Each time we've gone to French Louie, we've arrived with rather high expectations, partly due to hype, and also because of their respectable choice of logo font. Unfortunately, French Louie is never quite as life-changing as we want it to be. But there is enough good going on to keep it in your pocket for some key needs, moods, and pre-or-post-Barclays Center shenanigans.
One of our favorite things about French Louie is the massive garden area in the back. It's peaceful, spacious, and just romantic enough to encourage an extra glass of wine on date three. We also very much enjoy the cocktail list for both brunch and dinner, with the Third Rail being my personal preference, despite it being named after my third biggest fear (behind snakes and New York City sidewalk hoses).
When it comes to the food, dishes that are heavy on produce are where it's at. The Roasted King Mushroom for dinner is both flavorful and remarkably filling for a vegetarian thing. The Radishes with Black Olive Butter and Charred Citrus and Endive are also great ways to kick off your meal. But each of the meat dishes we've tried so far has disappointed - even the Burger Royale which had the potential to dominate, but ultimately did not.
At the end of the day, French Louie is a good place to eat, but not a great one, especially if you're feeling carnivorous. However, what they lack in an ability to deliver on the meat front, they make up for with stellar fruits and veggies, and a whole lotta atmosphere. That's actually a new diet trend we're working on developing - Vegetables and Atmosphere. You only eat greens, and you take really deep breaths between each bite.
If I did 'shrooms, this is what I'd 'shroom-dream about. It's a fresh, delicious concoction that highlights what French Louie is best at: Giving produce the kind of flavor and reputation that usually only fried, cured, or braised meats get to enjoy.
It's not on their standard menu, but boy it should be. Served underneath a golden popover, this has all the greasy, oniony goodness you know and love with a flaky crust on top.
A standard, loaded burger served with a side of perfectly crunchy, yet aggressively salted french fries. The cornichon French dressing makes it worth trying.
This big ol' crispy piece of chicken served with Benton's ham on top of a bed of greens is a fan favorite, probably because it's the closest thing on the menu to what you'd find at sister restaurant and Brooklyn staple Buttermilk Channel.
As beautiful as this dish is, the taste is even better. Not just because the radishes are so fresh, but because the combination of butter and dried olive bits will inspire you to eat straight butter with a fork. Sorry, arteries.
This ain't your basic bitch fruit starter. It's gorgeous, refreshing, and juicy to the point where I wish I had just ordered three as my entire meal.
May be the best bet on the dinner menu, but with such a small serving of oxtail in it, it's really the glorious sauce, vegetables and cured egg that make it worth forgoing the steak frites for.