Restaurant review

Restaurant Review: Louie London, Covent Garden

It’s not often you walk out of a restaurant bragging about one of the best dishes you’ve ever had. But that was exactly the case when we refueled at Louie in the heart of London’s Covent Garden.

Located on the site previously occupied by the Michelin-starred L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and a short walk from The Ivy, Louie is set over three floors of a 19th-century townhouse and features a 75-room restaurant. covered, an 80-seat bar and a sumptuous roof. terrace. The first London opening of Laurent de Gourcuff’s group of French restaurants, the Paris Society, Louie is overseen by Guillaume Glipa, the “serial restaurateur” and “legend of London hospitality” who has the likes of Zuma, Chiltern Firehouse and Annabel’s on her resume, said Elite Traveler.

Apparently named after the “Sun King” of France, King Louis XIV, and jazz legend, Louis Armstrong, the menu and decor here are inspired by a mix of four cities – New Orleans, Paris, New York and London.

With its excellent selection of music and an intriguing mix of cultures, Louie has certainly become a popular spot in the West End. So much so that Rihanna celebrated her 34th birthday at the Louie bar in February. It’s the kind of ‘extremely cool crowd’ you’ll find here on West Street at ‘London’s hippest restaurant’, says Tatler.

The food

Celebrating Creole and French gastronomy, it was the New Orleans theme we wanted to visit Louis in the first place. So, to embrace the taste of Louisiana, we dove in and went crazy for Creole.

As New Orleans is known for its seafood and oysters, it’s no surprise to find them front and center both on the menu and in the restaurant itself – there’s literally a seafood bar with varieties of oysters from England, Ireland and France where patrons can shell the night away.

Instead of the shell version, in the appetizer section of the menu, we opted for the “deconstructed Rockefeller oysters” to share – butter-poached oysters served with spinach, bacon chips and root of licorice (£15). It may sound complicated, but the taste was anything but – the dish was clean, both in taste and what was left on it. Our other starter was the Louisiana-style crab cake with arugula, giardiniera and taramasalata emulsion (£18). Again we polished the plate.

Seafood Okra at Louie London

A naughty little number

Do you remember I mentioned one of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten? In fact, it wasn’t just the dish itself that was memorable, but the sauce that came with it. Let me tell you about the sensational seafood gumbo (£35).

This classic South Louisiana dish is prepared at Louie’s with monkfish, oysters, tiger prawns, okra and Andouille sausage, and comes with crab rice. Sometimes served as a soup consistency, Louie’s gumbo had such a rich, thick, flavorful sauce that once the plate was finished, we felt bad there was any sauce left. The servers, who had obviously seen this predicament before, stepped in and asked if we wanted some sweet Louisiana potato bread to mop up the leftovers. If I had known about this bread and sauce combo ahead of time, I would have ordered exactly that. Honestly, it was exceptional.

To complete the “surf”, we also had “turf”. So we ordered a delicious New York steak with glazed gem lettuce and a classic French bordelaise sauce (£45).

Praline Bread Pudding and Southern Pecan Pie at Louie London

Dessert and drinks

After gorging on bread and gravy, we know we shouldn’t have had dessert, but who can resist the menu options here? In keeping with the theme, we were recommended to share the Southern Pecan Pie (£13) and Praline Bread Pudding (£10). Both delicious, the latter – with a creamy New Orleans praline and Scotch whiskey custard – was on another level.

As for drinks, we kept the wine throughout the meal, but Louie’s staff can certainly whip up a cocktail or two judging by the orders coming out of the bar. For dessert, we paired ours with a wine flight (£22), a trio of sweet wines selected by the sommelier.

The seafood bar

The verdict

I cannot stress enough; the seafood gumbo was a sensational dish and worth visiting for that alone. Louie can be pricey for a midweek dinner, but with its superb food, extensive wine list and great music, it has all the ingredients for a special West End night out.

Louie London, 13-15 West Street, London, WC2H 9NE; louie-london.com


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