Lunch - L'Ami Louis
When in Paris, I try and eat at L'Ami Louis twice, so I returned for lunch to essentially repeat the previous evening's gluttony. The meal was splendid, as always, but the wines were different, except for the Champagne. It was impossible to resist ordering the brilliant 1996 Cristal again, a vintage that easily rivals the splendid 1990. The 2001 Calvet-Thunevin is a joint venture of the famous St.-Emilion winemaker, Jean-Luc Thunevin and the Calvet family. Tasting like pure Syrah, it is an inky/purple-colored, rich, concentrated, fleshy red boasting loads of intensity as well as fruit. However, as delicious as it was, it was dwarfed by the monumental 1999 Guigal Côte Rôtie Château d'Ampuis, a young but promising offering from one of Côte Rôtie's finest vintages.
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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...