Petit Louis

This place has been on my list for years and this post is incredibly overdue.  I finally decided to go for restaurant week.  Baltimore does an amazing restaurant week twice a year; about 50 places offer three courses for about $30.  It is a great option for getting into restaurants that might be a little expensive – at least for my budget.  I must say, as with any popular hot spot during restaurant week, the place was busy.  We were a few minutes late for our reservation, but still had to wait a few moments at the bar before we were seated.

Petit Louis Bistro is an excellent Formeman Wolf Restaurant tucked into a quiet corner in Roland Park.  You will notice the french theme immediately when you are greeted with a warm “Bonsoir mes demoiselles!”.  I imagine anyone with a tiny bit of french language skills could have carried on an entire conversation.  I just loved the host, especially when he put up with me asking to change seats to sit closer to the glowing wood burning fire.

The term bistro does not do this place justice.  The food and the atmosphere is classy and sophisticated.  We started with warm, fresh baked bread and choices of butter.  I love bread and butter, so it was tough to say no when they offered us a second roll – but I was determine to enjoy all three of my courses. Plus, the wine pairing let me have wonderful wines that were not offered by the glass.

For hors d’oeuvres, we had with Aubergines Croquantes – a crispy eggplant napoleon with tomato and chèvre.  It was delectable.  I didn’t even notice the olives (which I normally can’t tolerate) until I was half way finished.  The salty addition only enhanced all the flavors.   My crisp white wine from Alsace highlighted the sweet eggplant and rich cheese.  Although, come on now – what doesn’t get better with a little goat cheese??  My good friend enjoyed the Rilliettes; a generously sized ground duck dish that was very rich and creamy.  It had a nice bright salad and crunch toasted bread to accompany it.  Not something I would normally have ordered, but definitely delectable…

For the entree, I ordered the salmon – grilled to a perfect medium rare and served over a pomme puree with beurre rouge (which basically means extra good mashed potatoes with yummy red butter sauce).   It doesn’t hurt that I was drinking a light-bodied Pinot Noir, the silky textures, and berries and warm spices in the wine set off the sweet, fatty fish. (I can talk Pinor Noir all day… Have I mentioned that’s my favorite wine?).  I also got a few bites of the braised veal with root vegetables – tender and robust.  Although, both of us were coveting the pomme frites a few tables over.

I wish I could do justice in describing the desert course.  But, it was a few weeks ago and I had a few glasses of wine.  We shared the gorgeous dark chocolate Pot de Creme and a creamy fresh mango cake style dessert.  Both creating a fitting end to a delicious french meal.  I apologize for no pictures.  It didn’t occur to me to take any while I was enjoying my meal; I was too focused on enjoying everything…

I cannot wait to go back, even if only for a glass of wine and a cheese plate.

They have a location in Columbia – check out a fellow reviewers blog for more detail.

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