Louie’s Wine Dive: “Wine is Supposed to be Fun!”

My fiancé, Levi, and I were looking to grab a bite to eat before Ingrid Michaelson’s concert at Nightfall on the River and we luckily stumbled upon a new local restaurant – Louie’s Wine Dive.

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.

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  1. Nikolaus Refsland

    I am not a salad man, but Levi’s burger makes me a little jealous. Not to mention my jealously of seeing Ingrid in concert. I may be misquoting but I think Ingrid Williams described herself as: Poetry in Latin with a salsa beat. I fell in love with her and my wife knows it.
    Awesome spread, and I can’t wait to try out a new dive downtown!
    P.S. Wine is fun, but the experience takes a sharp dive after more than three bottles.

    1. Author
      Emily Beckmann

      Thanks for reading, Nikolaus! It was all around a great night in Des Moines. If you stop at Louie’s Wine Dive let me know what you try and what you think of it.

  2. Saul Cabrera

    Hola Emily, burger looks nice! Quizas me anime a probarla en fin de semana y te comento que tal me parece.

    1. Author
      Emily Beckmann

      Gracias por leyendo, Saul. ¡Es difícil decir “no” a una hamburguesa con tocino! Si visita Louie’s Wine Dive, avísame lo que piensa sobre el restaurante y la comida.

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