HEADLINES

Italian Restaurant and Bar Sets the Stage on New Haven’s Thriving Restaurant Row

Presented by Restaurateurs Moe Gad and Chef Rafael Palomino, Villa Lulu is a spirited contemporary Italian eatery wrapped in stylish décor, featuring regional Italian comfort food, a curated Italian wine list, and a modern cocktail culture. Located in historic downtown New Haven at The Shops at Yale at 230 College Street, next door to the restaurant group’s popular Latin restaurant Pacifico, the Villa Lulu kitchen is spearheaded by Executive Chef Denis Marukovich whose kitchen cred includes cooking with renowned Chef Andy Nusser of the popular Enoteca Tarry Lodge in Westport and New HavenCT.

The stunning brick brownstone façade leads into an open and airy bi-level space punctuated by a large black marble top bar lined with art-deco fabric bar chairs and surrounded by whimsical artwork. The energy of the open kitchen and pizza oven adjacent to the bar can be felt throughout the main floor. A grand red carpet stairway leads guests into multiple dining areas that are plush with red and gold banquette seating, white linen tables, and lined with black and white retro photography depicting an era gone by, and see-through wine rack walls that unite the hallway and dining areas.

Villa Lulu’s cuisine is reminiscent of a neighborhood Italian café. Antipasti includes eggplant meatballs with tomato sauce and ricotta pistachio pesto, Italian salumi and cheeses, and sun-dried tomato arancini with spicy Calabria aioli. Pizza specialties run the gamut from a classic Margherita with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, to house creations such as the decadent guanciale with a sunny-side-up egg laced with black truffle oil. Villa Lulu’s pasta dishes are like getting a big hug.

A comforting variety of flavors include a rustic style bucatini amatriciana with guanciale bacon, red onions, tomato sauce, and grated pecorino, and fresh ribbons of pappardelle swathed in short rib ragu, Parmigiano, and salsa verde. Market fresh fish and meat dishes hit all the high notes as tasted in the pollo scarparielio prepared with Amish marinated chicken, Italian sausage, red and yellow peppers, Calabrian peppers, and a sweet and piquante sauce. A bright branzino puttanesca served with shaved fennel salad, seasonal heirloom tomatoes, capers, and olives illustrates the lighter side of the menu. Traditional and new school Italian desserts are made in-house and feature seasonal ingredients and flavor profiles. A $20 2-course lunch prix fixe is offered weekly.  

The restaurant’s curated wine list boasts a beautiful selection of Italian varietals. Mixology comes in the form of modern interpretations of the classics and the use of house-made tinctures, syrups, purees, and infusions. Vibrant creative concoctions include QUEEN OF NAPLES made with vodka, blood orange, lemon, Cocchi Rosa, hibiscus, and a splash of prosecco; SIX SHOOTER shaken with tequila, grapefruit, lime, black pepper, and yellow chartreuse; and the OLIVETTI made with gin, fresh lemon, dry curacao, Strega, olive oil, and an egg white foam.

Visit Villa Lulu for a truly unique dining experience.

Tuesday-Sunday, Lunch and Dinner

230 College St, New Haven, CT 06510

Phone: (203) 691-7177

Learn more => https://villaluluct.com/

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