100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 88 Petit Louis Bistro


Petit Louis Bistro. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Petit Louis Bistro


10215 Wincopin Cir
Columbia, MD 21044

The southernmost satellite in the six-outpost empire of Baltimore restaurateurs Cindy Wolf and Tony Foreman is long on charm—a lakefront vista, a roaring fireplace, a bar that’s missing only the beautifully drunk denizens of the Lost Generation. It all adds up to the most texturally perfect recreation of a Parisian bistro this side of Le Diplomate, and on a blustery night there are few restaurants we’d rather be inside.

The cooking is sometimes sublime—the foie gras terrine, for instance, one of the most silken preparations you’ll find—but mostly is content to deliver well-prepared bistro fare (frisée-and-lardons salad; a rosy duck breast).

Desserts read better than they taste. If you’re going to splurge, splurge on wine—Foreman, a Bordeaux fanatic, has an eye for exceptional reds at not-exorbitant prices.

Don’t miss:

  • Asparagus soup
  • Shrimp beignets
  • Pork belly with favas
  • Grilled salmon with asparagus
  • Croque monsieur
  • Steamed mussels
  • Crème brûlée
  • Cheese cart

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.