Considered to be one of the finest Basque seafood restaurants in Madrid, Sanxenxo offers a spectacular entrance. As you walk in the entire floor on which you stand is made of glass through which you can see a huge tank of live lobsters and hairy crabs from the Galician coastline swimming around. We had lunch here on the day we arrived in Madrid, so we ate lighter than normal because of jet lag. The food was excellent across the board, with my favorite dishes being the perfectly grilled lobster and the Galician pie made of fresh scallops, onions and herbs. The only wine we had was from the restaurant proprietor’s estate in Rias Baixas, the2009 Valdamor Albarino. Like many other Spanish restaurants, Sanxenxo has a perfect business model of serving wines for which they actually own the vineyards – an extra incentive for profit.
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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...