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The French Laundry

/ Restaurant
#1 of 38 restaurants in Yountville
#1 of 97 places to eat in Yountville
ClosedOpens at 17:30
$$$$ Average price: $75-150
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6640 Washington St, 94599
Yountville, California, USA
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Yountville Park is a great attraction for tourists who come to eat at this restaurant after long walks. The French Laundry offers you good poached oysters, salmon tartare and poached lobster. Spend a nice time here and share tasty chocolate truffles, shortbread cookies and brioche toasts with your friends. This place will offer you delicious draught wine, champagne and scotch. This place is known for great iced espresso, iced coffee and juice.

Choose between indoor and outdoor seating. Most reviewers find the staff cute. People mention that the service is professional here. You will pay attractive prices for your meal. The modern decor and peaceful ambiance let visitors feel relaxed here. It's a three-star Michelin restaurant that is worth a special journey.

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We were pretty excited about going to The French Laundry, having enjoyed other two- and three-Michelin star restaurants over the years.  We did have a great evening, but were a wee bit disappointed with the food.  Although not totally:  The meal started with their signature 'amuse- bouche', a cone shaped coronet with salmon.  We all loved the look, taste and textures. And the meal ended with an absolutely delectable menagerie of desserts, including a chocolate cremo (olive oil and chocolate), a semi-freddo cappuccino with freshly baked donut holes, macarons, and more. Some of these wonderful bites had punches of big flavours, but there were also subtle and sublime perfumed flavours among the offerings.  An exquisite ending to the meal.   Sandwiched between these two courses, it was not quite as reliable.  The foie gras seemed hard to spread -- it turned out it was served just too cold... Waiting 10 minutes, I enjoyed it more.  The Turbot was not at all flakey or moist; it was far too firm. (Tip: try sous vide, maybe?)  The same could be said for the Big Fin Squid "Poelee". I am an amateur hack in the kitchen, but with a few trial and errors, I have prepared grilled squid that was far more supple and less overcooked than this. Maybe the fish chef was not there last night?  Does Thomas Keller not work on Sunday evenings?  Or am I not picking up on the intended texture? The lamb shank was nice, pretty tender, but 'luke warm'  -- in more than one sense of the word.   On the bright side, the "Pekin Duck" was absolutely perfect.  A rectangle of duck that had just a millimeter of unrendered fat separating the crispy skin from the most tender and flavourful meat.  The King Crab was another perfectly prepared dish.   And the service is stellar.  Attentive and non-pretentious; friendly, but not 'your pal'.  They were all poised and charming and helpful.  It was not until the sommelier left the table, did you realize that he instructed you on somethings new. And he had great intuition about our tastes after only a brief conversation. Of course, he has a spectacular palate of wines to choose from. For those visiting Napa Valley, don't feel miffed if you forgot to book The French Laundry many weeks in advance. There are multiple bistros and fine restaurants in this region where the food shines a little brighter than it does here. There are better places to taste the Michelin stars.   P.S. Time to change the music.  We heard a mish-mash of 70s rock with classical tunes. Was that supposed to be eclectic?  The transitions were a bit jarring.
Maybe expectations were too high.  Dinner for two (in April 2018) was nice but I wouldn't say it was truly memorable or significantly better than other nice restaurants that are probably half the price.  Food was definitely very good but there wasn't a single dish that knocked our socks off or that we'll talk about years from now.  Service was attentive, but after it was clear that we wouldn't be ordering wine (other than the single glass before the meal), they seemed a little less interested in us.  We felt a little rushed at times, and there were some small things-- like not offering us the complimentary cookies that seemed to be given to every party on leaving.  All in all, very good fine and good experience-- but wouldn't say it measured up to expectation (or possibly the price).
I am glad I went, if only to say I have been.  I am not a food snob (well maybe just a little) but I was unimpressed.  The restaurant is a lovely place, the staff very attentive, the food better than some but not most.  I think chef is riding on his laurels now.  I wasn't amazed by anything- we paid extra for the wagyu and it was covered in so much sauce that the sauce was all you could taste.  I think the vegetarian menu might have been better as the vegetables we were served were superb. We went for my son's  birthday - he had just completed training at a culinary institute and The French Laundry  had been on the top of his bucket list of restaurants to try. Chef Keller was at the restaurant that evening and my husband had seen him and mentioned to him that our son had just graduated and this was his graduation and birthday gift-you'd think he'd stop by to say hello - nope, didn't bother. I would recommend La Toque and Single Thread anytime over The French Laundry.  BTW - Had lunch the following day at Morimoto's and that was a much better experience than our dinner at the Laundry
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Address
6640 Washington St, Yountville, California, USA, 94599
Opening hours
SundaySun 11:00-13:00, 17:30-21:30
MondayMon 17:30-21:30
TuesdayTue 17:30-21:30
WednesdayWed 17:30-21:30
ThursdayThu 17:30-21:30
FridayFri 11:00-13:00, 17:30-21:30
SaturdaySat 11:00-13:00, 17:30-21:30
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