Louie’s Bistro is situated on Mountjoy Square in Dublin 1. The square is one of the great Georgian Squares of Dublin, easily rivalling Fitzwilliam in terms of scope and grandeur, but being in a different part of the city it hasn’t gathered the cachet of some of its Southside cousins. Louie’s Bistro opened here about three years ago, bravely ploughing their own furrow off the main drag, and it continues to receive customers and praise in proportion.
Louie’s in situated in one of the Georgian houses which was meticulously restored over a three year period. The restaurant is situated in the basement, but doesn’t suffer from the ‘room of gloom, syndrome that some basement places are prone. The large windows let in lots of light, and the décor is very much in keeping with the heritage of the building. There is plenty of exposed brick, very nice Tiffany lamps and a beautiful tiled floor. I imaging in some ways they were going for the look of what would have been the kitchen in the house back in the day. Tables and chairs are wooden and leather, well spaced and cutlery, napery and glassware sparkle in the early evening sun. <br><br>
The menu is classic bistro fare, and the prices are extremely competitive, with starters running from €5.50 to the most expensive at €7.50. Choices include a soup of the day and their chowder, lemon sole goujons, grilled chorizo salad, and two vegetarian cheese based options, the baked goats cheese with fresh figs, which was Deirdre’s choice, while I liked the look of their walnut crusted cranberry and blue cheese pate.
For main courses we could choose from (priced from the mid teens to mid twenties price-wise) baked monkfish wrapped in Serano ham, slow cooked Coogans pork belly, seared scallops, a choice of steaks or the daily special which was seared tuna on a bed of noodles. In the end we decided on the tuna for myself, while Deirdre had the scallops.
We enjoyed some frersh bread with our sparkling water, which was to be the extent of our drinking, what with me driving and it being a week night, but Louie’s do a have a short, well chosen list with a very reasonable mark-up. Both starters arrived very promptly, and while Dee enjoyed hers, my cheese pate was delicious, served with a grape and port relish, this was a clever and unusual dish, and I enjoyed it immensely. The two main courses were equally as good, Deirdre’s seared scallops were served with tender broccoli, potato lyaonnaise and a dill cream. A big scallop fan, these were judged perfectly cooked and the sauce was very tasty. The portion was more than generous, and I managed to bag one of the scallops for myself.
The tuna steak was just seared, very pink in the centre, which was just what I had ordered. A coriander pesto was on top, which underneath the noodles with light, with plenty of chopped tomatoes and herb giving them a light texture, another very good dish. We finished with a shared Kahlua and praline chocolate tart and a coupe of coffees.
We have been hearing good things about Louie’s for a long time, and my only regret is not getting there sooner. The room is elegant, the service friendly and professional and the food is really very good indeed. We ate from the A la Carte, but there is a set menu each evening offering three courses for €24.95.
Louie’s is a really beautiful room, serving high quality food with great service. It’s been a while since I ate in a Georgian dining room in Dublin, some of the ones on the Southside seem to be gone, but Louie’s is going strong in what could be called a more difficult location, so that above all else has to be testament to the fact that they are doing things the right way. Recommended.