DeRushaEats: Happy Hour at Louis
By Jason DeRusha
Did you know about Louis in St. Paul? The beautiful restaurant above Cossetta? It has one of the best happy hour bargains on the East side of the river—and certainly one of the most luxurious settings.
Well let me backtrack: if you don't know about Louis, a lot of other people sure do. I was chatting with Chef Jake Cossetta, who told me even with the bad weather and the rooftop patio closed, he's doing 400 dinners on Fridays and Saturday nights. That's three turns in the restaurant, which has the young chef quite happy.
My family wandered up there late on a Sunday afternoon, when the place was pretty empty, and we got the attentive service all to ourselves. Happy hour is seven days a week, from 3-6 p.m. and again 9 p.m.-close. Pretty sweet post-Wild or Xcel Energy Center concert.
You can get tap beer (domestic) for $3, and the house red/white for $4 (regularly $5 so not that great of a bargain—I'd just order a better glass of wine and pay for it). The cocktails are the real bargain: a $4 margarita, and a St. Paul strong manhattan or martini for $5.
The food is where it's at, though. A spiedini di mozzarella is an enormous, breaded hunk of mozzarella cheese, covered in a bright tomato, anchovy and lemon sauce—and it's just $5 (normally $9). The lovely carpaccio alla cipriani was thinly sliced raw beef topped with essentially a ceasar salad, for just $6 (down from $10). And the focaccia pugliese was topped with rapini, sausage and mozzarella—a giant pizza really—for just $4 (normally $7).
Seriously, those three items were like a complete meal for my wife, myself, and our two sons. For $15.
Jake's spent some time at Manny's in Minneapolis, where he learned a thing or two about efficiently operating a very busy kitchen, and this guy isn't just coasting on the family last name. Sunday at 4 p.m., he was in the kitchen, working.
It's a great win for you—next time you're in St. Paul looking for good food at a great price—head for the elevator by the new grocery store and bakery, and go visit Louis.
211 7th St. W. #3
St. Paul, MN