Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The French Laundry

6640 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
the best restaurant in the country (note: yes, i know this isn't in SF, but whatever. it's worth a post!)

if you've never heard of french laundry, you must know that (1) it's the best restaurant in america according to just about any food resource, and (2) it's the only restaurant on the west coast (i.e. outside of new york in the US) to get 3 michelin stars. i must say that it completely lives up to the hype.

going along with the woodsy theme of wine country, french laundry basically feels like a classic and elegant house in the countryside (that just so happens to house millions of dollars worth of food). it takes quite a few months in advance to get a reservation, but if you're lucky and have connections (like if your friend's sister's coworker is friends with thomas keller's ex-gf!), you can score a reservation of your choice in a few days! =) there's an early and a late seating since the meals are so extensive and time-consuming (9+ courses). we basically started at 6pm and didn't leave till after 9/9:30pm.

the best part about going to the best restaurant in the country is that not only the food is good, but the service is impeccable and not snotty at all. despite being probably the youngest in the building, the staff treated us with respect and were really nice =) there are two menus - the chef's tasting menu, and then the vegetable menu (vegan except for some cream here or there i think... even the cheese course isn't real cheese though). even though i'm not vegetarian, the veggie menu looked really good. but being the carnivore i am, i opted for the chef's menu.

the food: it was good. uber rich. lots of butter. and GOOD. instead of going into detail about it here, you can see for yourself here. yes, i took pictures with absolutely no shame.

the money: prix fixe menu is $210 including service. for my menu, there was a $30 supplement for foie gras, and a $150 supplement for the wagyu, or kobe beef. i'm actually not sure if it was $150 for two, or just one.... and then the wine pairings... i'm not sure about that, either.. but i'm sure it was a good amount! yes, this place is bank, but if you think about it, it's more than just food... it's an experience (maybe even a once in a lifetime!).

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