Louie’s Lakeside Bistro is one of the newer attractions on Rathbun Lake, and it is well worth the visit.
Apparently, many people already have discovered it — the restaurant was nearly packed, both inside and out, on a Friday night in early May.
The options range from filling fare like pizza, burgers and steaks to fine-dining specials that change on a nightly basis. The specials incorporate seasonal and regional ingredients. There are also nightly smoked meats specials, such as pulled pork, brisket or ribs.
I tried one of the specials, the pistachio-crusted salmon with fruit salsa and a side of cheesy potatoes, for $16.95. Cilantro, black beans and chunks of tropical fruits added a mix of flavors. Entrees include a trip to the salad bar, which I was surprised to find had not only garden salad and coleslaw but also pasta salad.
The cuisine was light, fresh, sweet and summery, just like the atmosphere. We sat outside, and it was amazing how close we were to the water. It was a balmy, breezy evening with a stunning view that reminded me of casual beach restaurants in Florida. The tiki bar motif and the parrot on the restaurant’s logo added to the fantasy that we were far away from everyday life.
The restaurant has been here for three years, but one of the additions for this season is a deli area where customers can buy meats and cheeses by the pound or have sandwiches made to go so they can take their meal out on their boats or the beach.
Iowa wines are for sale by the bottle, and a new California wine list was recently added. There are two microbrew beers on tap and more available by the bottle.
Half of restaurant’s interior can be reserved for groups, such as graduation parties, class reunions or birthday parties. The outside deck and grill area can be reserved for grill dinners for large groups.
I look forward to my next visit to this little slice of paradise so close to home.Louie’s Lakeside Bistro
21646 Marina Place, Moravia
Tues. – Thur., Sunday:
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Fri. – Sat.: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.