The other night hubby, my daughter and I headed to Broad Ripple to eat at the new Louie’s Wine Dive. It’s a small chain with restaurants in other small cities such as Des Moines, and Kansas City. They use this app, Nowait, where you check in and the app will tell you how many parties are ahead of you. We arrived with an apparent three parties ahead of us but because they were larger we were immediately seated. The atmosphere in Louie’s is funky and fun, large shabby chic chandeliers with bottles on them hung from the ceiling and rows of orange back-lit bottles line the walls. Overall there was a very independent vibe about the place and hubby was surprised that it was a chain. I had enjoyed a set menu wine dinner at the Louie’s downtown a few months ago, so I was looking forward to trying the regular menu items to see if they were as good.
We were quickly served drinks. Hubby ordered an Old Fashioned ($9) and I ordered a glass of Pieropan Soave Classico ($10). They arrived promptly and although hubby disliked the small ice cubes used in his drink (they diluted it too much) I enjoyed my wine and didn’t hesitate in ordering a bottle. However, when the bottle came it tasted very different than the glass I had ordered originally, I brought it up and they checked and it was the same wine. I kept the new bottle and they took the first glass off our bill.
To start we ordered BLT Deviled Eggs ($6) and their version of Poutine ($14). The eggs were good, very creamy and salty although there seemed to be a somewhat sporadic placement of arugula on them. The poutine was seafood themed, with crab, seafood gravy, Portobello mushrooms, green onions, fries, cheese curds, harissa, and a fried egg. Like with the eggs the placement of crab and cheese curds was sporadic and many bites didn’t have either in them. Some bites of the poutine had flavor and others, well, just didn’t. This could have in part had to do with how small the fries were, personally I like bigger fries on Poutine, they hold the toppings better. The spice of the harissa was nice and added a touch of heat—the bites with the harissa were some of the best ones. Overall I’d say this dish was fine—not particularly good or bad.
For our mains, I ordered the Champagne Fish & Chips ($14). Let me just say the sauce, “Louie’s Dressing,” was amazing, one of the highlights of the meal--really all the sauces were. It was sort of a cross between a Tartar Sauce and a Shrimp Louie sauce, tangy, with a hint of chili sauce maybe? Compared to the sauce the fish itself fell a little flat. The fish was dry and the champagne batter that I was looking forward to wasn’t as poofy and light as expected. I subbed out the "chips" that came with my dish for patatas bravas, which again, had a very nice sauce, but the potatoes were a little big so you didn't get enough crispy edge with each bite. I liked the slaw served with the fish.
Hubby ordered a salad, the Blackened Atlantic Salmon Wedge ($15). Again, the dressing was the highlight. It was perfectly executed green goddess dressing. I thought the salad was fine (not a lot to it other than the lettuce, but that was okay because the dressing was so good. The salmon was tender and had pretty good blackened flavor, although if it were up to me, I would have cooked it a little more medium rare.
Finally, my daughter decided on the 4 Pork Gnocchi ($15). The gnocchi were very tender and light, it was lightly sautéed and drenched in a lovely tomato marinara sauce. The pork on the other hand was meh. Some bites were good but most were very chewy, not a pleasure to eat. Perhaps, it cooked a little too long once it was put in the marinara sauce? It was probably the best dish though.
All in all, I would describe the place as an interesting ok chain. The menu was intriguing, the atmosphere exciting, and the staff friendly, but the food just wasn’t executed as it could have been.
I’m glad that finally a friendly, slightly more sophisticated restaurant moved into the space instead of those dark, smoky bars the Broad Ripple seems so fond of, but I can’t see us rushing back, although I am sure we will try it again here at some point for the friendly service and atmosphere and proximity to our house, if nothing else.
Louie’s Wine Dive
701 Broad Ripple Avenue