La Régalade, Beaune
The cooking of this restaurant's wonderfully exuberant chef, Marie, is every bit as good as Pierre Rovani has said. It's earthy, rich cooking filled with flavor (the price is relatively high for the Burgundy locals). The frog's legs are to die for, as is Chef Marie's eggs and truffle dish.
The wines included a stunning 1990 Chave red Hermitage, which was a bit more evolved than from my cellar. It was a beautifully rich, cedary, full-bodied offering with great intensity, elegance, and aromatics. It was nearly matched by a spectacular old Burgundy, the 1964 Charmes Chambertin from Clair-Dau, a vigorous, complex, incredibly savory wine. I could have sworn that 30-40% of this bottle was old vine Grenache given its power and similarity to a top-notch Châteauneuf du Pape. However, enough Pinot character comes through to make it a riveting drinking experience. There is a touch of amber to the medium ruby color, but the wine is full-bodied, very expansive, and incredibly fragrant. What a treat!
Lest I forget, Ramonet's 1983 Montrachet was stupendous - still youthful at 20 years of age, but with mind-altering intensity and power. My guess is that it carries at least 14.5-15 % alcohol.
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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...