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Montreal’s newest pasta bar in Griffintown reaches immediate success; expansion in the plans

    It is always nice to discover and experience a new restaurant in town. I was absolutely elated with my visit to Lulu’s Pasta Bar in trendy Griffintown.

    The husband and wife team of Jimmy Petropoulos and Anthy Siounis are the visionaries behind this project. Jimmy has a long history in the restaurant business.  While he had moved into the technology field, he always lent an ear to Anthy’s brother Billy Siounis, a founder of the highly successful Mr. Puff’s chain. In fact, last year,  Jimmy accompanied his brother-in-law to New York for the purpose of possibly establishing Mr.Puff’s presence there. He came home, however, with an entirely different plan. Montreal, he determined, was missing a true pasta bar experience and Lulu’s was born. It opened last January and business has been thriving from day one.

    “LuLu” is Anthy’s nickname. It also comes from the word “luludi,” which is a flower in Greek. The restaurant uses Semolina flour, derived from durum wheat, which boasts numerous health benefits. Rich in essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and B vitamins, it provides a high protein content, supporting tissue repair and immune function. Its complex carbohydrates release energy steadily, aiding in blood sugar regulation and offering a sustained energy source. The fibre in semolina promotes digestive health, preventing constipation. With low saturated fat and cholesterol, it contributes to heart health, featuring antioxidants and nutrients like magnesium and potassium. Additionally, its versatility in culinary applications, such as pasta and bread, makes it a staple worldwide.

    At Lulu’s, customers approach the pasta bar and place their orders. There is a wide choice of pasta and sauces, including classic, special creations and vegan options. The turnaround is very quick. You can grab a drink from the fridge and either select a dessert or wait until you have finished your meal. Each dish comes in a large crafted cup and you can take a cover to easily take home the leftovers. The Griffintown location has 20 seats inside and a terrasse which can accommodate 24. Takeout and delivery orders are very popular.  Ecole De Technologie Superieure is a block away. There are also a lot of commerce and residential properties nearby, as well as the Bell Centre.

    The pricing here is excellent: between $10.95 and $15.95 for a serving. I brought my friend Eddy with me for a tasting and we were both sold on the place the moment our forks dug into the bowls that Jimmy and Anthy delivered to our patio table. There was the creamy cheeseburger (rosée sauce, ground beef, pickles, cheddar cheese, parmigiano reggiano, parsley); pistachio pesto (creamy pistachio pesto, Parmigiano Reggiano and parsley);  Tuscan chicken (LuLu’s cream, chicken, spinach, sun-dried tomato pesto, parsley topped with cherry tomatoes and parmigiano reggiano) and parmesan bacon (Lulu’s sauce, crispy bacon, caramelized onions, mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano and parsley). Every bite was a journey, a fusion of textures and tastes that evoke comfort and satisfaction. The pasta represent culinary masterpieces, where simplicity meets sophistication, leaving you craving for another delightful encore. Needless to say, we went home with leftovers.

    For dessert, we grabbed a Nutella cornetto and a tiramisu. You can also order small servings of wine, beer, cocktails and many other beverages. I could not resist the cherry coke. There is also a choice of three salads. The menu allows you to build your own pasta bowl, including the sauce and extras.

    Jimmy and Anthy pride themselves on using only the finest and freshest ingredients. They intend to introduce new menu items each month. Coming soon will be a Montreal smoked meat creation.

    “I come from a deep restaurant background,” says Jimmy. “As an operator, everyone is usually looking for a shortcut. I am not going that route. Everything here is made from scratch and that will remain the mantra of Lulu’s.

    The concept here is so unique that expansion makes sense. A second location will open in September on St. Denis and Ontario, with Carrefour Laval also on the planning board. “These will be corporate stores,” says Jimmy. “But we see franchising in our future.”

    The couple have three children. Their eldest, Constantine, is already part of the team in Griffintown. Anthy, a social worker by profession, is so passionate, enthusiastic, and deeply invested in the new Lulu’s brand.  Lulu’s Pasta Bar is located at 1346 Notre-Dame St W.  Opening hours are Monday to Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm and 1 pm to 10 pm on Sundays. For more information, you can call (514) 504-1111 or log on to https://luluspastabar.com/

    Tony Medeiros

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