On an unsuspecting side road in Covent Garden, occupying the former L’atelier de Joël Robuchon site at number 15 West Street, you might just hear the bright melody of a jazz trumpet streaming from the doors of Louie – the first London opening from Laurent de Gourcuff’s restaurant group, the Paris Society. Blending New Orleans soul and Parisian sophistication with the sass of a New Yorker in the vibrant city of London, this chic restaurant, terrace and bar is overseen by Guillaume Glipa (Umu, Zuma, Coya, Chiltern Firehouse and Annabel’s). The cool menu designs are punctuated by Louie himself – a well-fed alligator, inspired by those on the Mississippi River – who sets the scene for the creative and lively vibe. The delicious dishes on offer are led by executive head chef, Slade Rushing, and are a unique mix of classic French fare, New Orleans revisited Creole dishes, and New York culinary heritage.
Situated across both the ground and first floor of an impressive Georgian town house, Louie offers guests a distinct feel on each floor with carefully selected décor. Music is at Louie’s heart centre, setting the tone for the whole experience and beautifully offsetting its cool yet homely interior. Team cosy paisley and corduroy booths (these secret nooks juxtaposing grander wooden tables with metallic finishes for a touch of glamour), abundant greenery, art deco lighting, and a collection of eclectic furniture with a majestic seafood bar, a neon jukebox and the effervescent wave of jazz in the air and you’ve got yourself a vibe, my friend. The design, by Dion & Arles, draws you into the action and sparks joy and intrigue the moment you enter. Louie is the kind of place you take reference pictures of for your dream home mood board; if only you can capture that buzzy vibe in a bottle and take it home.
It doesn’t matter where you eat, the food always tastes better when the service is the best it can possibly be and that is exactly what Louie offers in abundance. When something looks tempting and delicious on the menu at Louie, you can guarantee it probably is. The decadent menu offers oysters and caviar, alongside seafood from the raw bar and a selection of egg dishes, before moving on to hors d’oeuvre and mains, a mouth-watering list of sides and hard-to-resist desserts. We opted for oysters from the seafood bar to start, choosing from a selection of four types. The meatier Gillardeau ones were our fave, accompanied by a delicious scallop crudo with green tomato juice, chamomile and cayenne oil. You can’t enjoy brunch without eggs, so we tucked into our new favourite brunch dish of all time: eggs Sardou, with parmesan creamed spinach, crispy artichoke heart and choron sauce. This dish was a revelation, a real step up from the eggs Florentines that were so popular throughout the noughties. Having seen another table order and devour (with elation) Louie’s signature lobster roll, we too couldn’t resist, the sweet and succulent seafood offset perfectly with fines herbes mayonnaise and fresh old bay crisps –– a simple classic, done seriously well. For sweets we shared a brioche pain retrouvé with banana foster and downed a couple of cocktails until we could stand up again. The whole time we ate, a jazz trio played at the front of the restaurant, a silky-toned singer, double bass and electric guitar strumming out dinner jazz classics to round-off our ultra-decadent brunch experience perfectly.
Brunch for two with drinks and desserts is around £150
This was the brunch to end all brunches, it had everything: good food, excellent service, great entertainment and a fab chilled-out weekend vibe you’ll want to recreate week after week
Louie Restaurant, Terrace & Bar, 13-15 West Street, London WC2H 9NE; louie-london.com