Lou, a hip-chic all-day cafe, brunch locale, and natural wine bar from some strong new-to-Nashville talent arrives on the dining scene this Saturday, September 7.
The new restaurant is owned by Mailea Weger, a Southern-California born chef who began her career in the fashion industry, then fell in love with cooking while traveling through Europe in 2009. It was then that Weger received her first opportunity to work in a kitchen—the Old Museum of Architecture’s Café A in Paris. Inspired by her immersion into the industry, Mailea returned home, where she attended the Culinary Institute of San Diego and studied French techniques.
After spending time at New Orleans’ Herbsaint, Weger opened LA’s cult-favorite restaurant Gjusta as Sous Chef and was later promoted to its sister restaurant, Gjelina. Most recently, Weger gave a further nod to her home state — whipping up stunning plates of brunch-heavy, healthy-ish California cuisine at Paris’ acclaimed Echo Deli.
Her new Nashville restaurant draws fictional inspiration from the persona of a woman who is the daughter of a bohemian mother from Venice Beach and a well-read, charming Frenchman father. The food and the vibe at lou intertwines a playful juxtaposition between healthy, contemporary Californian fare and Old-World European style. A vibrant, seasonal menu (shown below) is complimented by an all-natural wine list.
The brunch-focused dishes served at lou bring strong California vibes right alongside charming European notes — look for plenty of fresh herbs merged with acids and fragrant spices from Weger’s menu. Lou also offers an impressive pastry program of rotating, seasonal items — led by Chef Sasha Piligian (formerly of Sqirl in Los Angeles).
During brunch, eat everything from savory baked egg cazuela and breakfast sandwiches stacked with house chorizo, potato, and egg, to roasted banana buckwheat pancakes and seasonally rotating breakfast cakes. They can all be washed down with specifically designated breakfast wine — that’s a discounted, daily, by-the-glass list derived from unfinished bottles from the night before.
The dinner menu includes dishes that fall into categories like market veg, pour la table, sea, land, and of course, desserts from Piligian. Items like urnt kabocha (pickled cherry, curry, ricotta salata), white beans (mole broth, sea salt), and chilled salmon with blackberry molasses vinegar, fermented fresno chilies are all on the dinner menu.
Liquid offerings extend beyond the all-natural wines complementing the food. Find also wellness elixirs (think CBD and turmeric-laced tinctures) and a low-ABV cocktail menu. Cold brew and hot coffee from LA’s Canyon coffee, plus Vietnamese iced coffee are all on offer for caffeination purposes.
The cozy former home of Fort Louise at 1304 McGavock Pike sees a fresh coat of white paint, and inside, vintage wallpaper, new age pastels and creamy white, peachy nudes, and turquoise give a calming, bistro vibe. There’s a wooden bar with brass details, cake stands stocked with pastries, and a brick fireplace original to the home.
Starting Saturday, September 7, lou will be open Tuesday through Sunday, serving brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., apero from 4 to 6, and dinner from 6 until 10 p.m.
In the meantime, follow along on lou or Weger’s Instagram accounts to see more of exciting dishes to come, after scrolling through the menu below.
lou Nashville [Official Site]