Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Petit Louis Bistro (Baltimore Restaurant Week)

There's a reason why Petit Louis Bistro in Roland Park often gets mentioned when someone asks what is the "Best French Restaurant" in town, or at least one of the best (check out the City Paper and Baltimore Magazine - you have to scroll down on the BM page to find it). Is it the location? Great location, but no. Is it the lovely ambiance, including the stone table tops? Maybe a little, it is a beautiful place. Is it the price? As high as they are? Hell no, bitch! Maybe the service? It is excellent, attentive service. That's a big part of it. But hands down, the biggest reason is their food. Such wonderful food!

And it's food I would never have tasted had it not been for Baltimore Restaurant Week. Man, I love this week!

It was my sister and I again, this time meeting with two former co-workers (now doing well for themselves as assistant principals on opposite ends of Baltimore County). I got there a little late, and everybody else had finished some hearty, crusty bread with butter. The waitress almost immediately came out to us (it wasn't crowded - yet). She filled us in on the other specials, including this $44 prix fixe menu of tomato dishes. We knew what we wanted - the $30.07 menu (Restaurant Week menu), so when she came back we all asked for that.

We wound up getting, among the four of us, everything on the prix fixe menu. For our first course, our friends ordered the Salade de Tomates, Fromage de Chèvre, Basilique (Salad with Grape Tomato, chèvre - French goat cheese - and Basil). My sister and I ordered the vichyssoise, that classic cold potato and leek soup. I don't know what the salad tasted like, but they seemed to like it. As for the soup. Oh my God. It was wonderful - absolutely, totally, fucking wonderful. Thick and rich, and as buttery as it was potato-ey. I could eat this stuff all day and gain ten pounds. It was also a great way to counteract my workout the previous hour, where I found out I was three pounds less than I thought!

For our main course, we all ordered different things. Our friends each ordered the Saumon Grillée - a fabulous grilled salmon (I tried it, okay? Some of the best salmon I have ever tasted off of someone else's plate) with a rice pilaf in a beurre blanc sauce. My sister got something I was eyeing, the Steak au Poivre (steak with pommes purée - French mashed potatoes - in a red wine reduction sauce). Again, wonderful stuff, especially that steak. If I go back (which would likely be next year's Restaurant Week), I'm getting that. Such a tender steak. I got the Confit de Canard (duck confit with sautéed spinach). The fat on top was so flavorful and good - okay, there goes my workout and the next two). The duck, as is most duck I have eaten, was a little tough. The spinach was good. I liked my dish, don't get me wrong. But I wish I had ordered the steak or salmon. I liked it that much better (NB: the sis liked my dish more than I did). Note that I was sipping on a red wine recommended by my waitress, who also doubled as a sommelieuse. I couldn't tell you what wine I drank, only that, unlike most red wines, it didn't disagree (hey, I'm not the sommelier, here, she was).

Dessert was a choice between the Sabayon aux fruits locaux (local fruits with sabayon, like a zabaglione - similar linguistically, no?), which our friends got - very tasty - and the Mousse au Chocolat - good old fashioned chocolate mousse, with Grand Marnier! Wowie wow wow, that was some good mousse.

The grand total for dinner was $145 - the four prix fixe dinners, plus two glasses of wine (mine and someone else's) and two Diet Cokes. What a great dining experience. The next time I win the lottery (which will be, well, the first time I win the lottery), I'm going to Petit Louis to celebrate.


jmc said...

I take the food and wine people of my family to Petit Louis when they are in town. Usually only once a year, fortunately for my budget.

Last Christmas, their champagne inspired menu? Fabulous, according to the people who tried it. We also tried the cassoulet -- it is one of the few dishes that is large (mostly they are right sized, I think, unlike many restaurants which heap food on the plate). Even though we were full, we kept picking at it because it was just that good. Of course, between the duck and the sausage and whatever else was in it, it probably provided a week's worth of fat and cholesterol. But still, mmmmm.

Fairfax said...

i am so ancient that i remember petite louisin previous incarnations, including "the morg"

John said...

When wad that? I'm sure you're not "ancient" - why I even remember a time when the Westview Mall on Rte. 40 was an actual mall!

Catherinette Singleton said...

They have a fantastic and very reasonably priced brunch. The eggs are fabulous. It's worth going and saving some bucks.

John said...

I may have to do that when I'm back in town. Thanks for the head's up!