has created a site-specific installation, taking 1.4 million feet of hand-knotted rope to sculpt large undulating forms covered in red, blue and yellow paint.
If you are on a date, check out the Museum of Sex just down the block from Lulu & Me. Or if you’ve got the kids, , the Museum of Math opened north of the park on 26th St., featuring a square-wheeled tricycle, a digital floor and interactive games where kids can dabble in 3D design. Nearby, you can load up with the finest in cheeses, meats, cooking supplies and prepared foods in Mario Batali’s Eataly.
Get on over to Lulu & Me, and make it a day around Madison Square Park. Tell them South Brooklyn Post sent you.
You can thank us later.