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“It's everything it's cracked up to be but not more” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The French Laundry

The French Laundry
6640 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
707 944-2380
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Ranked #3 of 22 Restaurants in Yountville
Price range: $50 - $240
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Outdoor seating, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Creek Street
NYC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“It's everything it's cracked up to be but not more”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We've been really eager to eat here for years and finally found ourselves heading out to Napa Valley and got a lunch reservation. I'm not sure what to say that hasn't been said about the FL over many years. It was a spectacular meal and among the best in the world. I don't want to diminish the experience, but I will say that it certainly wasn't cutting edge or innovative in any way. One remark I will make is to suggest having lunch as opposed to dinner. The menu and experience is identical and the gluttonous encounter is more easily worn off in the day (nb - we typically do this with 'event' type meals ... particularly in Paris).

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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810 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Vallejo, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Expensive and over rated”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

Portions are small and check is big. Just be aware of the kind of food and price you are getting here. There is better food for less money elsewhere in Napa Valley.

Visited December 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewisville, North Carolina
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“A culinary wonder of the world”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

EXPENSIVE! But worth one visit in a life time. Many buy special dining attire just for their reservation. Food is exquisite. Before you go in look across the street to see the extensive garden that supplies the veg and herbs. If you are in the Napa Valley, go. Reservations are months out so reserve as soon as you have a hint that you will be in the area. Lunch is quicker and a bit less expensive than dinner.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Great overall experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

Like all great restaurants it is quite a challenge to get a booking, but well worth the effort.
Great food, nice atmosphere and be sure to arrive early enough for a walk around Yountville to see all the weird and wonderful vegetables being grown in the communal allotments.

  • Visited November 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Elegant setting, artful and exquisite food, impeccable service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

For a landmark birthday of a dear friend, four of us were able to secure a reservation, exactly 60 days ahead. Two phones on auto-redial, dialing at exactly 10:00am California time did the trick, but I realize it was just luck. We were among the first seatings, so the atmosphere was a little quiet and reserved, but after a bottle of Gaston Cliquet champagne, we decided to relax and just be ourselves. The staff is very professional and well trained, but did loosen up a little as we did. Our Chef's Tasting Menu consisted of nine courses at $270.00 per person service included, three of which gave a choice option (except for the dessert choices, the other two courses had an upcharge on one of the options.) The amuse bouche was a lovely salmon tartare with chives in a crispy coronet filled with creme fraiche. It looked like a mini orange ice cream cone, but was a true bite of heaven! The first course of Oysters and Pearls (Caviar) was delicious and the second course option of Carnaroli Risotto Biologico was the piece de resistance of the meal (at 150.00 extra per person.) It was creamy risotto with Beurre Noisette, Castelmagno Nuage and Shaved White Truffles. The truffles were presented with the risotto and then shaved into the dish in front of you. What splendor! Following courses were Grilled Fillet of Japanese Hamachi, Sweet Butter-Poached Maine Lobster Fricassee, Liberty Farm Pekin Duck, Elysian Fields Farm Lamb Saddle, "Tomme de Savoie," consisting of Hobbs Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, Chestnuts, and Honey-Poached Cranberries, a palate cleanser of Plum-Ginger Soda and then a choice of either Chocolate Torte with Pecans, Whipped Cinnamon and Banana Ice Cream OR Strawberries and Custard consisting of lemon custard, compressed strawberries and Swiss Meringue. Afterwards, we were offered chocolate truffles and other bite sized sweets, compliments of the restaurant. We were taken on a kitchen tour as a post dinner treat. The serving sizes are quite small, thank goodness, because there are nine courses and the food is a little rich. As for the wine list, it is extensive and expensive. It has been converted to an Ipad and would take days to study. We simplified matters by requesting wines under $200.00 and that eliminated a large portion of the list. The sommelier was very cooperative in assisting with our price point and selections. One bottle of champagne for toasts, 2 glasses of Spreitzer Riesling 2007, 2 glasses of Fichet Meursault 2010 and one bottle of Veyder Gruner Veltiner Hoch 2010 with the opening and fish courses, a bottle of Cobb Jack Hill Pinot Noir 2007 from Sonoma (delicious!) with the meats and 2 glasses of Disznoko Tokaji 2000 with dessert. Grand total for the wines, $732.00, not bad. In retrospect, everything was delicious, but some courses more memorable than others. French Laundry is well worth the experience, but for me, a place where I would go for landmark occasions as it is extremely expensive.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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