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“No Sauce for You! Celiacs Beware.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Petit Louis Bistro

Petit Louis Bistro
4800 Roland Ave, Ste 100, Baltimore, MD 21210-2391
410-366-9393
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Ranked #30 of 1,793 restaurants in Baltimore
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Upland Street
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“No Sauce for You! Celiacs Beware.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

This ever popular neighborhood bistro by celebrity chef Cindy Wolf has a great vibe, an excellent wine list and very authentic French fare. If you can eat gluten, then you should certainly enjoy it.

French food is famous for its sauces. The problem for the gluten sensitive is that at Petit Louis, all of the sauces are made with wheat flour--even the reductions. After years of disappointment, I'm finally crying foul.

This week I ordered the duck confit. What I got and what my wife got were very different. Hers had a sherry wine reduction and was to die for. What I got was duck smothered in lard.

Corn starch, rice flour, arrowroot... lots of things can provide thickening for cooks who don't have the time to properly reduce their sauces. Petit Louis insists on using wheat flour, and though I no longer get sick there, I no longer enjoy the food. I'm done.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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159 reviews from our community

86% Recommend
    94
    43
    15
    7
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Maryland
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Amazing experience for first time guest!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

My husband and I have been wanting to try this venerable Baltimore restaurant for some time, and finally had an opportunity about a month ago. I had just flown into BWI after an exhausting week, and my husband surprised me by going directly to Petit Louis Bistro. We arrived early on a Friday evening without reservations, and were seated instantly at a lovely booth. When I made some comment about needing desperately to unwind, we were given the royal treatment from start to finish. Two fresh asparagus dishes were offered that evening, and I balked at the fried option my husband wanted to try so we ordered the alternative. Much to our surprise and delight, our charming server brought the fried option to our table and offered it gratis! It was delicious and perfectly prepared, as was the cold asparagus option. The French onion soup was exactly as French onion soup should be, and really hit the spot. My husband proclaimed his Dover sole to be the best he had ever had, and that's saying something! Service was impeccable, every bite was perfect, and it was delightful watching so many families and other guests come in who obviously were regulars. Frankly, what impressed me the most was that in this sea of regular customers, on a very busy Friday night, two tired, unknown stragglers were treated as kindly and generously as everyone else. It was a perfectly special evening! I now know why Petit Louis Bistro is so revered.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Another excellent meal here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I eat here at least once per month sometimes more. I had a business lunch here last week. As always the food is excellent. The foi gras terrine is one of my favorite starters. I love the way they do Veal Sweetbreads. The bread they serve is delicious too. I had a sampling of ice cream for desert which was also great.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Top Contributor
186 reviews 186 reviews
138 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Nice Meal for a Special Occasion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2013

Ate here recently during restaurant week. Chose the fixed-price offering with the wine pairings. A generous portion of bread was served with butter. I enjoyed it with a bit of salt. First course was a layered stack of crispy, breaded eggplant, tomato, goat cheese, pesto sauce, and perhaps something else that I am forgetting. It was served with what I considered a meager pour of a "blush" wine. The eggplant dish was delightful, but I didn't find that the paired wine enhanced the taste of either. Main course was a leg-thigh of duck, served with a thimble-sized dollop of a sort of relish, four pearl onions and some sauce. The duck was paired with what I would consider a fair pour of a more hearty red. The duck was crispy and had a pleasant, mild taste. The pearl onions didn't work too well for me, but the relish and sauce added some pleasant, additional dimensions for me. I would have appreciated more of the accompaniments. The wine seemed to work reasonably well with the duck. Dessert was a chocolate mousse, served with a modest pour of a sweet, dark-red, dessert wine. I loved this pairing, but would have appreciated a bit more of the wine. The dessert pairing was my favorite of the meal.

Service was attentive and thoughtful, although some staff were a bit more formal than suits my personality.

I should note that, although I enjoyed the meal, I left hungry. I suppose I could have ordered a cheese course and some more wine to top off my tank, but I imagine that I would have ended up paying over ninety dollars for my meal during restaurant week.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Disappointing return visit”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

While I have always been impressed with Petite Louis this last trip was a downer. My husband had never been so we went for date night. We started off with the mussels and the eggplant napoleon. The mussels were undercooked and stringy and most of them were closed! My eggplant napoleon was tasty but it was cold :( A dish I normally have and is always served hot. I normally order the steak frites but it was an exceptionally hot night and I didn't want anything that heavy so I asked the server for her recommendation. She recommended the poulet (chicken) dish. When it came out it was just a plain chicken breast with mixed greens and dollop of olive tapenade on top. I heard the table beside me ask what the tapenade was because it tasted fishy! The chicken was borderline underdone, rubbery, and tasteless. After a bite and I was done. The server was very nice. She asked if I wanted something else and took the plate back. But at that point my husband had finished his dinner and I didn't feel like eating alone.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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