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Miller Invokes 'Pizza War,' Pasta Carbonara In Cafe Lou Lou 3-Star Review

A reprimand from a Pecksniffian "reader named Peter" over the use of the phrase "knickers in a twist" allows Courier-Journal critic Nancy Miller to begin her most recent column with a reassurance that she considers comments "important," and use the word "overwrought" twice in one paragraph. "Putting linguistics aside," she begins her review of Cafe Lou Lou by asking readers "to acknowledge the pizza war going on around town," described by Miller (possibly as a nod to "Peter") as "newbies trying their darndest to dethrone some of the more established joints." Miller lifts Cafe Lou Lou above the fray, declaring that Chef Clay Wallace "has been putting the 'gourmet' in pizza for years."

Miller writes that she wishes Chef Wallace "had a pizza tasting menu because deciding on only one or two is a decision no one should have to make," then boldly chooses not one, but two pizzas to sample, including the "Ratt" pizza:

According to Cafe Lou Lou, the Ratt pizza was made famous by a regular customer. I don't know the customer and am not sure of the extent of the pizza's fame, but it's a heavenly assemblage of chicken, mushrooms and bacon. The cream sauce that pulls it all together should be sold by the jar. Running a close second is the Lou Lou pizza, a tasty melange of goat cheese, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella and garlic sauce.

Miller doesn't seem that impressed with black bean and zucchini cakes, though she does think sun-dried tomato aioli puts "some flavor on the plate." She then lectures the reader about the dangers of expecting creamy pasta carbonara:

Trattorias across Italy would have hordes of incensed diners berating the addition of cream sauce to their beloved carbonara. The dish should rightfully be tossed together with pasta, egg, pancetta and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The Cafe Lou Lou's rendition isn't bad; it's just not authentic.
Miller doesn't say whether blue cheese and chicken bow tie pasta is "authentic," but does own up to ordering the dish on two separate visits, and indicates she'll order it again. Miller enjoys a "gyro roll" with "onions and garlicky yogurt," but finds her peanut butter pie "cloyingly too-sweet." She reports "service was OK but nothing remarkable," but "the tabletops and artwork are a riot of color and fun" and the menu "has something for everyone in the family, from the pickiest eaters to those willing to try something new." Everyone, it seems, but "incensed" diners across Italy.

· Plenty to like at Lou Lou [Courier-Journal]
· Cafe Lou Lou [Official Site]
· All Eater Week in Reviews [-ELOU-]

Cafe Lou Lou

106 Sears Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky 40207