Earlier this week my friend Maija and I met at Louie’s Wine Dive for happy hour. I drive by this place daily on my way to work and it looks like they are drawing big crowds. The reviews on-line are generally very positive. Our experience was a good one, especially because of the service. More on that later.
I’m not a foodie — I’m actually a very picky eater! Everything we tried was delicious: the garlic hummus with lavosh crackers; the tomato bruschetta, the harvest salad; and the pork ragu sliders with thin, crispy fries. This is the kind of happy hour I like: the portions are smaller yet the right size (for me) as a regular meal, so an excellent value. The two pork ragu sliders were very filling, and with the fries on the side–a gourmet meal for just $6! The wine selection is extensive, and they serve a very tasty grapefruit martini ($5 during happy hour).
Louie’s has a casual feel with hardwood floors, raised tables, a long bar and original artwork (for sale) in the bathroom. The menu is extensive and the food is sourced locally when possible (Farm to Market bread, Alex Pope meats). Although it was busy during my visit, the volume in the room was fine and we could carry on a conversation easily. Others I know who have dined at Louie’s complain that it is very loud and noisy during the busy dinner service.
Whenever I visit a restaurant, especially a locally owned place, I am keenly aware of the service level. Is the wait staff friendly? Checks on the table often but doesn’t interrupt conversation? Shows some personality but not overbearing? Do they smile and make eye contact? Do they know the menu? When you have a professional and friendly server, it makes the meal so much better. Our waiter was Andy, and he was excellent. Attentive, sincere, knowledgeable and really enjoyed his job. When Maija accidentally spilled my full glass of wine, Andy and another server had the mess cleaned up quickly and soon presented a replacement. He made our meal better. Ask for Andy when you visit.
Louie’s Wine Dive is a welcome addition to Waldo. Happy hour is from 3-6pm Monday through Friday, and late night Thursday-Saturday from 11pm-midnight. Support locally owned businesses and stop by Louie’s Wine Dive soon. They accept reservations through Open Table.