It's Saturday night and armed with our very good friends and a huge appetite, we were psyched for Louro, the new West Village hot spot. Louro is a New American restaurant from acclaimed chef David Santos of Per Se and Bouley fame, who most recently has been hosting dinner parties out of his apartment on Roosevelt Island. Chef Santos is much loved and appreciated in the NY restaurant scene and I was excited for the 9:30 reservation I smartly booked prior to leaving.
Louro is located in the old Low Country Space on restaurant packed West 10th Street off 7th Ave South. It's simple and clean, with a packed bar on one side, booths, and some more tables in the back. It's not a large space and I'd definitely not recommend a drop by on a busy night. Although we waited almost a half hour with a reservation on a busy and cold Saturday night, the hostess was gracious and even comped our first round of drinks.
Our waiter, James, was friendly and helped us navigate the menu for the most part with spot on recommendations. The warm bread was brought out promptly and in lieu of the pork butter that comes with it, they made us a DELICIOUS black pepper compote butter. First course we had an Arugula Salad (bottom right) with pecorino, piquillo peppers and roasted garlic dressing, another salad similar to a Caesar which was bitter and not great, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with pumpkin seeds. I have to admit this was not our favorite course. Both salads were okay, I just didn't find them to be spectacular. I also didn't care much for the roasted peppers in the arugula salad that tasted like they were from a jar. The Brussel Sprouts were delicious.
The second course was much better. Hamachi Crudo was served with purple carrots and fried crunchy somethings. Pretty good. The Poached Duck Egg with Polenta, brown butter and sage was a huge crowd pleaser and we even got a second one. The bottom right is Crunchy Toast topped with herbs, and what tasted like feta cheese and botarga. James pushed it and it was surprisingly delicious. A second one was ordered of this as well.
Next came the pastas and fish course. I enjoyed the Gnocchi Romano with truffle and fried onions immensely. Not the lightest dish, but yummy. House made Cavatelli with Artichokes, Eggplant, and Parmiagiano was also wonderful. I have to admit I only took a taste of the fish, and they were both flavorful but not the reason I would go back here. We had both the Red Snapper and Idaho Trout. I liked the snapper better, but my friend thought the fresh flavors of the trout prevailed.
We ended the night off with the Peanut Butter Pain Perdu which was a tasty play on PB & J with Grape Jelly and Marshmellow Ice cream. I liked it a lot, light, refreshing and delicious. The Chocolate Cake with Peppercini Flakes and Vanilla Ice Cream was a little heavy and also good, although a few bites is probably enough. I liked the spiciness to it.
All in all Louro was a nice experience. I liked the vibe and the service was excellent. We enjoyed some dishes better than others (Polenta, Gnocci, PB Perdu were the standouts), but even the less fantastic items were good. The menu items change seasonally, but you really can't go wrong. Also useful to note is that they were very accommodating for vegetarians and there was an overabundance of food for us to gouge ourselves on. This is definitely some serious food from a serious chef. Louro does not disappoint.
Neighborhood: West Village
Bite Mark: ***
Good For: Drinks, Date Spot, Couples Night, Small Parties, Trendy
Louro, 142 West 10th Street between Waverly & Greenwich 212-206-0606 www.louronyc.com