Monday, August 20, 2007

Petit Louis Bistro


Petit Louis Bistro
4800 Roland Ave.
Roland Park, Baltimore
410-366-9393
French
www.petitlouis.com
Cost: $$$
Reservations: Recommended
Date of meal: weekday mid-July, 2007 (9pm)
National Price-Quality Frontier: Inside It
Baltimore Price-Quality Frontier: Extends It

We had a late-night meal at Petit Louis Bistro. I was surprised at how busy it was when we sat down at 9pm on a weekday. There are very few places in Baltimore where I've found getting a table to be a problem. This contrasts sharply with New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, or Seattle where all the good places get booked up for Saturday night by Wednesday.

Food was excellent. We started with escargot served in their shell, with the usual garlic butter. For dinner I had steak frites. Both dishes were prepared traditionally, but execution was really great. Steak was of good quality, cooked medium rare as instructed, and frites were perfect. We also had a chocolate mousse thing for dessert that was great. I even liked the bread they served, which I wouldn't mention except that it came in very handy with the garlic butter for the escargot.

The decor is traditional Paris bistro. They are probably trying a bit too hard to recapture Paris to the point of cheesiness, but it is very pleasant. We had excellent service. Entrees were in the low $20s range. I think this place sets the standard for nice-ish restaurants in northern Baltimore. While it can't quite stack up to the best French bistros in other cities (e.g, Pif or La Boheme in Philadelphia) there are many cities of similar size and good food (e.g., Seattle) that don't have a French bistro to match.

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