Built in 1890 as a French Steam Laundry, this rustic two-story stone house is surrounded by a country garden planted with vintage roses, perennials ... More
The French Laundry
Built in 1890 as a French Steam Laundry, this rustic two-story stone house is surrounded by a country garden planted with vintage roses, perennials and seasonal herbs. The French Laundry Restaurant has an intimate dining room with 15 tables. The dining time is 3-4 hours with two prix-fixe menus to choose from. Reservations are taken two months in advance to the calendar date (i.e. Reservations for April 1st are taken February 1st). Jackets are required. No Shorts or Tennis Shoes please.
If you are reading this review, you must already know about the French Laundry and are considering taking the $400/head plunge for the full tour. Take it and eat the college staple Top Ramien for three months to save the cash. You will not be disappointed.
If you have any hesitancy, please don't go. It would be sad to have even one seat occupied by someone not fully committed to this ultimate dinning experience.
If I were on death row, the Oysters and Pearls would be my final meal.
1) Exceptional service
2) Innovative use of ingredients and compostion
3) 9 course menu has a good variety of dishes
1) 7 course menu doesn't give bigger portion than 9 course
2) Fish is overcooked
3) Too many dessert courses and they are not too creative.
This place was by far the best dining experience I have ever had. The service was the best. The food was the best. The wine was the best. I would recommend the 9 course chef's tasting menu. Everything is prepared with skill and precision.
I went with a group for lunch this weekend and had a spectacular meal. There was a choice of 3 menus -- lunch (7 course) or two 9-course tasting menus (one vegetarian, one not). All were $175. This translated to $300/head for us once you add in wine, tax and tip (we had 3 bottles of wine among 7 people). Despite the steep price, I would still recommend this as a wonderful dining experience -- the food did not disappoint, the ambiance was lovely, and the service was seamless. Our lunch lasted about 4 hours (I swear it didn't seem that long at all), so be prepared for an all-day experience. I won't go into specifics about the food since the menu changes, but would like to add that vegetarians should not hesitate to go to the French Laundry -- the presentation of their 9 courses was even more special than the regular 9-course menu, and their dishes were clearly not an afterthought.
My expectations for the food were so high, there was almost no way to avoid being disappointed. As a meat and potatoes guy with a penchant for over-analyzing everything, my standard was that this meal would need to be three times better than a trip to a steakhouse (some of my favorites are Wolfgang's in New York or Pete Miller's in Evanston, IL) given that the price is roughly three times as much as a steakhouse. Obviously, this is not the review of a foodie. But, my lofty expectations for the food were definitely met, although I still think it's a stretch to say a meal here is worth 3X a trip to Morton's on the merits of the food alone. What took the experience to the next level was the service. It was fantastic. The staff is warm and inviting, where I expected them to be stiff and formal, and they anticipated every need we had. Also, the little touches (the bill comes on a laundry tag, keepsake menus, etc) made the experience that much more special. Overall, a fantastic experience.
The dishes are impeccably prepared and artfully presented. The service is amazing and the wine list is every impressive. However, overall I was a bit let down. Maybe it was all the hype ..who knows ....
I took my husband there to celebrate his birthday. What an experience. We arrived early and decided to just take in the wonderful country atmosphere and sat down outside in the courtyard.
We entered the restaurant proper still a little bit early, but we were promptly seated and offered glasses of champagne. That night, we were given a choice of three menus, all priced at $175. Two of the menus (vegetarian and Chef's tasting) had nine courses and the regular one had seven. I am vegetarian (by choice) and decided to go with the Chef's tasting menu, while my husband had the regular menu along with a special appetizer (extra $25). Needless to say, the food came out in a steady, unhurried pace. This allowed us to enjoy the setting and each other's company.
Besides the food from the menus we ordered, we were also offered extra dishes free of charge. These were offered before our food came out. I thought it was a great idea, it probably allowed the kitchen to prepare our foo
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