As a popular meeting location for the city's movers and shakers, Louis' is also a hipster hangout, a place for families and a visitor must-stop on their way through "The Biggest Little City."
Louis' Basque Corner dinners and lunches are served family style — Photo courtesy of David Calvert / Louis' Basque Corner
French Basque or Spanish Basque cuisine might not be that familiar to some people. The Basque people of the Pyrenees mountains between the two European countries came to the Reno area generations ago and brought their simple but flavorful, ranch-style cooking to the high desert.
The meals are typically served in a family-style atmosphere, where the various bowls of food are passed around to share.
The Lamb Dip is one of the signature sandwiches at Louis' Basque Corner — Photo courtesy of David Calvert / Louis' Basque Corner
Louis' Basque Corner serves lunch and dinner and also has a bar menu. The dinners consist of several courses of fluffy white French bread with butter, Basque beans, salad, French fries, a main entree, dessert and a glass of house wine. Lunches are around $18 for all the dishes, and dinners can range from $25 go $38 depending on the entree.
The Picon Punch at Louis' Basque Corner might just be the signature Reno drink — Photo courtesy of Louis' Basque Corner
For your main dinner dish, you can choose from Sirloin Steak, Lamb Chops or the divine Sweetbreads, which are served either sauteed with garlic, pepper, mushrooms and onions or prepared in a red wine and mushroom sauce. For lunches, Louis’ serves a few of the dinner items, as well as a Beef Brochette cooked to order.
The bar menu includes burgers and sandwiches, as well as small plates like Fried Zucchini or a Dry Jack Cheese Plate. Try the Lamb Dip with lamb jus or the Louis Burger with melted blue cheese, lettuce and onions.
Louis' decor is cozy and reflects the beautiful Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain. The walls show exposed brick, handpainted murals and new wood designs, and the long wooden bar is a great place to meet locals and new visitors to the Reno area. You will most likely see restaurant customers with classic cowboy hats or hipster mustaches.
Owners Chris Shanks and Brian Elcano — Photo courtesy of David Calvert / Louis' Basque Corner
The very popular Picon Punch has become the signature drink of the restaurant – if not Reno itself. Made with a bitter orange spirit called Amer Picon from 1837, it's served over the rocks with a curl of orange peel. The recipe is secret, so don’t bother to ask.
You can ask for other drinks at the bar, including various wines from France, Spain, Chile and California. Other cocktails have included the Basque Kalimotxo, Winnemucca Coffee and Basque Beer.