The come-on is very, shall we say, French? Play ze croquet, drink ze spritz, sing ze songs, et voila! Le 14 Juin c’est parfait. That’s the idea from the Maidstone Hotel for Bastille Day at their petite, well, not so petite, since it seats 170 indoors, new bistro, LouLou La Plage.
Which they promoted with this pitch: “July 16th from 5pm – 10pm. Experience a day filled with the essence of joie de vivre, as you immerse yourself in sumptuous food, delectable cocktails, and an enchanting atmosphere of live jazz French music.”
Live jazz French music? Does that involve saxophones or accordions? Both? Perhaps ze clarinet?
In any case, here is what they suggest, Free drinks from 5 to 6 and then, “precisely 6:30,” a croquet tournament. In the rain. The winners, two of them, and we hope they know each other, get a free dinner at LouLou. Since the day is a little chilly and damp, it feels a bit like Paris. And this is just the beginning of a Bastille Day Weekend. On the 15th and 16th, petanque tournaments, both days. Just the sound of that!
So let’s talk about LouLou La Plage.
There are many LouLous. The LouLou in Paris on the boulevard Saint-Germain is a diner serving burgers and fries. The LouLou within the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on the rue de rivoli is tres elegant and serves Italian/French food. And there are LouLou La Plages that are not in East Hampton.
The LouLou in Chelsea has nothing to do with any of these. Instead it is named after the owner Mathias Van Leyden’s rescue dog.
LouLou Petit Bistro and Speakeasy, in Chelsea, serves French food. And so does LouLou La Plage at the Maidstone, under chef Evan Bergman. The menu is comprehensive, and reasonably priced. There is certainly something for everyone, up to and including the $500 bottle of Dom and down to a hamburger.
The co-owner of both places, Mino Habib, has a background in nightclubs, hospitality and nightlife. So as one could expect there is a lot of flash with the cocktails: fancy glasses and some contrived ingredients.
LouLou is a popup for the summer. A fun addition. And worth a try.
If not for a pretend Bastille Day, then perhaps for some other rainy day.