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“Special restaurant for that special occasion” 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
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
Sunnyvale, CA
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Special restaurant for that special occasion”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

Wow. Pretty much sums it up. Incredible food and service, and unassuming and unpretentious at the same time. You don't have to be a foodie to enjoy the experience of The French Laundry. A few other potential tips: we came for lunch. It is the same 9 course tasting menu they serve for dinner, but it is prob easier to get a lunch reservation. Plan on spending about 4 hours for the service. If you are concerned about 9 courses, right sized and spread over 4 hours you will not be hungry when you leave, but you are not going to be over stuffed either, they know what they are doing. We made reservations 2 months to the day we wanted to go, it does not always take 6 months. I heard from someone that it is harder to get reservations for 2 (I can't confirm that) so grab a few friends and enjoy the experience as a group. You should put The French Laundry on your bucket list. We had a very memorable 50th wedding anniversary for my in-laws. Thank you French Laundry for making it so memorable!

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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754 reviews from our community

82% Recommend
    523
    101
    68
    32
    30
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
San Jose, CA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Most courses were not memorable.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

I wanted to love this experience; I had waited so long, and I have read ALL the books. Thomas Keller was my hero. I sous vide at home. But I’ve got to ask: What happened to the Emperor’s clothes?

The Short Story: Nine small courses; some wonderful, others not worth finishing. Most courses were of a very traditional/Continental style with few surprises. Most wine recommendations were unpardonably askew of our requests and defy my best attempts at coming to a charitable explanation. Service was generally very attentive, but our primary server was pretty snarky. Upon later review of our commemorative menu, we realized that one entire course near the end was omitted. (!) Be sure to save room for the desserts- especially the off-menu “Cappuccino,” candies and other delights at the very end. $1400 for two including wine, supplements and tip. My rating is based only on quality / palatability of the food, wine and service we received, it does not consider price.

More Details: Wine is offered by the bottle, half-bottle and some by the glass. I highly recommend going by the glass so you can try a taste before you commit. The wait staff will make recommendations based on what types of wines you tell them you like. But be warned! We asked for recommendations for half-bottles of white wine to pair with the early courses – we specified that we really liked crisp, dry white in the Chablis style (either domestic or international) with very little oak. Our waiter “knew just what we wanted” but opened cloyingly sweet (the OPPOSITE of dry) wines or some of the oakiest whites I have ever had. (Seriously: They even brought us an oaky Meursault! An oaky Sauvignon Blanc!) We have never had this experience in the HUNDREDS of times we have asked waiters and sommeliers to assist us with pairing their wines to their menu. And guess what: Once those bottles are opened – you’ve paid for them! Even though we followed THEIR recommendation, there was never an offer to bring us even half a glass of something we preferred. So be safe and go by the glass!!!

Regarding attitude: Most restaurants, even the other Michelin-starred restaurants we frequent, convey with some sincerity that they are happy to see you. At the French Laundry they transmit that you are lucky to be there.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Best dining experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013 via mobile

The food is fabulous, best ever. The service is outstanding. It is very pricey but totally worth the experience.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Brisbane
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“#1 dining experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2013

The real question is if you could goto French Laundry all the time would you? Would the most amazing experience ever be repeated every time? Fabulous food which is bettered only by the service. The whole staff should be applauded for making everyone feel so worthy of such an experience. A night I will remember.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“A once in a lifetime experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2013

What can one say about this restaurant. It is justifiably considered one of the best restaurants in the USA (and perhaps the World). It is an experience that one should have at least once in one's life. This isn't just dinner, it is a show. The waitstaff is impeccable; the food presented as artwork. It is obviously fabulous in its innovation and taste. Be prepared to spend about 4 hours and $600-1000 per couple. We have been fortunate to have experienced The French Laundry on 3 or 4 occasions and it has been consistently an unbelievable experience. (But there are many other excellent restaurants in the Valley that won't cost you the price of a mortgage payment).

Visited April 2012
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