L'Ami Louis, Paris, France

I had a friend of mine bring six bottles of recently bottled 2000 Bordeaux in order to get an early look at how this spectacular vintage is performing from bottle. I double decanted the wines before taking them to L'Ami Louis, and, as one might expect, they were tight, full-bodied Bordeaux that are fabulously rich, high in tannin, and years away from maturity. The two most forward efforts were the Magrez-Fombauge, a sumptuous garage wine that will turn heads when it is released, and the stunningly complex, supple-textured L'Evangile. The other wines were all monsters. This is a vintage of incredible wines with magnificent richness and high tannin levels, but more than enough extract to balance out the tannin.

As for the food, I've commented many times how great L'Ami Louis's cuisine is. This is a place for "real" eaters, not somewhere to put on the ritz. It is the quality of the raw ingredients that stand out at L'Ami Louis. All of the roasted items are pure perfection, brilliantly dosed with only the right amount of butter/garlic. As I've said before, the greatest roast chicken in the world comes from this restaurant, and nothing I had on this visit caused me to change my mind. In addition, no one does a better job with snails in garlic butter. The first cepes of the season had just come in, and they were magnificent. This is the food of my dreams!

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