This is a great venue in which to get a feel for the rich, young Shanghai set. Bursting with a young, attractive, boisterous Chinese crowd, the style of food comes from what is considered the Golden Triangle, between China, Viet Nam, Burma and Laos. It is situated in the former French concession and is one of the more difficult reservations to get as it was rated the best Yunnan restaurant in Shanghi. The wines included the 1989 Krug Clos du Mesnil, which revealed that slightly oxidative style that Krug tends to prefer. It is a serious Champagne with considerable body and intensity, despite the fact that it is 100% Chardonnay. The red wines were all sensational. Four of the greatest reds I have ever had in my life were all strutting their stuff. It is hard to believe just how remarkable the 1982 Pichon Lalande is since it has always been an amazing wine from the day it was bottled. Always delicious, silky and full-bodied with its only possible weakness a seemingly lack of longevity. However, at age 30 it has not lost any of its extraordinary wealth of fruit and unctuosity. The amazing 1982 Latour was remarkably young. It is unquestionably one of this estate’s greatest efforts. The two Guigal Côte Rôties offered a nice contrast, with the meaty, smoky robustness of La Turque contrasting with the silky, ethereal, velvety complexity of La Mouline. Both are fully mature and unlikely to improve any further, but they are holding up beautifully. Prices were remarkably fair and the quality of the food was impressive. The ghost chicken, which was very spicy but flavorful, caused us to order a second bottle of Champagne given its heat. This is a highly recommended, action-packed venue with surprisingly intriguing food that’s exotic, spicy and completely different from anything I have ever previously tasted.
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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...