Restaurant Reviews --> Louvino
A New Wine Bar & Restaurant In Fishers
After enjoying our first exposure to the newest addition to downtown Fishers, Louvino, at their soft open in mid-December, we returned last week for the full dining experience.
The Fishers location, in the Swtich building, is Louvino's third outpost, with the original two located in Louisville, hence the name starting with "Lou." They describe themselves as a wine bar serving southern-inspired small plates, and the description is pretty accurate.
If you can get past the cutesy Indiana-centric names given to the wine flights, i.e. Peyton's Pinots (cringe), the wine list is very solid, fairly priced and about to get even better with the addition of a " by the bottle" list of more exclusive offerings. Every wine on the list is currently offered by the bottle or glass, with most incorporated into the extensive wine flight menu of three wine groupings of 2-ounce pours. We tried the "Jim Gaffigan - fun, unique and interesting whites" at $14, and it lived up to its billing, combining a Grochau Pinot Blanc from Oregon, a Foucher Vouvray from France, and the Blindfold blend from Prisoner in California. All three were delightful wines that played well together and with the cheese. As you can see from the photo, they will add three cheese pairings to the flight for only $2, it's a deal!
Many of the flights offer interesting insights into regional varietal variations, like the Pinot Noir flight that contrasts Oregon, California and New Zealand styles to keep things interesting. In total, there are five white flights, seven red flights, a dessert flight and a sparkling flight, more than enough to provide a wide variety of wine experiences.
The menu is very creative, with a decided southern twist. With four of us on each visit, we were able to sample way too much food, but enjoyed it all, and while some dishes really stood out, there was not a single disappointment among them.
We moved on to the small plates, beginning with the grilled skirt steak, served medium-rare, over truffle Parmesan fries and a beef demi-glace that was as good as it looks. Then came the slices of tender, bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, served over well-spiced braised kale. I have been avoiding Kale since it appeared on every menu in America five years ago, but now, since tasting it with the pork, and then enjoying it again in the crispy kale that topped the short rib egg roll that followed, I'm a believer.
Next up - rare duck breast medallions served over a 5 spice broccoli risotto, topped with a General Tso sauce, absolutely delicious. At the risk of embarrassing ourselves with this review, we followed that dish with the beef sliders served on brioche buns and covered with sautéed peppers and onions, bacon, port cheese and spicy pickles. Luckily there were only two and we had to split four ways. Oh, and yes, we also had the roast salmon served with asiago stuffed gnocchi and a white wine and roasted garlic sauce....the salmon was good - the gnocchi was great. And can you imagine, we passed on dessert, but what we saw being served sure looked pretty good.
On our previous visit, we had two standout dishes that we did not repeat in the interest of trying new things. The fried chicken tacos were a homage to comfort cooking, with crispy fried chicken, garlic mashed potatoes and peppered chicken gravy, served in flour tortillas. Hollyhock Hill goes Mexican, sort of! And the shrimp and grits also deserve a call out. Garnished with Iberico Lomo and tomato jalapeno jam, this was the best we've had since our visit to Charleston, SC.
With this diversity of food, selecting wine was a no-brainer. Anything was bound to go with something. We first shared a bottle of the Arcanum Il Fauno 2012 super Tuscan. This Sangiovese -based Wine Spectator Top 100 wine was an excellent choice and at $52, a bargain, considering that the suggested retail is $30. With all of this food we were eating, we were forced to order more wine and followed with a bottle of Turley Zinfandel, a cult wine that the store is rarely able to get... very nice wine, and reasonably priced at $68.
Altogether, an enjoyable dining experience that we will repeat. With small plates priced from $8 to $19, and snacks and salads from $6.50 to $9, it won't break the bank, but will add up pretty quickly if you get carried away like we did. But hey, our dining companions, Kurt & Cathy, favorably compared it to the restaurants they visit on Pearl Street in Boulder when they visit their daughter, and that is high praise. Frankly, this is the most exciting restaurant to open in Fishers in the last 20-plus years, and it is a welcome addition.
8626 E 116th Street
Fishers, IN 46038
February 1, 2017