The French Laundry - Yountville, California

Roll out the red carpet and prepare the drum roll. Now entering world renowned dinning institution, The French Laundry. I'm trying to hold back until I reach at least the middle of this post, but I can't help it...My meal at The French Laundry was one of the best culinary experiences and chef's tasting menu's I've ever had! Without a doubt the most difficult reservation I've had to secure, but persistence prevails and after 10 days of putting in the request we were in!

The French Laundry restaurant is in a two story stone cottage that was built in the year 1900 and has been through it's share of history and renovations. Executive Chef Thomas Keller acquired the home in 1994 and kept the historic name of a steam laundry business established there in 1907. Since then Thomas Keller and The French Laundry have created a new standard for American cuisine and have received the highest accolades that a restaurant can get. The Fact that their rank on the World's Best Restaurants list dropped from 50 when I visited in September 2015 to number 85 on the 2016 list is quickly forgotten in shadow of their other more prestigious awards. The French Laundry has maintained the envious three Michelin Star rating every year since 2007, a feat on its own. Matched with Keller's other success stories, this makes him the only American born chef to ever have two three Michelin starred restaurants. The restaurant is also a member of both Relais & Chateaux and Les Grandes Tables du Monde - one of only nine in the U.S.

The meal was 7 courses not including amuse bouche and several dessert mignardise. Presentation was simple, but inventive and beautiful, service was 5 star. The food, my oh my, did I mention it was one of the best meals I've ever had? The flavors were wonderful and I made sure to consciously savor every bite. Just delicious and so much attention to detail. Champagne, sauterne and wine pairing were on point and can be customized for the meal, e.g. you can ask for X amount worth of pairings. Please enjoy my visual Dined There experience of The French Laundry, which as spectacular as the dishes look, do not compare to how they taste!

Tartar cone and goat cheese puff amuse bouche (if my memory serves me correctly)
Oyster and Pearls - Sabayon of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oyster and White Sturgeon Caviar served with Champagne

Perigord Raised Moulard Duck "Foie Gras au torchon"
K&J Orchard Pears, Pearson Farm Pecans, Toasted Oats and Bronze Fennel
accompanied with assorted salts, home made butter and brioche
served with Sauterne
This was an upgrade. The regular menu dish was top left corner
Garden of Radish Salad - Hawaiian Hearts of Peach Palm, Finger Lime "Gelée",
Brokaw Avocado Puree and Cilantro Leaves

Sautéed Fillet of Mediterranean Turbot - Garden Carrots, Hardboiled Hen Egg, La Ratte Potatoes and French Pickle Sauce
Wild Scottish Langoustine "Boudin" - Purée de Chou-Fleur, Citron Confit et Crème de Homard

Four Story Hill Farm Poulard - Schmitt Family Farm Apples, Red Wine Braised Cabbage, Garden Nasturtium and "Sauce Périgourdine"
"Châteaubriand" of Marcho Farms Nature Fed Veal - Romano Beans Braised with Earlygirl Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Marinated Fairytale Eggplant and Wild Arugula

Adante Dairy "Tomme Dolce" - Jacobsen Orchards Figs, Roasted Ruby Beets, English Walnuts and Red Ribbon Sorrel
The remainder, including the second photo above, are all assortments of desserts which I unfortunately do not have exact names for.

Chocolate fondant in olive oil on the right

Home made doughnuts, macaron, chocolate truffles, capucino pot de crème 
and assortment of chocolates 

I will never forget this meal. It was everything that fine dining should be, and so much more. The menu changes regularly based on what is in season and what is harvested from The French Laundry gardens. The menu is presented to you in a folder to take home with you, along with a information booklet, pen, a small tin container of butter cookies and an old school laundry pin which is a nice way to keep their history relevant. If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends. Register to receive my next post which brings me back to my home town of Montreal, Canada. For more information on The French Laundry visit .

Meet Napa Valley Culinary Royalty at The Restaurant at Meadowood, another three Michelin Star restaurant in Napa Valley, here


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