Grouse Mountain Grill
An excellent restaurant with young chef Ted Schneider at the helm, this lovely venue offers gorgeous views of the village of Beaver Creek and the surrounding mountains. Our meal began with a delicious hand cut beef tartare, followed by a wonderful free range roasted chicken from Petaluma. The finest Italian varietal dry whites in the country are made by Steve Clifton under the Palmina label. It is amazing what he is able to achieve with these varietals, and if readers haven't tasted them, it is well-worth getting on the winery's mailing list as they are all crisp, stainless steel-fermented and aged dry whites that rank alongside the best from northeast Italy. With the chicken dish, we had the exquisite 2003 SQN Syrah called Papa. We had the wine decanted at the beginning of the meal, and it was still young and primary, displaying an inky/blue/purple color along with loads of graphite, white chocolate, blackberry, and cassis notes presented in an opulent, full-bodied, approachable but youthful style.
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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...