Louis Cairos Restaurant - Williams, CA is a restaurant with a rich tradition of fine Northern California and Italian cuisine. Please look at our menu. From our 16oz. cut of PRIME RIB to our world famous Louis Bread (stacked with chopped garlic), Louis Cairo's food will send you on a vacation for your senses.
It seems that many restaurants, particularly here in northern California, have short-lived existences. They open. They close. You like them. You hate them. These events approach the yawn level up here. When you find one that you like a lot, and it has been there since 1945, it's a comforting and reassuring event.
Louis Cairo's in Williams, CA, is such a place. George, you remember my old friend George, took me to Louis' for the first time in 1979. It has been a consistently fine place to eat, I always get treated well, and I really like "the crowd" that frequents the establishment.
The town of Williams is in Colusa County, just west of Interstate 5, around seventy miles north of Sacramento. This is rice and cow country, sparsely populated. I'd wager that you can see half of the population of the county, eating at Louis', if you ate there on weekends for a month. They seem to put up with those of us who visit there during duck and pheasant season. I had rather long hair when I first visited the place and was treated well, which wasn't always the case back then.
Louis Cairo was born a first generation American, the son of Italian immigrants who settled in Colusa County. He opened the restaurant in 1945 and it has been open continually as a family operated restaurant. Louis' daughter Vicki and her husband Fred operated the restaurant from 1985 through 1996 and youngest daughter Patti-Jo currently carries on the Cairo tradition.
I had dinner there last night. My good friend (and dentist) Mike Dinius and I showed up around 7:30 and only waited for fifteen minutes for a table. And the wait is at an ample bar where they serve good well whiskey and were pouring Beringer and BV wines. According to local lore, Louis only wanted to open a bar in 1945 but it was easier to get a liquor license if you, also, served food.
The menu at Louis Cairo's has an Italian flair. The pasta and minestrone and antipastos are reminiscent of the better Italian restaurants I grew up enjoying back in New Jersey. The fresh, quality ingredients, well prepared and served straight up are winners. You can't visit this place without trying the Louis Bread. Louis Bread is garlic bread the way it is served in heaven. If they run out up there, God says "Michael, run down to Louis' and get us some bread." Mama mia, that stuff is good.
I have become an outspoken fan of the lamb at Louis'. Unless the waitress suggests a particularly toothsome special, I'm going to' have the lamb chops, medium rare. They are nice sized, tender with just the right amount of marbling. They were perfect last night, and Mike had them too. Not much talk while we were working on the chops, just "Pass the wine, please."
O yes, the wine. The wine list is a very representative one, featuring California wines at reasonable prices. We drank a '97 Clos du Bois Merlot that was excellent with the meal (see the Leah/sweetpaulie reviews of this wine). The menu prices are some of the best in this part of the state. The French cut lamb chops, with salad, or soup and a choice of rice, vegetable, pasta, baked or garlic mashed potato,is priced at $24.95 for the dinner,and is one of the higher priced meals.
This is a fine restaurant. It has been for the twenty years that I have been eating there and has been "The Sit-down Spot" in the area since 1945. The food is great and very well priced and the staff are friendly and helpful. The "locals" frequent the place and, if you want a look at happy, multi-generational families sharing a meal, a trip to Louis' is a must. My hat is off to this fine restaurant and if you are traveling up Hwy. 5 this year, stop in at Louis Cairo's (530-473-5927) and have lunch or dinner. If you see my wife Patsy and I there, say hi. You'll thank me for the advice.
They are open 7 days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m Mon-Fri and for Dinner only Sat at 4pm-9pm and Sunday 3pm-9pm.
Sweetpaulie says that Louis Cairo's restaurant, in Williams, CA, is a must.
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Branches and additional offices:
(530) 473-5927558 7th St Box 325 Williams, CA 95987