Paris in Baltimore

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Nothing quite beats an evening of good wine, good food and great friends — especially when there is a cozy fireplace involved and a lovely Parisian atmosphere. The four of us enormously enjoyed our meals at Petit Louis and, in fact, closed the house down. We plowed through our cheese course finale and then lingered over coffee, tea and one sinfully indulgent chocolate Pot de Creme. Four forks please!

Oh the delights of French bistro fare.

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I started with my absolute favorite salad — frisee, lardons, poached egg and Roquefort. Salty, crispy, crunchy, creamy deliciousness in a bowl. My husband, who rarely orders what I do, followed suit. He recalls trying to steal (unsuccessfully) this salad from me the last time we dined at the restaurant. He is now wise. Our friends enjoyed a house-made country pate with a tiny crock of cornichons as well as a beet salad with fresh goat cheese.

Next up, steak tartare. Heaven in raw meat form.

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It was steak tartare night and three of us took advantage. I am a huge fan of the stuff and have sampled it all over Baltimore, NYC, Washington D.C., California and even France, where it’s often served with a lovely raw egg yolk glistening on top. Although I have never had a bad steak tartare,  it can be somewhat unpleasant at times. The delicate flavors of raw beef can easily be crushed by overly pungent shallots or other oddball ingredients, such as smoked oysters or (unbelievably) fried falafel balls.

The preparation at Petit Louis, however, was classic and perfect. The beef was hand-chopped and seasoned mildly with delicate shallots, capers and just the right amount of Dijon mustard. It’s a light meal (well, it is if you ignore the enormous cone of hot, salty pommes frites) yet feels indulgent. I am looking forward to a return trip, and soon! Did ya get that, dear husband?

À bientôt!

 

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