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“Not all that great”
Review of The French Laundry

The French Laundry
Ranked #3 of 29 Restaurants in Yountville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $240
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Creek Street
Fort Lauderdale
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Not all that great”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

This restaurant is living on its reputation, although I am not sure how it got the rep in the first place. I went here years ago before the TK days, and it was a far more romantic and great food experience than it is now. The food was fair, but nowhere near great. The vegetarian menu was fussy and over done. Interesting that a series of small courses ends with a completely excessive dessert course. The service started out fairly well but fell apart as the restaurant filled. Save your big splurge for Eleven Madison in NYC. When you are in Napa, go to Ad Hoc, the food there is better, the service just as good, and it is 20% of the price. The wine prices here are particularly outrageous.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank flamarlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,348 reviews from our community

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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
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The restaurant that changed American cuisine”
Reviewed October 22, 2013

As a follower of Chef Thomas Keller, dining at The French Laundry is a dream come true. My wife and I had the immense pleasure of having a succulent dinner and were even treated with a visit to the kitchen of the restaurant, which is the birthplace of modern American cuisine and the culinary university of many of today's best chefs.

The experience itself was unique: watching how the chefs cross the street to pick up the freshest produce in a unique setting offered by the wonderful Yountville, was a great way to witness how this restaurant treats its ingredients with the utmost respect.

The maitre made us feel special from the start and the menu was simply unique: combining Chef Keller's signature dishes with seasonal culinary experiments that were extraordinary.

Yes, the final price was also extraordinary but, for my wife and I, this was a rare opportunity as we live on the other side of the world and it was worth it. We had a memorable dinner which I will simply never forget: from the moment we got there and marveled on the surroundings, to the opportunity of meeting Chef Breeden at his kitchen and walking out with a smile on our face.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jorge C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manhattan Beach, California
Level 6 Contributor
263 reviews
151 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“A Singular experience”
Reviewed October 21, 2013

I feel very fortunate to have dined here, now for a second time. It is beyond compare. The experience is so much more than the food. The service stands out for how attentive it is while simultaneously being unnoticed. The food, by the way, is so outrageously good there's no way to fair describe it. There is so much of it, by the end, that the 7 course menu feels like 16. That said, you don't want it to end. The wine list is equally impressive. As you might expect, the bill is also expansive.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank fozzetti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“"A great meal is an emotional experience"”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

As quoted from The French Laundry website, "A great meal is an emotional experience" - it truly was. Perhaps I'm a bit bias as my boyfriend at the time (now my husband) took me on a surprise trip to SF, proposed and then surprised me again the next evening at this *** Michelin establishment. Dining at this restaurant has always been a dream, and it truly was my cat's meow.

When you fine at the French Laundry, you are receiving a culinary journey. You go there for an experience, not just to dine. The restaurant despite it's reputation isn't by any means stuffy, or snobby. Quite the opposite, Chef Keller and his team are warm, friendly but also have perfected every movement in the service they provide. You are always looked after in every sense from the moment you make that reservation over the phone or online.

The team is very accommodating to all dietary restrictions and take note of all celebrations. Jackets are required for men but keep in mind when I went I saw girls anywhere from casual yet elegant summer dresses to women in full out cocktail dresses.

The food many reviews have hit it spot on, so I won't go into detail...it's beyond anything you might experience anywhere else. It feels as if it never stops and by the time dessert came, we couldn't even sample all the chocolates they provided :( The shortbread which they let you take home was a beautiful treat and nice keepsake for the tins they were in.

Ask for the kitchen tour if possible very neat to see as well.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank TorontoQwerty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
garden city
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Food not worth the hype but overall a great experience”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

I've lived in san francisco for a few years but have never managed to snag a table. however this time round on vacation with the family from Singapore, we were extremely lucky to get a 545pm reservation for 4.

I have called ahead to explain to them one of the diners was only 5 years old. they said no problem they could tailor something for him. we were greeted warmly and was shown to a cosy dining room upstairs - with 5-6 tables. the service was friendly and expedient, and they suggested some minor menu changes that would suit my son. the sommelier was also very helpful in making some great suggestions on regional wines that would suit our budget. (the wine list was an iPad and it was the most extensive one i have ever seen - it was great fun flipping through it marvelling at all the verticals of cult californians).

the salmon tartar coronet, the oyster and pearls, the sable fish and lobster were truly outstanding, especially the sweet burnt butter that accompanied the lobster. the oysters were plump and crunchy and sweet at the same time, a perfect combo with the salty oscietra caviar. i was pleasantly surprised that the 5 yo devoured it, i thought i would be having seconds, guess not.

the pacing of the courses was a bit fast initially, maybe cos they needed to turn the table for the next seating. for meats, my lamb was served a tad cool unfortunately, and there were 4 desserts so if you were not a sweet fan then it would be kind of an overkill. on top of that, came a whole tray of the most perfectly round and shiny chocolate bonbons all with different flavors - i especially loved the peanut butter one. and not to mention the petit fours that came with the tea/coffee. my son was thrilled with all the sweets but i would have preferred more savories to balance the meal.

after dinner, we walked around in the beautiful moonlit garden, admiring the stars and enjoying the clean, crisp, cool air.

it was a once in a lifetime experience to have been to the french laundry. however next time in napa, i would probably like to try one of the many fabulous restaurants along that stretch in yountville.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tallulahsoq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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