French Laundry Thomas Keller The French Laundry

The French Laundry Awards

Chef-proprietor Thomas Keller’s iconic Yountville destination presents culinary wizardry.
Openings: Dinner nightly
The French Laundry, Yountville, CA

The French Laundry Restaurant Review:

About the restaurant: There are few restaurants where dining inspires a pilgrimage. Chef-proprietor Thomas Keller's The French Laundry 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. (Thomas Keller's Per Se in New York and The French Laundry have garnered GAYOT’s highest rating of 19 out of 20.)

Watch GAYOT's exclusive video interview with chef Thomas Keller.

About the food: The wizardry unfolds inside this understated French country sanctum where daily-changing multi-course prix-fixe meals are executed in an enchanting fashion --- one wonders if the perfect execution isn't magic? Behold the "Oysters and Pearls," "sabayon" of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters and caviar. (As a testament to his high standards, Keller teamed with Shaoching Bishop to co-found the Regiis Ova caviar company to ensure high-quality product and support sustainable farming.) Alaskan king crab “boudin” pairs with La Ratte potato purée, “Pommes Maxim’s” and lobster broth, while herb-roasted Elysian Fields Farm lamb is complemented by Rancho Gordo pole beans, tomato confit and English thyme jus. 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.

Tickets are available via the Tock reservation system.

Photo credit: Michael Grimm

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