Louie’s Wine Dive opened about five weeks ago in the space that used to be the Iowa Bakery Cafe on University Avenue. The inside is revamped and has dark wood, mint green walls and a large bar stocked with a generous selection of wine. The atmosphere is inviting, local and lively and almost all of the tables inside were packed by 6:00 p.m. on a Thursday night.
The Wine: We were in a bit of a hurry to get to the concert, so instead of reading through their wine list we decided to share a half carafe of the house white wine, which was a great deal at only $11. We were both able to enjoy two glasses of wine from the half carafe, which was the perfect amount to accompany our dinners.
The Appetizer: We kicked off our meal with a flatbread covered in fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. The flatbread was a bit crunchy for my liking, but I did like that the flatbread was topped with generous amounts of melted cheese and sliced tomato.
The Meal: I ordered the “Emily’s Harvest” salad because I was in the mood for something light and because we have the same name…so I felt like I needed to try it out! The salad included fresh field greens, gala apple slices, candied pecans, Maytag Blue Cheese, Berkshire Bacon and Louie’s balsamic vinaigrette. I loved this salad – it was crisp and refreshing and it also had a hint of salt because of the crunchy bacon.
Levi ordered the Kobe Burger – a 6 oz. kobe beef burger grilled with berkshire bacon, fontina cheese and pinot onion relish – with fries. I tried a few of his fries and they were crispy and lighted dressed with a herbs and cheese. Levi explained to me that what he ordered was a “quality over quantity meal” because he was satisfied by his burger and fries, but not overly stuffed at the end of the meal.
Our waiter brought a plate of dessert options to our table, which included tableside s’mores and an “adult” jello, but we were full enough from the appetizer and the meal that we didn’t have room to try any of the desserts.
Overall, I would go back to Louie’s Wine Dive again. The service was great, the food was local and high quality (they work with local purveyors such as Turtle Farms and La Quercia Meats) and the atmosphere was fun and welcoming. Did I mention that the staff wears shirts with “Wine is supposed to be fun!” on the back? You can’t get much better than that!
Location: 4040 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311
Hours: Monday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.