The French Laundry

117 Posted by - May 20, 2014 - Restaurants, San Francisco, Travel

For any self- proclaimed foodie out there, the name needs no introduction.

For everyone else, French Laundry is the crème de la crème of fine dining in America. With 3 highly coveted Michelin Stars (only 2 restaurants in California with 3 stars), it has continued to top the charts in annual lists of best restaurants.

And as Anthony Bourdain would put it, “the best restaurant in the world, period.”

So what makes French Laundry the crème of the crop?

Cyn Eats at French Laundry

For me, eating here is like an emotional roller coaster. No joke. They seriously play with your emotions. I felt like I died.and.went.to.heaven for a sec –> then super annoyed the next –> then it happened all over again for 3.5 hours.

Here’s what I mean:

Ever had something soo freakin good and tasty where you just wanted that ONE more bite? Well that’s the story of my life at the French Laundry. They serve a series of small courses that are meant to excite your palate with flavors where you think: “WOW! That was amazeballs.

…and then…just like that…it’s gone.

Their goal is to get you to say: “I wish I had one more bite of that” <– which for me is more like “Babe, Can I have a bite of yours?”

And then the next plate arrives.

And the same thing happens.

(I got rejected way too many times in one night & it doesn’t happen to me often. Jk).

The-French-Laundry-Salmon Cornets

(For example: check out chef Thomas Keller’s famous Salmon Cornet appetizer. It was one of the best thing’s thats ever happened to me…and it was also gone in 30 seconds.)

What’s the menu like?

There are two unique 9- course tasting menus created each day depending on the freshest ingredients available. Chef Thomas Keller takes his flavors very seriously, sourcing as many herbs & vegetables as possible from French Laundry’s own garden across the street. And here’s the twist…no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the entire 9 courses. Crazy, right?

 Chef’s Tasting Menu //or// A Tasting of Vegetables

How much is a meal here?

A dinner will begin at $270 for a 9 course meal.

…per person.

And yes, that is a hefty number, but keep in mind that value is in the eye of the beholder & you get what you pay for.

Obviously places like this and Quince or Gary Danko are not for everyone or is a place for everyday dinners (we’d all be broke & I’d probably be homeless). But these are the places that encompass perfection from the moment you walk through the door to the tiny details in every dish.

Ambiance & Service

 french laundry interior

As you would imagine, the service here is absolutely flawless. Walking through French Laundry is like being personally welcomed through someone’s home: warm & inviting. The host immediately greets you at the door with a big smile and offers to take your coat. As soon as you sit down, you’ll notice all the tiny little details from freshly picked flowers to the signature French Laundry clothespins clipped to each perfectly pressed white napkin. Overall, the staff were very pleasant and not at all pretentious. You can even ask to see the kitchen and they’ll be more than happy to give you a tour. 

French Laundry Clothes Pin

How to get a reservation?

You know the phrase “nothing good ever comes easy?” < – - Well that pretty much sums it up.

Reservations are so coveted that the process reminds me of obsessively calling a radio station to win Beyonce concert tickets –> It takes pure determination.

With only 16 tables, ressies are taken two months in advance and are often booked a year out on busy weekends. To make a reservation, you could either call the French Laundry hot line, go on Open Table, or call your American Express card (If you don’t have one, hope that you have a really nice friend who does).

Is it worth it?

It takes a certain level of appreciation for food to truly appreciate what French Laundry has to offer. If you’re just looking for a quick & cheap meal ticket, this probably isn’t your place. But if you’re a true connoisseur and foodie, you should definitely try to get ressies for future celebrations in Napa Valley- after all, it’s a meal you’ll never forget.

{It’s a once in a lifetime type of thing}

Bon Appetite!

Cyn

 

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5 Comments

  • Shawn May 21, 2014 - 6:52 am Reply

    I came here with my wife last year for our 5 year anniversary and the food was absolutely spectacular. We were lucky in securing a reservation since someone just canceled when we called. Although the meal was expensive, it was also one unforgettable meal.

  • Laura N May 22, 2014 - 1:03 am Reply

    Everything at French Laundry is amazing. It probably took 4 days and over 100 hundred phone calls to finally get a reservation here, but it was so worth it! I live across the county in New York and can’t wait to go back to Napa Valley. Hopefully soon!

  • Jaime May 23, 2014 - 11:02 pm Reply

    French Laundry has been at the top of my list for a very long time! This just makes me even more excited to try it.

  • Derek May 30, 2014 - 12:08 am Reply

    My friend and his wife came here a couple months ago and they had a blast! They said it was the best meal of their lives and also the most expensive meal ever.

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