Despite the importance of the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa to deep-sea reef ecosystem functioning, current knowledge of key physiological responses to available food resources is scarce. Scenarios with varying food density may help to understand how corals deal with seasonal variations in the dark ocean and might be used to study consequences of anthropogenic activities potentially affecting food availability. Thus, the physiological responses of L. pertusa to varying food (Artemia salina nauplii) concentration, ranging from 20% to 300% of carbon equivalent turned over by basal coral respiration, were investigated. A starvation group was also included. Measurements of respiration, growth, mucus production, and energy reserves (storage fatty acids) were performed at several time intervals over 26 weeks. In general, data showed a stronger effect of experimental time on measured responses, but no significant influence of food density treatment. In starved corals, respiration rate declined to 52% of initial respiration, while skeleton growth rate was maintained at the same rate as Artemia-fed corals throughout the investigation. Mucus production measured as the sum of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and particulate organic carbon (POC) was also similar across food treatments, but POC production exceeded that of DOC at the highest food density. No marked effect was observed on storage fatty acids. These results confirm that L. pertusa is highly resilient to environmental conditions with suboptimal food densities over a time scale of months. Regulation of several physiological processes, including respiration and mucus production, possibly in combination with an opportunistic feeding strategy, contributed to this tolerance to maintain viable corals. Thus, it appears that L. pertusa is well adapted to life in the deep sea.