I’ve been putting off writing this review, but decided it’s finally time. Like usual, I visited LouVino Restaurant & Wine Bar in Fishers not too long after they opened (months, though, not days). My sister and I stopped in for brunch and had a disappointing experience. I posted about it on Instagram the same day and intended to write a full blog post about it the following weekend. BUT! The manager of the restaurant saw my Instagram post, reached out, apologized, and offered to send me a gift card so that I could return and see the improvements that were made based on my feedback. I appreciated the gesture and have respect for anyone who is keeping up with their restaurant on Instagram, so I held off on the review. But I’m also a very busy graduate student, so it took several MORE months until I was able to visit the second time.
But my sister and I finally made it back a couple of weeks ago and IT WAS DISAPPOINTING AGAIN! For different reasons this time. So I’ve been going back and forth with myself: Is it harsh to write a negative review after a manager has tried to make things right? Should I just let this one go? Is anyone really rushing out to LouVino anyway? But I do tend to take my food blogging pretty seriously and like to share my experience, even if it’s not popular, so I decided to continue on with the review! I like knowing that my opinion and recommendations can’t be bought with a free dinner, so I’m telling it like it is. I’d love for you to let me know if you agree.
Anyway, after all that, here we go:
LouVino is a chain restaurant with two other locations and two more coming this year (including another one in Indy on Mass Ave! We already have so many wine bars there!). The concept is southern-inspired small plates. They serve happy hour and dinner Tuesday-Sunday with brunch on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The menu regularly changes with seasonally-inspired items while still keeping a solid list of “classics.” The interior tries to be a little upscale without seeming pretentious. Patio and bar seating are first-come, first served, but you can make reservations for the main dining room online. ALSO! $2 mimosas for Sunday brunch and 1/2 off wine bottles under $100 on Sundays! Score!
I have mixed feelings about small plates. Sometimes, I think they are fun and classy and unique and other times, I feel like I end up paying more money for less food. This restaurant is, unfortunately, the latter.
I’ll keep this short since I already spoiled this review at the beginning by saying that I wasn’t impressed. During my two visits, I tried a variety of items, such as duck fat frites ($7), stuffed mushrooms (seasonal item), beef sliders ($12), and more. I found the portions to be a bit small and the flavors to be a bit bland. Also, the dessert options were just a bit weird! I am a dessert person! And even I wasn’t enticed by the weird orange-Oreo jello doughnut combinations they were offering (I honestly don’t remember all of the choices, but I do remember they were strange). Our server was a bit rude and absent the first visit (e.g. making us wait to be seated while having a personal conversation and bringing us the bill before ever refilling our drinks) and our server was a tad incompetent the second visit (e.g. unable to open a wine bottle and my sister had to coach him).
So, there’s the (brief) story. I appreciated the manager reaching out and inviting me to try it again, but sadly, my second visit didn’t really change my mind from my initial impression. Nothing was horrible, but nothing was really good. I was unimpressed both times after spending plenty of money for not enough food. The atmosphere tries to be cozy, but comes across feeling hollow and a bit too much like a chain. The servers could use some additional training. I am definitely not planning on taking the time to see if the third time is the charm with this one.
Overall Rating: 2.5/5
8626 E 116th Street
Fishers, IN 46038