An early peek at Loulou, Chelsea’s newest speakeasy en Français

Crispy pork belly and seared scallop at Loulou. (Alex Mitchell)

Speak easy of this newly opening French bistro on 8th Avenue.

Set in a rustic, charming, and eclectic environment, Loulou is the newest restaurant to permeate the streets of Chelsea with the smell of extraordinary cuisine starting on March 5. 

That aesthetic, particularly warmed by songbird cocktail glasses paired with the menu of executive chef Jarett Brodie and extensive mixology of both Zane Harris and Arpan Duttaroy all gives the restaurant a true to itself feel of  New York’s touch on a French bistro.

The open kitchen will offer plenty of Euro themed delights, such as Brodie’s jalapeño apple vinaigrette garnished smoked bacon Brussel sprouts all the way to a crispy pork belly with seared scallops and root apple puree.

Loulou’s expansive menu also includes more classic offerings like steak frites or croque monsieur during a weekend brunch.

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On the front of dessert, the bistro’s chocolate mousse is a delightful indulgence.

It’s made with a light, wafer-y crunch on the inside, giving balance to the dense and velvety chocolate while also served with a sweet yet zesty raspberry sauce. 

The friendly staff might suggest pairing this decadent offering with some Bailey’s on the rocks, which will certainly go down smoothly. 

A rich chocolate moose from Loulou. (Alex Mitchell)
While Loulou has its conventional entrance on the corner of 19th Street, there is a much more fun way to get just a few steps down…

It’s through that Coca-Cola machine and down some stairs where the more hushed part of Loulou lays.

The disco ball illuminated, spacious lounge and bar will not only transport you back a century in time, but also across the pond and into the nightlife of Paris, too.

The speakeasy bar portion of Loulou.
(Alex Mitchell)

Open in the later hours of the evening, the speakeasy part of Loulou is an ideal and intimate setting to share a drink with someone after a filling meal.

As the space also boasts two deck, a professional grade, Pioneer Dj controller, you might be allowed to spin your own ‘French touch’ house music from time to time — that is if you truly know what you’re doing and have the compatible software on hand. 

Otherwise, sit back and enjoy a setting unique to not only most bars in New York, but also to that of the ‘secret’ speakeasies throughout city.Loulou is also named for the rescue dog of owner, Mathias Van Leyden; who has decorated much of his bistro with nods to his pup, often depicted with a monocle and top hat.

À bientôt.

Loulou Petit Bistro, 176 8th Avenue, Chelsea, 917-292-5624 . Open seven days a week with varying hours. Reservations on OpenTable.

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