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“Over the Top!”
Review of The French Laundry

The French Laundry
Ranked #4 of 29 Restaurants in Yountville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $240
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Creek Street
Whitehouse, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Over the Top!”
Reviewed March 25, 2014

Service was beyond excellent. Four sips of water and your glass is filled.
Silver polished one more time before it leaves the kitchen.
China polished one last time and the food is plated with exquisite beauty.
Dinner is not about 'the food' but about the experience of:
exceptional food
beyond picture perfect presentation
tantalizing tastes, textures, and surprise combinations with creative twists!
Worth the price for food and wine?
Worth the price for the experience...a bucket list experience.
A treasured experience when spent with those you love!
:

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Marcia G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,333 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    930
    173
    121
    62
    47
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
Naples, Italy
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Terrible experience”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

Service was so bad. We were coldly greeted. first thing first, as always, I told them about my life threatening sea-food allergies. Ordered a beet salad with cheese. firt bite, my ears start ringing and i could not breathe. Not a sorry. but : I will take it back and ask that they be careful this time. Oh you did not ask the first time??? Plus no one seemed to care. did not offer to call the ambulance. nothing.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
26 Thank Boumtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“If this were the Olympics..”
Reviewed March 24, 2014

TFL would get a 5.0/5.0 for technical execution and a 4.3/5.0 for value for money. Although you already know from the restaurant's myriad reviews that you will spend a lot here, the issue in my book is the disproportionate nature of the meal's "upgrade" prices and the likelihood of disappointment/poor management of expectations. If you're going to pay $295 for a prix fixe menu with so many courses, how likely is it that adding a disproportionate $100 per additional dish (i.e. wagyu or risotto) is going to improve the meal by a factor corresponding to the additional cost? I'd be more likely to upgrade the meal if TFL charged a higher base price e.g. $350-400 and lower the incremental upgrade cost.

Outside of the meal's value, the service was highly attentive.

Protip: don't eat too much during the day of your meal or load up on bread during the meal.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank hkbased
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Incredible food and service, but lacking in atmosphere and attitude towards reservations.”
Reviewed March 22, 2014

After 10 years trying to make a reservation, we were able to get into French laundry at the last minute with two hours notice due to a cancellation. We hustled two hours north to make the reservation for a 9 o'clock seating. The food was superb and our waiter, who has been there since it opened, was fantastic. The lack of any decoration on the walls or any music or other ambience was unfortunate. I know they do that on purpose to focus on the food, but when you're spending $1000 for dinner, you really want the whole package. Because of that, I would have to give Meadowood a slight edge over French laundry for delivering the entire package. You really can't go wrong with French laundry though. It was a fantastic meal and we had a very enjoyable anniversary dinner. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend trying it out. At least once.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Victor S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oswego, Illinois
Level Contributor
42 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Almost Too Much to Absorb”
Reviewed March 11, 2014

A lot has been said about the French Laundry that I don't need to repeat. It is what it is, and it completely lived up to my sky high expectations.

That said, I wasn't completely prepared for the cumulative effect of dish after dish of astonishingly good, well presented food. It's like running through a major museum with a three second stop at each of many major masterpieces. I was trying to contain my food nerdy-ness, so I didn't take pictures of the dishes, and I think that was a mistake. I could have discretely taken flash-free photos of each one without disrupting nearby diners, many of who were taking pictures anyway. I also should have taken a photo of that day's menu. Had I done all that, I could have relived each course with time for reflection, and leveraged a lot more gratification out of the experience.

All that said, in spite of this challenge, which maybe is just my problem, and the relatively high cost and difficulty of just getting there, I'd go back again, maybe even regularly. You can get good food in a lot of places, and especially in Yountville, but this was a notch up in ways that aren't entirely tangible. You just have to be there to understand.

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

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