A good, but uninspiring bottle of 1990 Dom Ruinart Champagne was followed by a disappointing bottle of Bressy's 2001 Rasteau. The wine selection was redeemed by a brilliant bottle of 1998 Clarendon Hills Kangarilla Old Vine Grenache. The food at L'Ami Louis is the kind of cooking that causes me to salivate, although September is one of my least preferred times to eat there since some of my favorite dishes (baby leg of lamb and coquilles St.-Jacques) are not available. Nevertheless, there is still plenty from which to choose, including the biggest, richest, most meaty cépes one can find in France, the glorious, over-sized Burgundy snails cooked in enough garlic to cause a mass exodus in Transylvania, and the world's greatest roast chicken as well as the world's finest potato cakes cooked in goose fat and loaded with fresh garlic and parsley. L'Ami Louis is an institution. No one roasts food in scorching hot ovens any better than this decrepit old bistro in Paris's 3rd Arrondissement.
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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...