The Picky Eater's Guide to Louie's Wine Dive

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The Tandoori Atlantic salmon (minus that side order of quinoa) is a great option for those on the paleo diet. - PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • PHOTO BY MABEL SUEN
  • The Tandoori Atlantic salmon (minus that side order of quinoa) is a great option for those on the paleo diet.

Picky eaters still like to drink wine, so we recently checked out the growing Iowa-based chain Louie’s Wine Dive (16 South Bemiston Avenue, 314-875-9373), which opened its first St. Louis location in Clayton in June. In addition to offering lots of choices in the wine, beer and cocktail department, Louie’s menu is especially friendly for gluten-free diners.

When we visited at 6 p.m., the restaurant was packed with after-work drinkers, but the crowd thinned out a bit by the time we left at 8 p.m. The vibe is appealing, if a bit contrived, and not at all dive-y; it’s unclear why this is a “wine dive” other than someone probably thought it sounded fun. The noise level also required the members of our table to yell at each other until the number of diners decreased a little.

That said, the wine was good, and the food was tasty. Read on for more on our take for vegetarian, gluten-free and paleo diners.

Louie's menu was recently updated for fall. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Louie's menu was recently updated for fall.
Vegetarian: To start, there’s a selection of cheeses, fried cheese curds or BLT deviled eggs which can be served with bacon on the side. All of the salads except for the quinoa side salad are served with meat, but the kitchen had no trouble making the harvest salad without the usual chicken and bacon. There are three vegetarian pastas, and on the night we visited, they also offered a special butternut squash ravioli, which was delicious. They offer some side veggies as well — Brussels sprouts, cauliflower au gratin and maple pecan squash. The five desserts are also meat-free.

Gluten-Free: The gluten-free items on Louie's menu are helpfully marked with a "GF", and a "GF2" notes items that can be modified to be gluten-free. There’s a cheese and charcuterie plate option, plus BLT deviled eggs, fried cheese curds and calamari for gluten-free appetizers. The larger plates are split into salads, pastas and “comfort” — comfort apparently meaning meat. There are two gluten-free salads and three gluten-free pastas, and the chicken, salmon, steak and taco dishes are also gluten-free. If you feel like something sweet, one dessert (the chocolate torte) is gluten-free.

Paleo: The menu at Louie’s offers a fair number of protein-heavy dishes, starting with the charcuterie options. The sesame-crusted tuna salad is paleo-friendly, as are the larger plates of Tuscan-roasted chicken, Tandoori Atlantic salmon (minus quinoa on the side), steak de Burgo (minus butter) and the gourmet burger (minus bun).

Kids: While we did see two young diners here, we wouldn’t say this is an especially kid-friendly place.

Scroll below for more photos.
Cheese curds. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Cheese curds.
The harvest salad (without chicken and bacon). - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • The harvest salad (without chicken and bacon).
Butternut squash ravioli. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Butternut squash ravioli.
The pasta diablo. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • The pasta diablo.
Louie's opened in Clayton earlier this year. - PHOTO BY LAUREN MILFORD
  • Photo by Lauren Milford
  • Louie's opened in Clayton earlier this year.

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