Mas de Bouvau
Just around the corner from Vacqueyras and Gigondas, this is a wonderful bistro run by Madame Hertzog. There are also a few (6) rooms available. Although I have never stayed here, it appears to be a very comfortable and quiet venue. I tend to stop here between big tastings in both Gigondas and Vacqueyras, and I am never disappointed. I had delicious brandade de morue, and their perfumed Provençal leg of lamb. Since I was tasting, I only had a couple glasses of the 2000 Cairanne from Rabasse Charavin, one of my favorite producers in this appellation.
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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...