Hot Spot: Lola
This new Downtown spot is a delicious celebration of music, libations and French-inspired eats.
As a Downtown loft dweller, I can appreciate Lola’s mantra: a celebration of the city and its progress. A much-needed statement for that space as of late—Lola opened two months after the abrupt closing of its former tenant, Crepes in the City, a popular Downtown hangout. With Lola, a vibrant gathering place has emerged in its place, and its focus on cocktails, music and late-night noshing is a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Sips And Sounds
Although Lola’s menu reads like a neighborhood bistro, more consideration was put into the libations list and appeals as a modish Downtown lounge. A small stage gives way for nightly live music, which varies from jazz to blues to funk. You can even catch local acts during the weekend brunches—soul music on a Sunday is
an excellent match for Belgian waffles and espresso. But Lola is for night owls, oenophiles and wannabe mixologists—the lengthy cocktails list is a mix of sweet tea vodkas, tequila and high-end liqueurs, and there’s a good selection of local draft beers and wines by the glass. And while the drinks demonstrate the bartenders’ proficiency in mixology, the names pay tribute to lofts and city neighborhoods, like the Ely Walker, made with Maker’s Mark and vermouth, or the Dorsa, a mojito blend of rum and mint simple syrup. The clever Art Loft is concocted with green apple vodka and German apple
Open daily, Lola serves French-inspired fare, and though you’ll find escargot on the menu, there’s more approachable dishes like crepes, pomme frites and vegetable pot pie. Dishes are plated and served tapas style, important when serving crepes. Take the Marilyn: essentially a caprese wrapped in a crepe, served with a flavorful herb pesto. The Lola is made with goat cheese and ratatouille and topped with cre?me frai?che. A friend ordered the Salome and was happy with the combination of smoked salmon, capers and dill cre?me. Beyond the crepes, I am particularly obsessed with the Edith sandwich, a nice blend of turkey, roasted with pancetta and layered with avocado and a garlic aioli. Served with Billy Goat chips, add a cocktail and you’ve got a satisfying late-night snack. Other sandwiches include a gourmet grilled cheese, the Marie, stacked high with goat cheese, ricotta, blue cheese and mozzarella and also a tasty ham and gruye?re with Dijon. All in all, this is one homage to St. Louis in which I’ll partake again and again.
The lively crowd at Lola enjoys libations and live music
Photo credit: Photo by Jennifer Silverberg