Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

The French Laundry

6640 Washington St. (Creek St.) Send to Phone
707-944-2380 | Menu
Chef-proprietor Thomas Keller’s iconic Yountville destination.

Cuisine
Open
Lunch Sat.-Sun. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Dinner nightly 5 p.m.-8:45 p.m.
Features

* Click here for rating key

The French Laundry, Yountville, CA

The French Laundry Restaurant Review

:
About the restaurant: There are few restaurants where dining inspires a pilgrimage. The French Laundry's vortex compels zealots from around the world. Many document their odyssey here, relaying every detail from their journey beyond the blue door. Each bite is recalled in detail to those who live to hear about it and sigh, anticipating their own someday passage into culinary adulthood.

About the food: The wizardry unfolds inside chef-proprietor Thomas Keller’s understated French country sanctum where two daily-changing multi-course prix-fixe meals (Chef's Tasting Menu, $310; Vegetable Tasting Menu, $310) are executed in Harry Potter-like fashion --- one wonders if the perfect execution isn't magic? Behold the "Oysters and Pearls," "sabayon" of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters and white sturgeon caviar. Maine lobster "à la plancha" pairs with hand-rolled "orecchiette," preserved ají dulce peppers, basil and sea urchin emulsion, while a "degustation" of free-range venison from Broken Arrow Ranch is complemented by caramelized Brussels sprouts, honey poached cranberries, savoy cabbage purée and red cabbage essence. Chocolate, ice cream, fruit and candies comprise the "Assortment of Desserts." The cheese course is composed and presented in the same labor-intensive fashion as the rest of the meal, with accompaniments that have included pickled pearl onions, broccoli and whole-grain mustard.

About the wine: The wine list is appropriately extensive, featuring both famous and obscure producers. Servers have telepathic powers; they are intuitive, scrupulously precise and deliberately paced, allowing you to soak in the three or four hour experience that, alas, seems to vanish all too soon. For reservations, potential diners once had to endure wait times on the phone line, but now tables are booked via the online reservation system Tock.



AMERICA'S TOP RESTAURANTS

Discover the best female chefs, top pizzerias and stellar seafood restaurants with GAYOT's Top 10 lists of the best restaurants in America.