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French bistro fare in Baltimore (not Petit Louis)?

I love the food at Petit Louis, but I can't stand the room. The noise level is well documented, but my main complaint is the proximity of the tables. The last time we were there, the server almost knocked over my wine glass with her backside (she shimmied between the tables to fill water glasses).

Is there another place with good French bistro fare in Baltimore where I won't have to worry about backpockets in my bread basket?

Thanks!

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Petit Louis
4800 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

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  1. Not Baltimore per se, but near the end of I-97 south before you get to Annapolis. Les Folies Brasserie gets mixed reviews on this board, but it does meet your requirements.

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    Les Folies Brasserie
    2552 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401

    1 Reply
    1. re: bordeauxfan

      Les Folies has gone completely downhill since the previous owner died. Abysmal service and food not much better. It's hardly recognizable as French and certainly not located in Baltimore, so it doesn't meet the OP's requirements, IMO.

      I have to say that I love Petite Louis. Head and shoulders above any other French bistro fare in Baltimore. I enjoyed a perfect Salad Nicoise last week. I think the bustling atmosphere, with close tables, is a big part of the charm.

    2. I haven't visited Marie Louis Bistro in a while, but it might be what you are looking for.

      7 Replies
      1. re: hotel

        not really french bistro food there.
        Corner BYOB in Hampden might work.

        1. re: hon

          Another not in Baltimore but very nice bistro is Cafe de Paris in Columbia. The atmosphere is exactly what you are looking for.

          1. re: JonParker

            Second on Cafe de Paris. The food is not quite as good as Petit Louis, however. The food at Marie Louise is not nearly as good as PL.

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            Petit Louis
            4800 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210

            1. re: JonParker

              that place is actually around the corner from where I work, I can't believe I have never checked it out!

              1. re: hon

                I second the Cafe de Paris recommendation. Be sure to go at dinner, as their lunch menu is crepes and sandwiches only.

            2. re: hon

              Just curious but what are you considering bistro food and how would Corner BYOB fit it? I am just back from Paris and ate in quite a few bistros. Menu looks pretty comparable.

          2. Chameleon Cafe is excellent, but the table spacing & noise may not be very different at certain times of the evening.....

            4 Replies
            1. re: foster

              Not in Baltimore, but in Ellicott City there is Tersiguel's. I personally haven't been so I can't add much more to this thread. sorry,

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              Tersiguel's
              8293 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21043

              1. re: adamsole

                Tersiguel's isn't really bistro fare though.

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                Tersiguel's
                8293 Main Street, Ellicott City, MD 21043

                1. re: JonParker

                  This is a very sad thread. PL has very good food, altho I agree with OP re noise and close tables (of course, that's Tony Foreman tracking real bistros where those conditions are the norm--I have been in well-regarded bistros in Paris where the tables are significantly closer, altho I cannot recall any that were noisier).

                  What is sad is that there really is no other bistro food closer than Columbia

                  1. re: tartuffe

                    Would it be nice to have more French venues in baltimore? Sure. But our one and only (other than Marie Louise, which is a step below) happens to be a good-looking place (even if some find it too loud. etc., which I too agree makes it similar to the original article), with excellent food that is almost always à point, first-rate service, and a great, thoroughly French wine list.

            2. Have none of you been to b in bolton hill?

              1 Reply
              1. re: xmasteeth

                That's a really good point. b is excellent; I don't think of it as French because the food has so many different influences (Italian, Spanish, etc.). But it is a great bistro nonetheless.

                However, the tables are about as closely packed as Petit Louis.

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                Petit Louis
                4800 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210