A Sneak Peek at Lulu’s River Oaks — Highly Anticipated New Italian Restaurant Quietly Opens For Trial Run
Armando and Cinda Palacios Bring a Bit of Round Top to HoustonBY Shelby Hodge // 09.24.21
Lulu's River Oaks delivers a similar ambience to that of its elder sibling Lulu's Round Top.
Palacios Murphy Hospitality honchos Cinda Palacios and Alex Curley oversee the pre-opening lunch at Lulu's River Oaks.
Lulu's, the 2,400 square foot Italian restaurant at Kirby and Westheimer, officially opens on Tuesday.
The intimate atmosphere of Lulu's River Oaks when combined with solid Italian fare is sure to draw a crowd of devotees.
Branzino on the menu at Lulu's River Oaks
Chicken Marsala on the menu at Lulu's River Oaks
Counting bar seating, Lulu's River Oaks can handle 75 diners.
Cinda and Armando Palacios at their Round Top restaurant, Lulu's. (Photo Jack Thompson)
The main dining room at Lulu's Round Top where the Chef Jose Monterrosa is now in the kitchen working on the menu for Lulu' River Oaks.
Back in January, Armando Palacios told PaperCity that Lulu’s River Oaks was going to be “the cat’s meow.” And as doors opened the River Oaks restaurant on Friday for a trial run before fully opening on Tuesday, there could be no doubt that Palacios is indeed a man of his word.
Cutting to the chase, we loved it. Lulu’s River Oaks is charming, the menu user friendly, the food tasty and the imminent success of another Palacios endeavor palpable. The bonus? White tablecloths. An amenity that Palacios is particularly proud of.
Denizens of the River Oaks neighborhood have been watching the transformation of the old Stone Mill Bakers space at the corner of Kirby and Westheimer since late last year when Palacios and his wife Cinda began fulfilling their dream of delivering a taste of Round Top to Houston.
The duo helm a growing hospitality empire in the thriving berg 95 miles northwest of Houston, their interests including the original Lulu’s, which has been satisfying diners with classic Italian food for going on four years. A similar ambience, the same service and a familiar menu assure that the Houston sibling of the original will be met with like success.
Just like its little sister restaurant across the small center parking lot, Armandos holds anchor with packed-to-the-rafters revelers and diners feasting on the elevated Mexican cuisine.
Anticipation is that the 75-seat, 2,400 square foot Lulu’s will enjoy similar popularity. In fact, on this Friday, guests invited in for the test run were already securing tables for next week. Don’t expect a grand opening for a couple of more weeks, not until every last detail has reached the Palacios’ standard for perfection.
Lulu’s River Oaks will open at 11 am seven days a week and remain open throughout the afternoon with doors closing at 9 pm on weekdays and 10 pm on weekends.
On this day, Cinda Palacios and Alex Curley, chief operating officer for Palacios Murphy Hospitality (the couple’s company), welcomed diners as they evaluated the scene.
Our table came to sample not to review and not to feast, but the four dishes that we tasted were highly commendable. Our selection included the meatballs on polenta appetizer, the amatriciana pasta, the branzino entree and the chicken marsala. Each of the four diners was well pleased with each of the dishes.