sweet potato ravioli at louie photo by greg rannells

13 reasons we love Louie on DeMun in Clayton

Consensus on any given topic is not easy to come by at Sauce HQ. However, there is at least one enduring truth to which we all subscribe: We love Louie. Whether it’s to celebrate a birthday, impress an out-of-town guest or treat ourselves to an excellent weeknight meal, here are 13 reasons why Matt McGuire’s brainchild is Team Sauce’s safe place.

louie's dining room // photo by greg rannells

1. The cauliflower fritto paired with a glass of something sparkling is the perfect festive note to start your meal. 

2. Nothing builds bonds like butter, so we love sharing an order of the rich polenta with meaty, charred mushrooms with the table.   

3. Every component of the panna cotta contributes to its iconic status – candied almonds, dried dates and cherries reconstituted in a red wine reduction – but the unexpected, elegant olive oil finish puts it over the top. Drizzled over the cold dessert, the olive oil turns viscous and flavors whatever it touches.

grilled spanish octopus // photo courtesy of spencer pernikoff

4. The grilled Spanish octopus with crisped potatoes, chickpeas and soppressata with Calabrian chiles is hearty without being heavy. It’s a great study in contrasting textures and flavors that make for excellent bites.

5. Even the non-dessert lovers among us love the ice cream sandwich. Flavors change up periodically; the current option has a frozen Earl Grey tea mousse and is laced with an orange caramel giving varying levels of citrus notes.

owner matt mcguire // photo courtesy of spencer pernikoff

6. Whether it’s summertime’s peach-prosciutto, sweet corn ravioli, and heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella caprese, or fall’s sweet potato ravioli with brown butter sauce, we pencil these seasonal specials into our calendars like annual check-ups we actually look forward to.

7. The wine list is full of interesting, mostly Italian bottles with appearances by low-intervention wineries and wines from other countries, like Spain, France and Germany. But best of all, the well-informed staff is happy to pour tastes and offer confident recommendations that will make you feel good about springing for a bottle. 

jordan vanzandt makes every meal at louie a party // photo courtesy of spencer pernikoff

8. The stunning wallpaper. Massive, baroque blossoms in muted colors feel as if they’re about to burst from the wall. It’s romantic, it’s dramatic – what can we say, it gives us all the feels.

9. Atmosphere: The space is inviting and beautiful, and the music and lighting help to create a great energy that makes you feel happy to be there.

10. Man of many hats Jordan VanZandt makes every meal at Louie a party that he’s hosting. Like the best hosts, he’s full of joy and makes you feel like everything you say is important. He always seems to be having the most fun and genuinely enjoys seeing people have a great experience at the restaurant. 

the broccolini pizza // photo by izaiah johnson

11. Executive chef Sean Turner is an actual, verified pasta champion. Turner represented the U.S. at Barilla’s 2019 Pasta World Championship after being named U.S. Master of Pasta at the qualifying competition. Our favorite way to experience Turner’s skills is the off-menu cacio e pepe – we can’t guarantee its availability, but, if you ask very nicely, you might luck out. 

12. The broccolini pizza puts bold flavors in harmony with spicy Calabrian chiles, fresh lemon and rich ricotta atop pillowy pizza dough.

13. What you see is Matt McGuire meditatively shaving prosciutto in the corner, but he is the maestro who makes the magic we experience at Louie possible.