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“Best restaurant in the world?” 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 #4 of 22 Restaurants in Yountville
Price range: $50 - $240
Cuisines: American, French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Outdoor seating, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Creek Street
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in the world?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

I'm a huge snob that pretty much finds something to complain about everywhere I go. However, our evening there was perfect in every way. The food was fantastic, the wine selection was amazing, and the service was flawless.
The French Laundry truly lived up to all the hype; it's the best restaurant in the world.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
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    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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English first
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“If you like a good, plain old meal like everybody else this is not for you”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Three star Michelin restaurants are rarely for people who want a "plain old meal". The French Laundry is no exception. There is not much plain or old about French Laundry. Rather it is Haute Cuisine at its American best. Service is competent, interested and friendly.
It is not a fancy place, it is not more elegant than many much cheaper and simpler restaurants. The ambiance is low key, it is not to watch paintings, people or celebrities you go here. Its to eat.

It is just as good now as it was two years ago.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“In a league of its own”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

What can you say about on of the top restuarants in the world. The food is amazing, but it is a very special place and not for everyone. For those who do not know you cannot just showup and have diner. You have to start calling 3 months to the day that you want to eat and hope you get through before they sell out. My meal there lasted about 5 hours and was about $400.00 a person with wine.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, MD
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Is there a $800 meal for two that IS worth it??”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Answer: no. However, there are few meals for two that are as impressive as the one you will enjoy at the French Laundry in Napa. Bottom line is you are paying for the experience, not so much the actual taste of the food. This, of course, is my opinion only. I am far from a foodie on the level you would need to be to truly enjoy the dishes set before you at this restaurant. There was no course during my meal (Chef's Tasting) that would be considered "one of the best things I have ever eaten." Truthfully, I much more enjoyed watching the pleasure my wife experienced as we dined there in September on her 40th birthday. It was a bucket list item for her and I scored some big points for landing a reservation.

Let me put it this way, there is no doubt that the meal and ingredients, the wine, the service, everything is top notch. The taste of food itself, for me however, was just OK. I was able to let go of what the meal was costing us because honestly, I challenge anyone anywhere to set before me a meal that I would consider to be worthy of what they charge here. I mean, it is simply ludicrous. But for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dine on what is widely considered one of the best restaurants on the planet with my wife - that is priceless.

By the way, for anyone saying they left there hungry, wow. No clue how that could happen. I was absolutely stuffed 3/4 of the way through dinner. I struggled to get dessert down. And yes, it is all of a 3 hour dinner. If you can land a reservation, enjoy! And forget about the bill. There is no such thing a $800 meal for two that is technically worth it!

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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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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