I’m not important enough to call for power lunches while wearing power heels and my sharpest power suit. I’m not and that’s OK because I can still enjoy a quickie $10 lunch at Lüke while eavesdropping on all the power diners around me.
For this Lunchtime Snob, we visited John Besh’s Lüke, which lends itself to power meetings by being just upscale enough to guarantee a quiet setting. The white linens, über professional staff and generally awesome lighting add touches of class, while the kitchen serves tasty bites you can charge to the company’s credit card. District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña was holding a powwow during our visit, so it must be good, right?
I stopped by on Tuesday for the brasserie’s express lunch menu, which had been recently tweaked by executive chef John Russ in late April. You’ll find plates and po’boys, and each change daily. Tuesday means Gulf seafood carbonara and fried eggplant parmesan po’boys; Wednesday sounds particularly tasty with a “Cuban” smoked pork sammy and chicken and dumplings using pasture-raised chickens via Peeler Farms (poultry provider Marianna Peeler was also at Lüke on Tuesday dropping off a whole lamb, which Russ threw over his shoulders and carried upstairs to the kitchen, no doubt to prepare something delicious).
The business gents to the right, who toiled away on their laptops until their orders arrived at the table, didn’t take advantage of the express options, which is a shame (though the Lüke burger is a more-than-acceptable alternative). I opted for a bowl of the carbonara with scallions, black pepper and thick Parmesan cheese shavings; I was pleased when our server delivered a heaping serving of fresh tubular pasta with a light, yet creamy, sauce dotted with roasted cherry tomatoes, likely sourced via Oak Hill Farms. Mussels, shrimp and bits of fish added flavorful layers, and the only thing I could have asked for was tableside bread to sop up the leftover sauce. Maybe next time.
The eggplant po’boy was nothing to scoff at either. A soft baguette housed thinly sliced eggplant that was evenly coated and crisp with no excess bitterness from the purple veg. Bonus points for including Lüke’s fries.
I might not have decided my next political campaign or facilitated a big business merger, but a visit to Lüke for its express lunch menu could have you planning “business meetings” of your own.
125 E Houston
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