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“Most courses were not memorable.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The French Laundry

The French Laundry
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Ranked #1 of 25 Restaurants in Yountville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $240
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Creek Street
San Jose, CA
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Most courses were not memorable.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 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
Helpful?
3 Thank Gigi_Napoleon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,192 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 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
Helpful?
1 Thank LoveToTravelBH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“#1 dining experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 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
Helpful?
Thank Kim P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
87 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 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
Helpful?
1 Thank savvytravelers2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
73 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Worthy of all the Acclaim”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Celebrated a major anniversary milestone at this restaurant.....Discreetly attentive staff were well aware of the occasion and provided extra courtesies accordingly.

It was a $1,000+ meal, but worth every sublime morsel of special food selections and every elegant sip of paired wines.

We were provided with a customized commemorative menu to remember the occasion by, and got to visit the kitchen to personally meet Chef Thomas Keller and observe the culinary magic being conjured before our eyes.

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

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