Le Dôme, Paris
This is one of my favorite spots in Paris for great fish dishes. They do a fabulous fish soup as well as bouillabaisse and great oysters (but September is not the best time to eat them). I decided to order the two classics that always please me. The 2000 Dageneau Pouilly Fumé Silex was very good, but I will be anxious to see what Dageneau has done in the promising 2002 vintage.
Le Dôme's lobster salad is as good as this classic French dish can be, offering loads of perfectly prepared lobster intermixed with a variety of lettuces dressed with homemade mayonnaise. The ingredients all come together to create a dish of extraordinary flavor and intensity. France's best sole meunière may be that served at Le Dôme. You can request it either in butter sauce or without (dry). Served whole with the bone, it is a beautifully executed, exquisitely refined, subtle yet intensely flavorful dish. It's simplicity at its finest, but, wow, what preparation! I love this restaurant, and highly recommend it for those who love great fish and shellfish dishes.
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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...