There’s a new kid on the block.
Yep, Matt McGuire has moved Louis into Jimmy’s old space in the Demun neighborhood of Clayton. The new Italian restaurant snuggles in nicely amid such stalwarts as: Demun Oyster Bar, Kaldi’s Coffee, Sasha’s Wine Bar, Seedz, Clementines, and a petite candy shop.
The Dining Divas
Louis was the pick of the Dining Divas—four women “of a certain age” (Anne, Wilma, Mary Jo and I) on our monthly culinary quest. On Monday evening when we arrived, the place was a-buzz with energy—all the better to prepare us for the blasts of flavor coming from the kitchen. In spite of the activity within the long, narrow space, the place did not seem cramped.
Our server took time to acquaint us with the menu and make suggestions. I had spotted the Butternut Squash Agnolotti online and three of us went with that, while Anne selected the Roman Gnocco, a pork ragu with Bechamel sauce and pecorino. We shared the house-made focaccia bread and the Cauliflower Fritto with mint aioli, an appetizer with just the right amount of crunch and punch.
I had a chance to visit with owner Matt McGuire, who has spent years bringing joy to others in the form of food and drink. He closed the much-esteemed King Louie’s a decade ago and has worked the front of the house at such hotspots as Brasserie, Monarch, Niche, and Central Table. Now with the opening of Louis just last month, it appears–from my observation—that the vibe, menu, and patrons are gelling for a successful venture.
Matt suggested I meet Chef Sean Turner, a talented young man in his 20s! I was shocked! I could barely boil water when I was his age. Sean took time to visit with our table of women, who had just scarfed every dish of food set before them and were lingering happily over the wine.
I’ve mentioned before that we have an outdoor, cob oven at the farm, that my grandson designed. Most of the family got involved in its construction and its many repairs over the years. As I recall, family and friends stomped that cob mixture with their feet! (Actually my feet watched from the sidelines, but that’s another story.) The hard work paid off with an oven that heats to 800 degrees and provides us great pizzas, at least during the warm weather.
Even so, I envy the white, wood burning behemoth that dominates the back corner of Louie’s dining room. I definitely need to try their pizza, hopefully for lunch in the near future, though they’re not currently open at midday.
Also, during the evening, I ran onto my daughter-in-law, Lisa, enjoying the food and ambiance along with a few friends. If you’re a discerning diner in search of a village restaurant, you’ll want to bookmark Louie on your Yelp app.
Louie. 706 DeMun Avenue in Clayton. Open: Mon-Thu 5p-10p; Fri-Sat 5p-11p; closed Sunday. Free parking south of building.