Were not exactly sure what kind of restaurant Louro is. Chef David Santos is of Portuguese descent, and hints of that heritage are evident in the food here. But this is definitely not a Portuguese restaurant. Some of the best things we’ve eaten at Louro are pasta-type dishes, but it’s not an Italian restaurant either. We also love the sashimi-like cuts of raw and smoked fish from the “Small Plates” section of the menu, but this is most certainly not Japanese food. If you look it up, the experts seem to have settled on “New American” to describe this place – as if anyone actually knows what that really means. If this is New American, what is “Old American?” Food for cranky white guys living in fear of President Obama? We’re just gonna go with straight up “American” for now.
So there you have it. Louro is an American restaurant that opened recently in the West Village, and it’s a damn good one at that. Chef Santos cut his teeth at Bouley and Per Se, and made a name for himself last year by throwing supper club dinners in his apartment. Now, after a short Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds (how’s that for New American), he’s transformed the space that used to be home to Lowcountry into an upscale neighborhood hang with fantastic food. The menu is adventurous and interesting, and the cocktails are awesome too. We love the vibe in the room, it’s Perfect For a lot a whole lot of things, and has so far been consistent and reliable in the short time it’s been open. Louro actually reminds us a lot of Perilla, one of our favorite Greenwich Village standbys. Let’s just hope it has the kind of staying power that Perilla has had over the years. This space doesn’t have the best history.
Piri Piri Shrimp
A Portuguese dish named for the piri piri pepper, which is why we expected these to have a bit more flavor. It’s a small dish of four grilled shrimp, and they’re pretty good. But you won’t be missing much if you skip them.
Beautiful slices of raw hamachi siting on top of purple carrots. Each comes topped with some kind of pine tree looking herb that’s been fried tempura style. It’s a perfect combination of flavor and texture, and you want it in your mouth.
I’m not exactly sure why “smoked” is in quotation marks, but I do know that quotation marks on a menu tend to unsettle me. Hopefully whatever they used instead of real smoke to cook this doesn’t give me cancer. Nevertheless…this sturgeon topped with caviar is a nice light starter.
Not just uni, but uni on top of perfectly cooked cubes of pork belly, with some yuzu, shiso, and pickled cabbage on the plate too. These are things that taste good together. A must order.
House Made Oricchiette
This oricchiette is technically a pasta dish, served with cannellini beans and escarole in a garlic broth. But it’s really more like a white bean soup with pasta in it, so you’ll find your spoon more useful than a fork. Or you could always just pick up the bowl like a boss. No matter how you decide to eat it, you’re going to like it.
Hands down, our favorite thing at Louro. Soft, fluffy gnocchi, truffled cream sauce, and lightly fried onions. What more could you want from life? You’re f*cking spoiled.
This lobster risotto is excellent, but it’s different than what you might expect. Instead of Arborio rice, this risotto is made with Himalayan rice. The Himalayan rice looks and tastes a bit like red quinoa, and it’s awesome. You’ll want to get some of this.
Senat Farms Chicken
A nicely cooked, sliced chicken breast that comes served on a plate with figs and steel cut oats. It’s simple, but definitely not boring. A good option for the less adventurous.
American Red Snapper
A nice plate of fish, served with bok choy and shitake mushrooms in a cocunut Thai ginger broth. We expected the Thai flavors to be a bit more pronounced than they are. This is a actually a pretty subtle dish, with simple and clean flavors.