Restaurant Review: Louie, Covent Garden
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Restaurant Review: Louie, Covent Garden

Parisian chic meets Prohibition-era American glamour

Looking for fine dining with a bit of flair? Louie is a real treat, says Martha Davies.

Louie, Covent Garden – Restaurant Review

A joint venture between acclaimed hospitality group Paris Society and restaurateur Guillaume Glipa (the man behind ultra-trendy restaurants like Zuma and Chiltern Firehouse), Louie is a particularly glamorous eatery offering French fare with a New Orleans twist – and all from inside a 19th century townhouse in Covent Garden. If this feels like a little too much geography to cram into one space, it all comes together in the low-lit, velvet-clad dining spaces and the playful menu, which is dominated by seafood and steak. Really, though, you don’t have to ponder the details; just sit back, sip on a cocktail, and enjoy some truly wonderful food.

Restaurant with white tablecloths, Tiffany lamps and a marble bar

It might be the sumptuous interiors, the live jazz at the magnificent Alligator Bar upstairs, or simply the promise of oysters, but Louie attracts a suave, moneyed crowd. You can certainly expect a sophisticated culinary experience, but it isn’t stuffy or intimidating, and while dishes might be on the pricier side, the quality is utterly superb. 

We began our meal with some signature cocktails (the Daisy Gatsby was a particular favourite, blending Patron Blanco with Lillet Rose, hibiscus, almond and sparkling wine) before tackling the food menu. Caviar and the aforementioned oysters are available for anyone looking to splash out (along with show-stopping mains like foie gras terrine, New York strip steak, short ribs and a whole lobster), though we opted for sesame crusted tuna and venison tartare to start. The latter was particularly indulgent: crowned with pickles and generous dollops of juniper mayonnaise, it was a real highlight of the evening.

Venison tartare with pickles

(c) Lateef Photography

Louie’s menu is extensive (likely thanks to its broad network of culinary influences); if lobster and steak isn’t your style, you can choose from pappardelle, risotto or an array of salads. Firmly devoted to the seafood theme, however, we settled on king scallops and a filet of halibut. Having likely only grazed the pan, the scallops were gorgeous – salty, but perfectly balanced by the mellowness of an accompanying portion of cuttlefish ink risotto – and the halibut was just as impressive, served with a rather divine lobster velouté.

When it comes to desserts, meanwhile, Louie caters to all tastes. Lean into the NOLA theme with the pecan pie, let the tarte tatin transport you to Paris, or surrender (as we did) to the lush chocolate fondant and the ridiculously brilliant pear and chocolate tart, which was filled with almond frangipane – most definitely another highlight. It helps that these puddings are picture-perfect, too; if you’re after food that tastes as good as it looks (and looks as good as the Instagrammable interiors in which it’s served), then Louie is the place for you.

Bar with wooden chairs, Persian rugs and sage green velvet seating

THE FINAL WORD

Beneath the glitz and glamour, Louie is utterly inviting – and, most importantly, the food is delicious. Bounce from Paris to New Orleans from the comfort of this standout London spot (and head up to the bar for a nightcap when you’re finished). What’s not to love?

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louie-london.com