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.
I thought the food was very good but not exceptional; the service was robotic and perfunctory; and the pacing was extremely slow, even when it did not need to be. Basically, I assume that 20 years ago, the approach of multiple courses of small dishes, with occasional surprises, was revolutionary and worth a visit, or even a trip. But that model has been adopted and improved across the country, and FL appeared to be going through the motions in a way that did not make the experience any fun. I felt the need to go for the first time just to say I went; I would urge others to resist the temptation and save the money and the time.
After the six month wait to get in, the food was tasty as you would expect for $650 for two for the 5 course meals... They charged one arm and a leg and part of my back to open our bottle of wine...AND to top it off... We had to go out to dinner after to actually be satisfied. It was like $650 appetizers!!! And the service was rude... Probably because the first thing they noticed was my country boy looks and my suit (required) was not Armani...
I would more recommend Burger King (which I won't even eat at) over the French Laundry...
Well after reading some of the recent reviews I was a little skeptical about our dinner plans. Well it was great. Easy to find, parked right out front. The meal was execptional and the service was top notch. Yes it was the most expensive meal I ever had but the whole experence was worth it. You have to go there knowing the dinner for two will be $700 after tip and tax. Don't plan on drinking alcohol if you are on a budget. Beers are $15 to $25 each and the lowest price wine was around $100 and there are plenty of wines over $1000 per bottle. If you have never been there and you can afford it then go. We were both full at the end of the 3 1/2 hour meal.
Beautiful experience, food, service.
Due to a friends tenacity we finally acquired reservations. Despite what other reviewers have posted, I found the service unpretentious, and very accomodating.
A server overheard my disappointment over the leatherbound menus, I wanted a copy to take home. She informed me that they have copies in folders and inquied how many I would like. They were wonderful.
The menu was fabulous; we were fortunate enough to have the oysters and pearls and it was the most unusual surprise of the evening. No stranger to fine dining, I still tend to shy away from foie gras due to principal, but broke down here to taste it for the first time. Pure butter; absolultey gorgeous! The portions are very small, but it was a nine course meal with a few surprises in between. Due to the length of time it takes to complete a meal, trust me, you are more than satisfied in the end. The flavors did not disappoint. There was one fish dish where the fish was overwhelmed by its accompaniment, but this is a minor complaint to an otherwise fabulous meal/experience.
Toward the end of the evening (we shut them down, it was past midnight at this point) we struck up a conversation with one of their staff who offerd a tour of the kitchen; impressive! By that time, the kitchen was so clean one never would have known that they had been cooking in it just an hour earlier. There were about six to eight chefs all huddled around one of their tables working on the following day's menu.
Lovely, lovely, experience, cannot say enough wonderful things about it. We went off with a bag of about a dozen soft center truffles in different flavors and two packages of melt in your mouth butter cookies.
Will we return? Ah, if we can just acquire those hard to get reservations!
Let me begin by stating that I have eaten at 5 star restaurants all over the country, and cost is not a consideration. Value and service are.
This place is a rip off. It is aptly named laundry since you are taken to the cleaners here.
Our experience began with reservations made 2 months in advance for 8. The afternoon of our reservation I was called and told, that our reservation time was being pushed back 90 minutes. No explanation, no apology.
The waiter was the most pretentious individual that I have ever met. The wine list so far overpriced that it was beyond insanity. And forget about bringing your own wine since the corkage fee is $75. per bottle.
The meal was a disaster. Not only were the prices exorbitant, but there were many up charges. Let me give an example. Scallops for about $50; there was only one scallop about 1.5 inches in diameter in this huge plate. It looked lost. Actually all entre portions were about 2 oz. Put this into perspective with the Lobster entre, 2 oz. for $80.
If they didn't bring bread we would have starved to death.
OK so here are the positives. You cannot get fat eating here, nor do you have to worry about a DUI. You cannot afford it. Figure a meal for 2 to cost about $400, IF you do not have wine. A price like that and poor service and you will have truly been taken to the laundry.
I would not give this place one star.
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