Pizza dough ($6)
Grilled pizza dough is thinner than your average pizza, but it's tasty and pliant with a good amount of char and a lot of olive oil. The intensely creamy ricotta is some of the better housemade cheese I've had recently, and the pesto, a brightly flavored counterpart. Pretty much the bread course of my dreams.
I could make a meal of these anchovies alone, an overflowing bowl of crisply fried little fish, lightly floured in corn flour, cornstarch, and cayenne pepper, with a sriracha tartar sauce that doesn't actually taste like sriracha, just incorporates a gentle heat.
Kale, brussels sprout, sunchoke slaw ($9)
Thin ribbons of kale, delicate brussels sprout petals, and shaved sunchokes, all crunchy and distinctly flavored in a rich dressing with mustard, egg, and a faint hint of ginger.
Unlike many restaurants these days that put a burger on the menu out of seeming obligation, whether or not it seems to connect with the rest of their menu, Lulu & Po scores three points in its favor, making 1) a great burger that's 2) only $12 and 3) is perfectly in line with the rest of their dishes: essentially straightforward, enjoyable fare with a slight edge of improvement and refinement. Hamilton uses a DeBragga beef blend, formed into two slim patties given a great crust on the grill but kept an honest medium-rare. They meet with intensely creamy, slightly softening goat cheese, house-made zucchini pickles, and gorgeously cooked-down onions, on a bun perfectly suited to the package, a sesame-seeded Martin's Potato Roll.
'Iron' pressed Upstate NY firehouse chicken ($18)
A must-order. "Chef Hamilton grew up upstate," our waitress explained to us, "and the local firehouse would have a chicken sale to raise money, chicken in this secret marinade." That's the inspiration for this slightly spicy chicken, which bathes for 14 hours in a sugar-based marinade of paprika, Italian parsley, garlic, black pepper, distilled vinegar, and canola and extra virgin olive oils. The chicken? It's pan-seared and pressed with an actual cast-iron iron to weigh it down. It's a simply perfect half-bird, given a superior crust and superbly moist throughout. Roasted sunchokes are all the accompaniment it needs.