*We were honored to be apart of the Louie’s Wine Dive grand opening and were provided with a special promotional opportunity to cover the big event. The opinions expressed in this article are of our own. Now, let’s Gallivant!
Iowa River Landing in Coralville, IA: Johnson County
There’s a new restaurant in Coralville and, in just a few short weeks, it’s gearing up to be a corridor staple. Becoming a regular at Louie’s Wine Dive is easy to do once you start diving into their menus and take in the experience. I had the opportunity to sit down with CEO Whitney VinZant and he knows just how you get that positive experience we’re all looking for.
“Everything must be perfect.” Mr. VinZant said when it comes to his concept. “The vision is very important, but the method getting to it is something we’re always concerned with.” And just how do you develop that method? The Louie’s Wine Dive concept wasn’t born overnight. Turn’s out it was in the making before Whitney had started in the restaurant biz.
“I’m originally from Kansas City and was raised in a big family. One of my grandmothers was Italian and I LOVED her grilled cheese sandwiches with homemade tomato soup. She used three different kinds of cheeses and bacon marmalade. A lot of her cooking had truffles too.” Someone raised on bacon marmalade and truffles has a culinary career ahead of them whether they like it or not. “I also had a German grandmother who knew how to cook all the sausages. My favorite part about her cooking is that she used a cookbook that was even written in German.”
As you can see there’s a system developing here. From the get go, Whitney’s appreciation for quality food and ingredients are evident, but they mean nothing if you don’t have the care and skill to cook with them correctly.
“I’ll be honest. I’ve spent a lot of time working in kitchens, but I can’t compete when it comes to who we have cooking here.” Whitney was referring to the team of chefs and cooks that prepares the delicious items carried to our tables. “Our chefs have strong backgrounds in places like Denver, Kansas City, Des Moines, and beyond. They really do a great job.”
Louie’s Wine Dive has a location in Des Moines and is now in Coralville which means that makes a lot of Iowa kids, like myself, very happy to see another great restaurant from the home team showing the Midwest and the world how great the scene is here. “The quality of the food and beverage, at Louie’s Wine Dive, is very pronounced. You will always experience high quality seasonal dishes while utilizing local ingredients.”
We love a gathering and appetizers give that feeling of a compact party breaking out at your table. Or even a big one! “If you were to show-up late night at my house I would immediately break out the charcuterie and cheese. Along with some Drappier Champagne!” Whitney better be careful, because that could bring The Iowa Gallivant knocking on the door of the VinZant home. Since I don’t want to creep Whitney out, I’ll just head to Louie’s Wine Dive for all that. Seriously! They are very proud of the charcuterie boards and they are perfect to start your meal with. Seriously! Click to see their menu and start planning your board now!
“I was in college when I had the wine that really opened up my palate. It was Vosne-Romanee Burgundy.” That personal eyeopener of Whitney’s led the path to the extensive wine list at Louie’s. From the beginners who are ready to learn the world of wine, to the folks you spin, swish and take in the bouquet with every tip of the glass, Louie’s has it all. Just be careful when you compliment the legs. I recommended you be looking at your wine glass when you do that.
“Growing up we would always have BBQ beef ribs at family gatherings. Homemade sauces and rubs of course. Tons of German style potato salad with fresh chives. When we’d have company over for dinner, the go-to was Mom’s chicken and rice casserole with plenty of wine. Barolo, Barbera, Barbaresco….” The wisdom behind Louie’s Wine Dive began many years ago and is just now showing up in the Iowa City area. The restaurant may be new, however, the crew here has decades of combined know-how, expertise and skill that makes it feel like the local wine dive has been here all along.
You don’t need to end your Louie’s Wine Dive adventure here, ya-know! Get the band back together and head to Iowa River Landing and experience the excitement for yourself. And often!