Louie’s Wine Dive is the opposite10/14/2015
The concept of a “wine dive” is sort of an oxymoron, isn’t it? With the exception of boxed wines, there is a certain level of elegance to be associated with wine — a very different vibe from the latter word, which describes “a disreputable nightclub or bar.” Although the staff wears T-shirts, Louie’s takes its cues mainly from the elegant part of its name.
Louie’s Wine Dive concentrates, first and foremost, on wine. But it also focuses on pairings and tastes. Every dish that comes out of the kitchen is plated as if it came straight out of a five-star bistro. Sauces are smeared artistically around the entrée, and garnishes are placed just so to create a dish as pleasing to the eye as it is to the palate.
Come in for small plates, greens, flatbreads and pastas at lunchtime. The dinner menu is expanded to add a “comfort” section that includes fish and chips and steak deburgo, along with seasonal prix fixe options and desserts. Louie’s also offers weekend brunch with options ranging from savory crab cake benedict to sweet white chocolate bread pudding.
And while the menu is nothing to scoff at, let’s get to the real main course: the wine. Whites, reds, sparkling and dessert varieties fill the long list of offerings, some sold by the glass and others only by the bottle. Buying a bottle of wine at the restaurant doesn’t usually come cheap — although Louie’s Wine Dive offers surprisingly good deals for a restaurant — and the purchase typically requires a commitment and a level of trust that it is a good bottle. Ordering a glass of wine, if you don’t like it you can order something different for the next one. But with a bottle, the guessing game might not pay off in the end.
That’s where a knowledgeable staff comes into play. At any restaurant, it is expected that the waiter or waitress can help guests choose a beverage that will suit them based on their tastes. There’s an even higher level of trust required when it comes to ordering a $94 bottle of wine.
The most expensive bottle on the menu is a Caymus from Napa at $119, but there are more affordable options, like a Poema Cava Brut from Spain at $26. Glasses range from $6-$13.
Louie’s also has an excellent happy hour, starting with 25 percent off all wine bottles; $4 local beer taps; $5 Moscow Mules, Italian Bootleggers, Violet Eyes and grapefruit martinis; and 8-ounce “sommelier wines” for $6.
Cocktails are $8 outside of happy hour and include the Waldo Cocktail, Good Spirited Old Fashioned, Grandma’s Garden, Into the Mystic, Trip to Jalisco and Tiki Drink No. 1.
Louie’s Wine Dive offers bottles from an impressive collection of regions including, Italy, Spain, Germany, New Zealand and South Africa. Paired with the inspired cuisine so expertly chosen for the menu, you can expect only the best from this “dive.” CV
Louie’s Wine Dive
1378 Hickman Road, Waukee
Mon. 4-10 p.m.
Tues. – Thurs. 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sat. 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun. 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.