Marie Louise Bistro - Baltimore
I searched the boards and can't find any mention of this place. It's in Mt. Vernon. One of my friends brought some almond croissants that were super delicious to a brunch the other day. The best croissants of any kind I've had in Baltimore.
Has anyone been for their regular food?
This is my first ever post! Well, it's beautiful...........
Ate dinner tonight at Marie Louise Bistro, a cute little eatery in the heart of Mt. Vernon. The beautiful tin ceilings and exposed brick create a lovely dining room, but in the downstairs dining area it feels a little cavernous. Perhaps table cloths would add a nice touch and give the rigid brick a smooth contrast in texture. Also, if you're going to have candle holders on your tables, you should really keep candles burning in them. If you are out of candles (and don't want to walk to rite-aid) take the candle holders off the table - it screams "We run out of things!" loudly. The staff was friendly, and we were greeted within a timely manner when we arrived.
Service was friendly and relatively attentive, although our water could have been maintained a little better. I also do not like automatically receiving lemon with my water. Its a strong, overpowering flavor that does not pair well with all foods, and takes away from the elegant surroundings. Also, learning position numbers is essential. In such a beautiful setting, you would expect your food to come to the person who ordered it without being auctioned off table side.
First came the bread, which was hard and hurt my teeth to try to bite into. The butter was served perfectly though, easily spreadable and not too cold. The wine, however, should have been chilled. Room temp red wine has a very aggressive bite to it, and should be chilled slightly. The onion soup was a little too heavy on the salt and thyme, where the mussels lacked salt. The mussels had good texture, and would have been great, had the sauce had a little more oomph to it. Entrees came - with cold frittes, dried out cornish game hen, and noticeably old beef and duck. When duck is confit, it should fall off the bone. This did not. Here's my suggestion for improvement - If you're going to have an operation that is a slow start like this one, scale your menu back to less options, and perfect those dishes. It is way too costly and inefficient to keep a lot of food on hand if its not moving. Fresh ingredients are noticeable, and you can quickly turn around an otherwise great customer base if you sell them aging meats. This is a great location for a little French bistro, something sorely needed in Mt Vernon. The pastries looked wonderful, but since we hardly ate our entrees, we had to move on to another restaurant to finish dinner.
Maybe this was an off night? I was in a few weeks earlier for lunch. The bistro burger and frittes were great, the bread was fresh and crisp. However, at that time, service was poor. The waiter didn't even know what side dishes came with what entrees. My water was empty most of my meal. The other guest who dined with me stopped in earlier as well, had a wonderful cup of hot cocoa. But this experience left me wanting to help the owner, who obviously has invested a lot to renovate the place, but should kick the kitchen in gear.
Minor spelling correction: Marie Louise Bistro. I went one day for lunch, and although it seems like they're still trying to work out the kinks, my boyfriend and I both really enjoyed our food. He had a burger, topped with caramelized onions and blue cheese. I had a chicken pesto sandwich. All in all, their bistro menu is pretty basic, but from what I can tell, they do it well. By trying to work out the kinks, I mean things like, they seated us at noon, but apparently the chef didn't show up until 5-10 minutes after we were seated. So, we had about an hour long wait for our food to come. But, we did go after they had only been open for a week, so I didn't hold that against them. We both are looking forward to returning.
I think that's fair. I have the propensity to be very critical of restaurants, especially the first time I dine there. I was in a pretty bad mood for the first hour, when we were just sitting there waiting for our food to come in an empty restaurant. I was also upset because we were seated in the back corner of a dark dining room (on a beautiful Saturday afternoon), when there was plenty of seating basking in the sunlight. After ordering, we asked to be moved to one of those well lit tables.
But once we moved, and the food came, my mood improved immensely. Their menu does also include more French dishes, such as duck confit. We were just in the mood for sandwiches for lunch. Their pastry case also looks amazing, but I haven't personally tried anything from there yet.