French Cuisine Fail

This weekend my boyfriend and I decided to try out a local French restaurant – his hair dresser was raving about it so it must be good..right? On Friday night we decided to try out Petit Louis in Baltimore Maryland to celebrate his 23rd birthday.

The restaurant’s atmosphere had a rustic, old world European feel to it. The bar directly to right of the entrance looked like something you’d see in the olden days with thick, heavy, dark wood and a stained glass back splash. Even though we made open table reservations, we still had to wait for 15 minutes…what exactly is the point of a reservation?? Once  seated, the “fails” started to pile up.

1) The tables were very close to each other, to the point where I would tap the person next to me if I moved my elbow a bit. Sitting close to each other, or even at the same table as other strangers is customary in Europe and that’s what Petit Louis was going for, but since we’re in America and restaurants have forever spoiled us with large roomy tables and booths, this was a strange seating arrangement.

2) The noise level was out of this world! The gentlemen next to us had to lean towards the middle of the table to hear what his date was saying – enough said.

3). Fish “disaster”. I ordered the evenings Mediterranean fish special served in a lemon butter sauce garnished with zucchini pilaf, sounds pretty good right? 15 minutes after placing our order a waitress brings out a whole fish and shoves it in my face for approval; the last thing I  could do was speak because I was honestly appalled.

Appetizing huh?

She proceeded to place the plate on a wooden table directly to my side and begin to dissect the fish. She started by chopping off the head and tail and then opened the fish and removed the backbone and as many bones as she could. I understand that this kind of service is considered high-class, but for an animal lover, it was quite frankly disgusting. After mutilating the fish in front of me, she poured the lemon butter sauce over it and said “bon appetite!”.  At that point the fish didn’t look bad, it’s smelled a bit fishy, but the final presentation was nice.

4). Even though our food looked good, it didn’t exactly taste good. The fish was far from flavorful – on the contraire it was quite bland. It tasted like baked fish with no seasoning drenched in olive oil – YUM! My boyfriend ordered the duck. He was hesitant to order it as it was his first time trying duck meat, but he decided to go for it. I think his only compliant was that he received 6 small medallions of duck; small portions are a part of French cuisine so nothing alarming there.

We had to try out Petit Louis either way so it was only a matter of  time before we disliked the place. It seem’s as though we have bad luck with places that our friends/acquaintances recommend – this was the second place recommended to us which turned out to be a disappointment. OR it could just be that we had bad luck…it was Friday the 13th after all.

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