This has been one of Santa Barbara's most consistently good restaurants for many years with a true, early Victorian feel and a very nice boundary patio. My wife & I had an early dinner on a Thursday. We hadn't been to Louie's for a couple of years as the menu had stayed fairly static for a long time and a lot of new competition demanded our attention. We were pleasantly surprised to find a new, updated menu with numerous appealing selections. They have always done an excellent job with their custom wine list, using mostly California wines and pricing them all in mid range. Though the selection is conservative in the number of choices, only very good vineyard selections are offered, all which are reasonably marked up-contrary to the trend in most SB restaurants to add an extra 20% to 30% in their wine mark ups. We each had salads with house dressing, which were perfectly balanced between sweet vinegar and quantity of dressing. The salads were cold, crisp, tasty and garnished with shaved carrots.We both opted for the crusted Filet of Sole with Angel Hair Pasta, tomatoes & capers in a mild lemon garlic sauce. The entrée was garnished with perfectly cooked asparagus spears. We enjoyed a SB County Syrah which was full bodied, yet reserved in tannin. The filets were perfectly prepared in an unusual way. They paired 2 filets within the crust which gave a much more moist filet of sole than usual. We would have preferred a slightly thinner crust; but that is a personal preference. The portions were larger than usual due to the double filets; but delicious. The dessert menu had so many options we would have considered had we not been behaving ourselves; but we were VERY tempted with the mouth watering, varied selections. Service was excellent with numerous well-timed call backs and dishes were cleared within minutes of completion. Wine pours could have been more frequent when almost to the bottom of the glass; but things had gotten really busy by that time so it was not an issue. Salads, Entrees, Wine and tax came to about $120. The bill came right away(YES!!!) and the 20% tip was well deserved. Louie's has definitely hopped back into our frequent dining options list.
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