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Fat Louie’s opens its doors… finally!

Fat Louie's has had a teaser campaign going for over a year. Has it really come to an end?

Coming soon. Two words that have become synonymous with Fat Louie’s over the last year or two. But could the wait finally be over? Over the last week Facebook has been flush with smoked ribs, brisket and aged beef burgers along with questions, comments and death threats. Are you open?

Fat Louie’s has finally started the procedure of opening its doors to the public, opening on selected nights of the week (by reservation only) until they finally put the finishing touches on their menu as well as the place.

But what has taken them so long? Many say that it just took a while for them to get their permits in place and this was partly true as their cooking techniques are not used anywhere else on the island so standards had to be put in place. What you may not know is that this has been a steep learning curve and the two brothers – who also run New York Best – have been using this time to research a product that has not been delivered on this island yet.

Fat Louie’s is a smokehouse, which means their meats are slow-cooked in a smoker for 12 hours to produce a tender and succulent meat unparalleled at any other restaurant to which I have set foot in on the island.

Sourcing the meat has also been problematic. The Diacono brothers are particularly fussy about where their meat comes from – where it was born, what it ate, how old it was when it was killed, as all of these factors affect the quality of the product that they serve to their customers. European beef tends to be leaner as Europeans have always demanded leaner beef. On the other side of the pond – in the USA and South America, where smoking meat is more common – beef has a higher fat content and lends itself better to smoking. They have eventually found the right raw materials from a number of different suppliers, have all the paperwork in order and are ready to finally deliver.

Working in food media has its perks and that’s what got me a tasting table at the much-anticipated Fat Louie’s just a few days before Christmas. The restaurant is just about ready though when I met Tommy Diacono as he was ordering some final decorations. The décor is cool and fresh; white subway tiles – some of which are cracked, huge bones in blue neon lights, which give the place a warm glow and a bull’s skull hangs from one of the walls. Expectations – both from social media posts and the initial impression when walking in – are high.

The menu, though not yet finalised, is on a board and includes short beef rib, brisket, pulled pork and aged beef burgers served with marrow butter. But I can also see some chicken thighs brining on the counter. As I take a walk around the kitchen, Nicholas Diacono shows me the smoker with four slabs of brisket slowly being transformed into tonight’s dinner. For now they are still experimenting to see what works – and what their customers like.

I had the brisket for lunch. Soft, succulent with for want of a better word just juicy! This is where I can, hand on heart, say that it was worth the wait. This is where the Fat Louie’s team really excels. But they would not be satisfied simply serving a good slab of meat. The sides on the menu have been carefully selected to compliment the meal perfectly. Fries – parboiled and triple-fried, have a crunchy outside with a soft fluffy inside. You only get a few of these chunky chips but boy are they worth it. Mashed potato – creamy and more buttery than any I’ve ever eaten. I used them as dip for my chips. Too much? Don’t knock it till you try it. And the veggies – pickles and slaw – that are sharp to cut through all that fat. The combination is superb.

This kind of meal begs something incredible to drink and with a fully stocked bar including some interesting brands of whiskies, gins and vodkas as well as a resident bartender there are promises of cocktails that will be served with as much care and attention as your brisket. 

Whilst I was eating at least a dozen people walked in asking if they were open, leaving with a huge look of disappointment as they were turned way, yet again. Though Fat Louie’s is technically open, it is by reservation only and it is fully booked till after Christmas. So once again, Fat Louie’s is coming soon. This has been the world’s longest foreplay, but boy is it worth it!

Fat Louie’s

Paceville Street,

St Julian’s

Tel: 27454582

Facebook: Fat-Louies

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