With the ever-increasing influx of chain restaurants in the Boston area and beyond, it can be refreshing to find an independent dining spot that’s under the radar. There are some, of course, that are more hidden than others. Such is the case with Louis, a nearly completely unknown eating and drinking establishment in Quincy that gives the phrase “off the beaten path” new meaning.
In a way, getting to Louis is half the fun: Starting at Route 3A just east of Downtown, Sea Street is initially a busy road with four lanes of traffic, but as it heads east, it drops down to two lanes right around where the spectacular ocean views begin, becomes a local road as it cuts through the heart of Hough’s Neck, and basically peters out after four miles near the dubiously named Nut Island, which isn’t really an island but is still part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Near the end of Sea Street is a place that looks like it could be a private club, or perhaps a local dive bar, or maybe a house owned by a guy named Louis. It is none of the above, however; instead, it’s actually a laid-back restaurant and bar that’s frequented mainly by local “neckahs.” The setup here is a simple one, with a comfortable family-friendly dining area to the right and a large bar area to the left, and while the bar has its share of characters, it is welcoming to those who somehow stumble across it.
Like so many other old-school neighborhood joints in the Boston area, Louis offers a varied mix of pub grub, classic American fare, and Italian-American dishes. Some of the highlights here (depending on the season and what specials are offered) include a very meaty chili; chicken bites with quite a bit of bleu cheese on top; flaky fish and chips made with fresh haddock; zingy bourbon steak tips; a substantial burger that can be ordered with such toppings as chipotle, banana peppers, and BBQ sauce; a very reasonably-priced lobster casserole with house-made seafood stuffing; and a nap-inducing turkey dinner. Drinks at Louis are mostly mass-market beers and a few wine options, along with a full bar for those who may be looking to do shots or mixed drinks.
Hough’s Neck is not exactly a place you drive through to get somewhere else (unless you’re looking to fish on Nut Island), so in a way, Louis is a hidden gem almost by default. It’s also about the only game in town for dining on this long and mostly unknown peninsula, which further gives a sense of discovery to those outside of the neck who happen to stumble across it. If you want a good alternative to some of the American and Italian chains out there, Louis is about as far away from those places—both literally and figuratively—as you’ll get.
Louis. Now open. 1269 Sea St., Quincy. louishn.com