Le Dome, Paris France
One of my two or three favorite Parisian restaurants for fish and shellfish, this famous old brassière/bistro offers the freshest seafood one can find. This is a great spot to enjoy the finest oysters Paris has to offer, as well as the catch of the day. I have had some great turbot, scallops, rouget, and St.-Pierre at Le Dome. This sumptuous meal was light on its feet, but gorgeously pure, with fabulous oysters as well as complementary wines. The first bottle of Vatan Sancerrewas corked, but the second was pure liquid minerality with tangy acidity. It was an ideal foil for both the oysters and fish soup. André Peret's Condrieu was also glorious, with plenty of honeysuckle and tropical fruit notes, along with that striking minerality that makes Viognier grown on the steep slopes of Condrieu so special. The cuisine as well as service were impeccable.
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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...