Guo Fu Lou
This restaurant is located on the penthouse level of a building in which every floor is packed with restaurants. We enjoyed a sensational, classic Cantonese meal with my favorite dishes being the grouper in soy sauce, roasted chicken and noodles with shredded pork. I also liked the winter melon soup with crab meat, a delicacy of both Hong Kong and this restaurant. I could not get used to the combination of flavors in the fish bladder with pigeon egg. I am not a big abalone fan and the dried abalone with broccoli was just plain weird for my palate.
The wines were largely disappointing, from a corked 1995 l’Eglise Clinet to a so-so 1982 Pontet Canet (produced long before they started making first-growth quality wines). However, a South African Cabernet Sauvignon from Boekenhoutskloof saved the day. It is a complex, elegant red offering notes of cedarwood, black currants, forest floor and herbs. We finished with the sweet 2000 Tokai Oremus Five Putooynos from Hungary.
Guo Fu Lou’s impressive wine list is deep in many areas, primarily French wines, but they also have a nice selection from South Africa, Australia, Italy and other countries. The food was of very high quality, and though we got a little adventurous with the fish bladder and dried abalone, the rest of the dishes were superb.
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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...