Brasseries Georges Brussels, Belgium
This is a well-known brasserie that was highly recommended, but we found it to be mediocre and unpleasantly noisy, smoky, and cramped. First of all, it reeked of tobacco smoke, even though there is a small section for non-smokers. Secondly, the tables are so small and packed together that you are basically leaning on other people even though you're sitting at your table. Thirdly, the food was basically thrown at you. I could have survived these problems if the food had not been decidedly mediocre. Despite some reliable sources, this was a terrible experience, and I can not recommend it. Although I will say, if I had been in the mood for seafood, the selections at the raw bar looked impeccable. I did like the idea that one could have their french fries four different ways. We ordered each one just to compare them, but the french fries weren't even that good. About the only good thing we had was a tasty 2003 Beaujolais St.-Amour that had been bottled exclusively for the brasserie.
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Petit Louis Bistro
A lookalike, authentic French bistro, Petit Louis in Baltimore's Roland Park is the creation of restauranteurs par excellence Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman. You feel like you’ve walked into a bistro on the Left Bank of Paris when you enter Petit Louis. The food is classic bistro, and they do it well. All of the courses we had were flavorful, sometimes a trifle rustic, but delicious in their intensity. This was good comfort food prepared extremely well. The wines started with one of the major surprises for me over the last year, the 2006 sparking wine from Tony Soter in Oregon. I had this several times while I was out visiting Oregon, and I had always been impressed, but this is a 10-year-old sparking Rosé that is just sensational, and I’m talking world class—it’s that good. Something this good from France would cost at least two to three times as much, so kudos to Tony Soter. The 1995 Billaud-Simon Chablis Mont de Milieu was oxidized and undrinkable. The 1996 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris Clos St. Urbain Rangen de Thann was sweet, and although it went well with the foie gras, it was just a little too unctuous and sweet a wine...