If I told you that you could have one of the best meals in Maryland for under $50.00 would you believe me?
That’s just what happened recently when I visited Petit Louis Bistro at the Columbia Lake. Petit Louis Bistro has another location in Roland Park in Baltimore but never had the pleasure of visiting the restaurant in Baltimore. Recently I finally had the chance to go to the location in Columbia and let me tell you, good decision on my part.
Petit Louis Bistro is located in what used to be a dead zone for Columbia restaurants. That is the location next to Sushi Sono and Tomato Palace. For some reason no matter what restaurant came into that location its fate was already predetermined. Healthy food buffet, gone. Brazilian Barbecue, gone. Chinese food, gone. With each restaurant seemingly destined to the same fate, Petit Louis Bistro was facing an uphill climb. Luckily, it’s led by the Foreman Wolf restaurant team, they know how to create a space that you want to come back to. And that’s just what they did with Petit Louis Bistro.
As soon as you walk in you’re greeted with beautiful decor that makes you think you’re in 1920’s Paris (or at least what I envisoned 1920’s Paris looked like in my head). You can choose to sit indoors or outdoors overlooking the lake, you can’t really go wrong with either. Personally I actually like indoor dining, I want to focus on my food not the pretty scenery.
We were able to get a table fairly easily through Open Table (love that damn app), about 10 minutes before we decided to eat there and we walked right in. Once we were seated, we were served the house bread, which was not necessarily warm but it was still tasty. It had a good texture and consistency that went well with the rich creamy butter that came along with it. You might think talking about the bread is trivial, but to me that’s always a sign of what’s to come.
The waiter recommended the duck confit and I’m glad I listened. This was maybe the best duck I’ve ever tasted in my life. It was cooked perfectly, the meat basically melted in your mouth, while the crispy skin was the perfect accent to the tender duck meat. The puree of potatoes that came along with the duck were creamy and were seasoned perfectly. I could eat this every day if it was socially acceptable.
My lovely companion chose the croque monsieur, it was delicious but not exactly a croque monsieur in the sense that I understood it (i.e. it was missing the bechamel sauce). Either way it was damn good, the bread is a fresh brioche buttered generously and it houses fresh ham and tasty cheese.
For dessert, get the pot du creme it was out of this world and pictures don’t do it justice. Especially pictures with bad lighting as the one below shows. It’s a dark chocolate custard that was flavored with orange and topped with tiny crunchy chocolate balls. It was like a chocolate covered orange on steroids, that’s how delicious this was. It was the perfect ratio of cocoa to orange flavor and it just made your mouth sing. We both agreed that this would be our “all time dessert” when we come here again.
Overall, Petit Louis Bistro pretty much hit it out of the park, the only demerit was that the waiter forgot to bring back our takeaway box but I’ll cut him some slack. The service was otherwise impeccable and the pricing was super reasonable. We ate all this food for $47.00 (without tip). If you have guests and you want to show them the best Howard County has to offer, Petit Louis Bistro is the right place to start.
If you don’t have time to visit, stop in to the Le Comptoir which is their little cafe. The service here is hit or miss not because it’s rude or bad, but rather they never seem prepared to have any actual customers. If you visit when they’ve just opened, you’re probably resigned to not having any options to choose from. But when they do actually have everything stocked and ready, the food at Le Comptoir is great too.