There are two Kabuki restaurants in Madrid. This one is located on the same block as the Hotel Wellington (where my wife and I were staying), and I had heard it was one of the finest sashimi/sushi restaurants in all of Western Europe. Chef Ricardo Sanz is indeed a brilliant chef who puts a slightly Spanish touch on his dishes. For example, the sardines were served in a Spanish style and the toro (tuna belly) was served with a sprinkling of bread crumbs, olive oil and tomato marmalade. The food was exquisite, and anyone who has spent time in Spain knows they are obsessed with the freshness and quality of their seafood (even more so than the French or Italians). Moreover, the raw materials Spanish chefs get from the Mediterranean off the coast of Valencia and Alicante as well as from the even more famous seafood paradise, the Galician coast, are unparalleled. I would not hesitate to return to Kabuki as the food was very easy to eat as well as digest. Even more shocking is that they have one of the greatest wine lists I have ever seen. It was filled with the finest Spanish wines in addition to a remarkable selection of French and Italian wines. As one of the people in our party said, this highly recommended restaurant is at the level of the famed Masa in New York City. I’m not sure I agree, but this is a world-class sushi/sashimi venue with a distinctively Spanish influence. Add one of the finest wine lists I have ever seen and this is a magnet for wine and food lovers.
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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...