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“unbelievable and reputation is spot-on” 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
Houst
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“unbelievable and reputation is spot-on”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

We did not know how tough it was to get reservations and i called in 10 days before and they said we could put you on the wait list, we got THE CALL while just sitting down at Bottega and they said if you don't go, we will.

Our experience started with the hostess meeting us outside and making us feel special. And at the end, the manager personally thanked us for dining on short notice. They were gracious and made us feel warmly welcomed.

The entire experience was outstanding across the board, the service was awesome, everyone was friendly and extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of each of the 9 courses. We asked a lot of questions on each course and they patiently answered each that we understood the artistry. We asked one of the servers about the different ingredients in one course and she gave us a detailed explanation of the three types of radishes and how each complimented the other ingredients - simply incredible.

The meal was worth every penny, the wine - not sure it was worth the price - especially after enjoying tastings in the area of wonderful wines at a third of the price. (there aren't enough dollar signs below)

Based on our lucky stars, we should have played the lottery that day. Don't be afraid to put yourself on the wait list - best surprise we had on our trip.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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788 reviews from our community

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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
Miami
Top Contributor
301 reviews 301 reviews
165 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 99 cities Reviews in 99 cities
127 helpful votes 127 helpful votes
“A Diners Destiny”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

It took 3 years of calling 60 days before my arrivals in St Helena to visit family (several times a year) and being put on a "wait list", before I was finally called back last week with 72 hours notice. The experience is extraordinary once you get by the reservations roadblock.

Our waiter was highly professional, friendly and very helpful with wine suggestions. The champagne (Gaston Cliquet) and red (Cobb Pinot Noir) are new favorites, not so much for the (nameless) Italian white that was too oaky.

The 9-course chefs tasting menu was full of delights and a few disappointments - due more to personal preference vs. skills in the kitchen. I must call out the care in providing comfortable chairs which are so important when one is going to be seated for nearly 3 hours of palate pleasing entertainment.

Several writers have mentioned kitchen tours, and take home chocolates - we were offered neither, but we did not ask. Once outside we did peer through the kitchen windows watching the show go on, not wanting the evening to end.

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Service, Impeccable. Food, 8.5. Value, Not so much. Experience, ABSOLUTELY.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2013

The French Laundry is one of those places that you SHOULD try at least once if you ever find yourself in Napa. The food was VERY good...but...I have had better. The service however...was SIMPLY the BEST. The staff was like a team of ninjas when they cleared plates it was seriously a stealth operation - within 3 seconds ALL the empty plates would be removed by a team of stealth ninja waiters. Not nearly as pretentious as I thought. Usually there is a certain level of 'stuffiness' that comes along with these super fine dining 3 Michelin Star establishments...but not at this place. I felt very at ease. (could have been the private room and the effect of wine tasting all day who knows :-). Our bill was 8k for 10 of us. A bit outrageous but we did order the best of the best. I guess the real question is - Was it worth it? Sadly the answer is Yes. I say sadly because 8k goes a long way and there are much better things to be done with 8000 dollars...but...you only live once.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Great Food, Outrageous Cost”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We have tried to get into this restaurant for the past decade, finally succeeding this past weekend. The meal, at $270 per person without wine, is at the higher end of any restaurant we have been to, and we have eaten at the Fat Duck and Steiereck, among others. The food, nine courses, was good but not outstanding. The first course of oysters and caviar was excellent. The ahi tuna dish was a bit less successful, as it was slightly overcooked to my taste. Service was impeccable.

We brought our own wine, choosing to pay a $75 corkage in order to drink a mature red.

All-in-all, a place worth going to, but only once for us. Manresa in Los Gatos was better at half the price. It was relatively noisy, so being able to converse without leaning in was difficult.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
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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