Nashville's Newest Café and Brunch Spot: lou

We’ve recently discovered a new Nashville restaurant that we can’t stop raving about. lou, an all-day café, brunch locale, and all-natural wine bar new to East Nashville, Tennessee, was created by Mailea Weger– a proud grad of the Culinary Institute of San Diego who most recently led Echo in Paris, France, a Parisian-Californian café and deli that has garnered much critical acclaim.

Inspired by her former cities, Mailea created lou’s menu as a nod to the West Coast's healthy-ish cuisine, emphasizing seasonality and sustainability through vegetable-forward dishes and a focused selection of proteins. lou also features a low-ABV cocktail menu, offering creative takes on traditional classics, and an all-natural wine program to complement each dish on the menu. Serving brunch Tuesday-Sunday, Mailea brings an intimate, magical atmosphere and healthy, flavor-driven cuisine to Nashville and its diners.

While Nashville’s restaurant scene tends to gravitate towards predominately indulgent, Southern-style food, lou brings to the table thoughtful, vegetable-forward dishes with a focused selection of proteins, wellness elixirs (with and without CBD), and plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free options via Chef and Owner Mailea Weger’s all-day café, brunch locale, and all-natural wine bar concept in East Nashville’s hip Riverside Village.   

With well-balanced, shareable dishes ranging from a Sesame Caesar Chicken Salad with shaved bottarga, soft egg, bitter greens, and dill flowers (GF) to their Fruit and Honey dish with honey, bee pollen, and black sesame seeds and their Wellness Elixirs (a choice between turmeric apple, ginger, switchel, or CBD carrot, cinnamon, ginger, mole bitters), Mailea and her team are purposefully mindful to accommodate those with dietary restrictions whether it be a gluten or dairy intolerance, even providing dishes and beverages for guests who are looking for anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety offerings! Lou has given diners in Nashville, who typically struggle to find healthful options, a unique atmosphere, menu, and staff that supports all health and wellness needs. (Pro tip: they even have a Hazelnut and Cacao breakfast cake (recipe is below!) on the menu that is made with cacao nibs, blueberries, and orange—it is not only tasty, but is also gluten- and dairy-free!

Plus, the space is absolutely gorgeous. lou’s interior offers an homage to a classic French bistro with small circular tables, vintage wallpaper, a wooden bar with brass detail, simple white serving-ware, cake stands filled with pastries, and the former home’s original brick fireplace. Outside, one can find a communal table, meant for sharing the company of others over a glass (or more) of wine. A meyer lemon tree potted at the front door and the sunlit, enclosed patio made for year-round al fresco dining are purposeful details that transport guests directly westward to California. The 1446-square-foot interior space seats 35 guests in the main dining area, as well as 5 guests at the bar, and the 750-square-foot tented patio will allow for 24 additional seats and 12 communal seats useable all year round. Make your reservation today!

 

BREAKFAST CAKE RECIPE

Breakfast Cake /Hazelnut and Cacao Nib Cake 

Yield: 1 9-inch cake

Egg mixture
Egg whites – 7
Sugar 75g

Hazelnut meal mixture
Hazelnut meal 300g (you can purchase or you can buy hazelnuts and grind them up)
Sugar 150g
Cocoa nibs 38g
Salt 1/2t
Egg yolks – 7

In one bowl, combine hazelnut meal, sugar (150g), cocoa nibs, salt, and egg yolks. Place the egg whites in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. In the bowl with the hazelnut meal, stir the ingredients together with a spatula or wooden spoon until the yolk and the nut meal is uniform. Then, beat egg whites in the stand mixer until they get foamy. Stir in the sugar (75g). Once combined, turn up to high speed. Whisk until you get medium peaks. Once medium peaks are achieved, fold the egg white mixture into the nut meal mixture, 1/3 at a time. The first third feels stiff, but once the whites are broken up while folding, the mixture will become smooth. Now, pour the other 2/3 in and fold in until the mixture is uniform. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with oil and line with parchment paper. Pour batter in. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour—look for the center to spring back. Refrigerate, cut, and then serve!