L’Ami Louis was packed the two times my wife and I visited on our recent trip to France, and we essentially had the identical meal and wines on each occasion. It was the first ceps of the season and the late August rains had encouraged their development. At L’Ami Louis, they are incredibly meaty, and anything sautéed in high quality butter, garlic and parsley is going to be delicious. Eating these was like eating grilled beefsteak they were so intensely flavored. That was followed by the house foie gras, which is always very good, although certainly not the best I have ever had. The giant Burgundy snails are not snails that are dumped in the shell, but are actually very large live snails prepared in the shell with superbly sweet garlic, butter and parsley. They are the best I have ever had. That was followed by their remarkable roast chicken, again as good as it gets, and as expensive as it gets as well. The chicken is accompanied by their matchstick french fries and the best potato dish in the world, their pomme bearnaise (potatoes sautéed in duck and/or goose fat, roasted, and then lathered with freshly chopped garlic and parsley). They are crispy on the outside, but wonderfully sweet and flavorful in the middle. From my favorite restaurant in the world, this is the cuisine of my dreams. I can’t resist going there at least twice on a trip to Paris.
The wines included a recent “go-to” Champagne, the crisp, very flavorful 1999 Deutz Rosé. The two reds couldn’t have been more different – the power, density, and Provençal perfume of the Pégaü or the nobility, complexity, and grandeur of the perfect 1982 Latour. Both are 100% different, 100% French, 100% world class wines to satisfy the intellectual and hedonistic senses.