Apr 2009

The French Laundry – Yountville

After five fabulous years of feasting, traveling, and dating, The Astronomer proposed that we spend the rest of our lives together in matrimonial bliss. In one hand was a “huge and bloodless” diamond ring, and in the other was a confirmation for dinner at The French Laundry. He made it way too easy to say, Yes.

My boyfriend fiancé likes astronomy. I prefer gastronomy.

Oh, The French Laundry—it really needs no introduction. A funny thing happened as we walked through the restaurant’s front door; I recognized the hostess. From Mrs. Hayes’ honors biology class to Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry. It’s a small, small world after all.

The Astronomer and I were seated in a cave-like stone room that jutted from the first floor’s main dining space. Our breathy-voiced waiter informed us that the room was the restaurant’s original point of entry. We got the party started with some premium bubbly—Pierre Gimonnet Blanc de Blancs from France—because we were celebrating something pretty darn special.

GRUYÈRE CHEESE GOUGÈRES

Keller’s kind of tease when it comes to his fare at The French Laundry. “The more you have of something, the less you like it,” says Keller. “So our goal is to give the guests an experience that leaves them wanting a little bit more. Certainly with the food, you know, one, two, three, four bites – if that dish is finished and you say, ‘God I wish I had one more bite,’ that’s what we’re trying to achieve.”

These gougeres were served warm and had an airy touch of salty cheese. Due to their limited size, the flavors and textures ended up being so fleeting that I felt like I didn’t fully taste it.

“CORNETS”

I’ve read so many accounts of meals at The French Laundry over the years that the first few courses were eerily predictable. When these adorable canapés arrived, it was sort of like seeing an old friend for the first time.

My favorite element of these whimsical ice cream cone-inspired bites was the red onion infused creme fraiche piped into the savory cone. Whereas the gougeres were too small to fully appreciate, the cornets successfully left me wanting another bite. And another one after that.

“OYSTERS AND PEARLS”—“Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and California Sturgeon Caviar

Oysters and Pearls was the highlight of The French Laundry experience for me. As anticipated, the combination of flavors and textures was luxurious. What really excited me about this dish was the temperature at which it was served—the Oysters and Pearls were perfectly warm. The ideal temperature made the flavors brighter and surprised the palate after a series of cooler dishes.

PAIN AU LAIT

Our first bread pairing of the evening was a pain au lait from Bouchon Bakery, which is located down the street from The French Laundry. The roll was light, crisp, and slightly buttery.

The pain au lait was served with two types of butter—a locally produced salted one, and a firmer variety made by a cheesemaker. The nontraditional butter wasn’t as spreadable as the traditional one, but it tasted richer and more decadent. The pain au lait didn’t really require any butter, but The Astronomer and I couldn’t help slathering each bite with one of the lovely options before us.

SALAD OF HAWAIIAN HEARTS OF PEACH PALM—Hayden Mango Relish, Radish, Cilantro Shoots and Persian Lime

Up until this point in the meal, The Astronomer and I were served the exact same dishes. The Chef’s tasting menu allows for diners to choose between two options for a number of courses, so to maximize our dining experience, we each chose different dishes when available and swapped plates midway through.

Following the pain au lait, The Astronomer received a hearts of palm salad. We both agreed that the presentation was attractive, but the flavors weren’t very exciting. It’s important to note that Keller’s plates are composed by rejecting any item that, while maybe making the dish more ‘interesting,’ gets in the way of achieving perfection. It was wholly apparent during this course that Keller’s minimalistic vision of perfection differed from my own.

MOULARD DUCK “FOIE GRAS EN TERRINE”—Marcona Almonds, Celery Branch, Apricot Puree and Toasted Brioche

Prior to my trip to The French Laundry, my brother Victor, a fine dining veteran, adamantly insisted that we shell out an extra thirty bucks for the foie gras course. I’ve eaten foie gras here and there over the years and have never been too impressed, but he promised me that Keller’s deftly executed fatty duck liver would change my mind for good.

The delicate portion of foie gras was prettily accented with Marcona almonds, celery, and a sweet and tart apricot puree. A thick slice of buttered and toasted brioche arrived on the side, along with three types of finishing salt—gray French sea salt, white Japanese sea salt, and a pink salt from copper mines in Montana.

Spread smoothly upon the warm brioche, the impossibly velvety foie gras tasted like an otherworldly kind of butter. The salts and fruit puree curbed the richness, while the celery and almonds reset the palate for more. The simplicty of the preparation allowed me to really taste and appreciate foie gras in all of its controversial glory.

A note about The French Laundry’s superior attention to detail—As soon as I finished photographing the brioche, a waiter swooped in and removed the plate from the table. He replaced it with a freshly toasted slice without saying a word. The photo shoot took about 30 to 45 seconds, which is apparently much too long for brioche to sit idly. Although it was admittedly wasteful, I appreciated that the kitchen insisted that I experience the dish at its peak of deliciousness.

SAUTEED FILLET OF GULF COAST COBIA—Fava Beans, Turnips, Granny Smith Apple and Mustard Seed Emulsion

For the fish course, The Astronomer was presented with the sauteed fillet of cobia. Although it appeared dainty and supple upon the plate, the fish’s flesh was actually quite firm. Since I tend to favor buttery fishes with flaky fleshes, this plate didn’t excite me, although I did like the compressed Granny Smith apple and fava bean accents. The Astronomer was pleased with the cobia’s steak-like texture and consumed the bulk of the dish.

“TARTARE” OF JAPANESE BLUEFIN TUNA—Green Asparagus, Navel Orange, Perilla and White Sesame

The tartare of Japanese bluefin tuna was another highlight of the evening. Counter to Keller’s usual philosophy, this plate contained quite a few bells and whistles that made it interesting. The raw cubes of tuna, which were perfectly fresh, had an easy consistency that melted in my mouth. Dabbed in the white sesame sauce along with the oranges, each of the clean and distinct favors harmoniously mingled together. I liked every element of this dish.

Baguette, Multigrain

Following the fish course was another bread pairing. The Astronomer chose The French Laundry baguette, while I went with a multigrain roll.

SWEET BUTTER-POACHED MAINE LOBSTER TAIL—Glazed Carrots, English Peas and Black Truffle Sauce

Dinner could have very well ended after this course because in my mind, it’s nearly impossible to top a succulent, butter-poached lobster tail resting in a pool of black truffle sauce. The glazed carrots and English peas brightened the plate beautifully, but it was the sweet lobster tail that knocked this dish out of the park. It was easily the greatest lobster I have ever eaten in my life.

The lobster course was a turning point in our dinner; the final lighter course before an onslaught of heavy meats. I adore tasting menus, especially when they’re paced properly, but almost always prefer the first half of a multi-coursed affair to the last. The early notes tend to hit the flavors and textures that I adore most when my tastebuds are ready to be wowed.

Though not completely stuffed, I was more or less sated after the lobster, which did not bode well for the meat courses on the horizon.

Wheat, Sourdough

Following the lobster course was another bread pairing. The Astronomer chose a wheat roll, while I went with a sourdough.

VEAL HEARTS—Yukon Potatoes, Beets, Horseradish (left, top)

LIBERTY FARMS PEKIN DUCK “PASTRAMI”—Savoy Cabbage, “1000 Island Gastrique” and Caraway Seed Melba (left, bottom)

SNAKE RIVER FARMS “COLOTTE DE BOEUF GRILLEE”—Akita Komachi Rice, Beech Mushrooms, Broccolini, Ginkgo Nuts and Ginger Sauce (right)

The sun set moments before the meat courses began. Hence, the shoddy shots.

For the first meat course, I received the veal hearts, while The Astronomer was presented with the duck pastrami. The thin sheets of tender veal hearts weren’t very memorable eaten alone, but really came alive when paired with the spicy horseradish. The beets were disappointingly dehydrated, while the potatoes were terrific.

The duck pastrami was splayed on a bed of cabbage and topped with a thin and crispy caraway seed cracker. The duck was moist and tender, but the composition of flavors didn’t strike me as anything special.

For our second meat course, The Astronomer and I both received a hunk of grilled beef prepared medium rare. Though tender, the texture of the beef wasn’t of the melt-in-your-mouth Japanese Wagyu variety.  The rice and ginger sauce pairing struck an unexpected Asian fusion chord, which I wasn’t too keen on. The ginkgo nuts were unpleasantly bitter.

The series of meat courses highlighted how Keller’s aim for perfection leaves the plate a touch too one-dimensional. All of the meat dishes were good in their own right, but none of them managed to excite me the same way some of the earlier courses did.

Dining at a gastronomical temple like The French Laundry, I want nothing more than to fall madly for each and every dish. Although experiencing a series of misses is heartbreaking, it truly does give me a better sense not only of the Chef’s vision, but of my own personal preferences as a diner.

“BEERMAT”—Hobbs’ Bacon, Pear, Pecans, Watercress and Wild Flower Honey

The Astronomer and I loved everything about the cheese course but the actual cheese. The “beermat” was a firm specimen with an unpalatable flavor. We tried to mask the unpleasantness with honey, bacon, nuts, and fruit, but after two slices each, we had to admit that the cheese was an acquired taste. This was the only course that we didn’t finish all evening.

DIANE ST. CLAIR BUTTERMILK SHERBET—Cream Scone, Sour Cherries and Earl Grey Tea Foam (left, top)

“PARFAIT AU CITRON”—Crystallized Buddha’s Hand, Pistachio Biscotti and Lemon Snow (left, bottom)

“GATEAU AU CHOCOLAT AVEC BAVAROIS PRALINE”—Caramelized Gros Michel Bananas and Hazelnut Sorbet (right)

A buttermilk sorbet arrived next to cleanse our palates as we transitioned from savories to sweets. The sorbet’s pervading sourness was jarring at first, but mellowed out after a few bites. I loved how the dish was inspired by high tea complete with cream scones, Earl Grey foam, and fruity preserves. Clever!

Both dessert options this evening were a let down. I’m a dessert-lover through and through, so this sad turn of events was even more disappointing than the meat courses. Both the chocolate and hazelnut number and the parfait au citron were uninspired and disjointed. The individual elements that comprised each dessert were decent eaten alone, but never managed to meld together into a satisfyingly sweet package. This style of arty plating worked for most of the savory dishes, but came together poorly for the desserts.

MIGNARDISES

Dessert was followed by mignardises, tiny, bite-sized sweets to end the meal. First, we indulged in some fine handcrafted chocolates. We chose a peanut butter cup, salted caramel, white chocolate with yogurt, and lime from the selection. The chocolates were served on a chilled silver platter, which was a very nice touch. The chocolates were followed by little candies presented in a three-tiered silver box. I liked the drama of the presentation, but the nibbles inside weren’t as unique as their container.

Lastly, the maître d’ led us into The French Laundry’s kitchen for a mini-tour. The space was clean, calm, and warm, but I felt awkward gawking at the cooks and wanted to hit the road straightaway with my shortbread cookies in hand.

I walked away from my dinner at The French Laundry pleased that I had finally experienced the culinary mecca, but somewhat bothered that I didn’t fall head over heels for the place. At this level of dining, the food, service, and ambiance are a reflection of the Chef’s personality and intentions. In the case of The French Laundry, I have to admit that Keller’s perfectionistic style didn’t quite gel with my own.

The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599
Phone: 707-944-2380

French Laundry on Urbanspoon

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120 thoughts on “The French Laundry – Yountville

  1. Wow, congratulations you two! I’m following your blog now since I moved away from home to go to college. Your blog really comforts me, when I have a craving for vietnamese food. Unfortunately there is only a small Viet-Community here in Germany, so no nice Pho-restaurants for me. :/ But reading about your foodadventures is a good substitute. Best wishes, M.

  2. Congratulations!

    I’m pretty sure that Snake River Farms is Waygu Beef. Maybe they do both but I think that’s one of their things and I can’t imagine TFL not using it even if it’s an option.

  3. Hey best wishes to the gastronomer/astronomer team! sounds like you had an exciting trip up north! I tried a few times unsuccessfully to get reservations at the laundry and am now content to say I tried… so it’s always fun to read about it secondhand! too bad to hear you had such a mixed food experience, but it sounds like a memorable meal – congratulations!

  4. Congratulations!! My boyfriend and I are moving from Philadelphia to Los Angeles quite soon. L.A.’s my hometown, and seeing your posts, particularly the ones about delicious Chinese & Vietnamese food, make me miss home. I’ll be in Vietnam this summer, so I’m also using your blog to navigate Hanoi and Saigon. Anyway, best wishes to you two, and I hope there are many more delicious meals in store in your future.

  5. Wow, congrats!

    It’s too bad The French Laundry didn’t wow you. I’m still trying to reserve a table for June. Any tips? 🙂

    BTW, have you tried Michael Mina at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square SF? I really enjoyed my Christmas Eve dinner there.

  6. I’ve been looking forward to The French Laundry post and was presently surprised about your exciting news! Congratulations and best wishes to you both!

  7. Congratulations! I sometimes find that these fine dining experiences are focused so much on wowing the diner with unique presentations that they lose focus on the actual tastes. It sounds like it was a worthwhile experience in that it allowed you to learn something about your dining tastes.

  8. A very heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to you and Vern!!!! May your future be filled with continued good health, a bountiful of love, and endless plates of luscious food, forever and always! 🙂

  9. Congratulations! How wonderful. And a beautiful non-bloody ring.

    Sorry about the dinner – but it sounds as if portions of it were just as wonderful as you expected. Perhaps anticipation worked against you this time.

  10. I have been a long time reader of you guys, but too chicken to comment! Nothing bad to say to the two of you, just rather observe. But I do have to say CONGRATULATIONS! I wish you both nothing but lots of love, laughter, success and happiness in your lives!!

  11. Congrats!!! That’s awesome and what an experience for your engagement dinner. I’m going to have to read this post like 5 times to take it all in. What presentation, I know what you feel like, having read so much about Keller’s place that I feel like I know some of these dishes like friends too. Your bf…sorry fiancé must really love you for letting you take all these photos on your engagement dinner, haha! Congrats again 🙂

  12. The FL review is finally up! It looks like there were some hits and misses to your meal, but the dish(es) I’m most anxious to try are the famous foie gras dish along with the oyster and pearls. Regardless of the food, you guys were celebrating your big day! Congrats again! 🙂

  13. Congratulations from Oishii Eats and I – to many years of delicious adventures. We now know that your fiancee at least had this set up 3 months ago since it takes that long to eat there ha. So he definitely put some time/thought into this.

  14. Yay that I finally got to meet you last night!!! Boo that I didn’t get a chance to talk to you more! Oh well, hopefully there’ll soon be a next time. 🙂 Congratulations on your engagement!!!

  15. OMG!!! Congratulations!!!! I started following ur blog for almost a year now. Don’t know if u remember but back in August 2008 my bf& I were going to Vietnam but unfortunately we couldn’t meet up bc u guys were heading to China.

    Im so happy for u guys!!!! (even though we’ve never met) Congrats & all the best to u both!

  16. Holy crap. I’ve been completely remiss in not checking your blog for so long, and look what I missed!

    CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement! And regarding the FL, we were there for our fifth anniversary in early May, so I guess just a couple of weeks after you. We both agreed that we were underwhelmed, all in all – it’s interesting to see you felt the same way. Here’s Logan’s post: http://www.bootsintheoven.com/boots_in_the_oven/2009/05/the-french-laundry.html

  17. I couldnt have said it better myself–went to FL for lunch last August Moments of greatness but nothing that memorable–the Salmon cornet was my favorite–too long and they really just are all about themselves there–Meadowood for dinner was just as good as FL highly reccommend it for your anniversary…

  18. I agree that the menu can lead one to wonder what is the big fuss about; but I think it takes a few meals to really appreciate the restaurant (probably not unlike most restaurants.) I had the beef recently and it was one of the best pieces of beef i’ve ever had – incredible flavor – very intense dry-aging.

  19. I love your review of the French Laundry…I have never been, yet I feel I need to exprience it. I love the fact that you weren’t blown away…Anyway, great review, hope to get there someday. Love the great photography!

  20. Hi Cathy,
    I’m new here and I’m writing to ask for your help. I’m from brazil and I moved to USA last year. Since then my brother in law and my sister have made everything they can for me. Next month it’s gonna be his birthday and I’d like to make reservations for the French laundry for them. I tried by phone but the best that I get was the waiting list. I read that sometimes there are people in your blog offering reservations. Can you help me? Or Do you know anyone that could help me? My email is [email protected]
    Thanks!! And congratulations for your blog!!
    Lucy

  21. David – I sensed that we were taken on a tour of the kitchen in order for the waitstaff to turn our table since we dined during the first seating. I’ve heard that you can also request a tour.

  22. SO I’m fishing around the internet because I HAVE a reservation to French Laundry and the other couple can’t make it now (we are flying in for this and I refuse to cancel.) Any nice, foodie couples out there want to join us for lunch on Feb 22, 2013? We tried calling and they will not let us change the reservation to 2 people. My boyfriend is hypervenilating at the thought of having to cancel…Email is above. We are a mid-30’s professional couple from the midwest. (This just sounded perverted but I swear it’s just lunch!) HA. kwitte109 @ yahoo.com

  23. Hi Karen,
    So how did your situation turn out? Hope it went well. We have a similar situation also. We booked a table for four so we need two other dining companions for lunch on March 3. Does French Laundry forfeit your reservation when fewer than the number of guests arrive? Do they charge a cancellation fee on top of the forfeiture?

    Janis

  24. I’m beyond jealous. I’ve dreamed about the French Laundry, but I live on the other side of the country, and it’s far too expensive for my wallet. I have been to Keller’s Bouchon bakery though, and it was phenomenal. I’m so glad to hear you had a great time!

  25. We are a couple from London coming to California to get married at San Francisco City Hall in June.
    Really hoping to get French Laundry reservation for June 25th….obviously can’t book until 25th April.
    Does any one have any tips for booking online?
    I’m keen to know if the date goes live at 12:01 Pacific Time or 10am – ie the same time as when the phone line opens? Anyone know?

  26. We are a couple from Folsom looking to celebrate our 25 year anniversary at the French laundry with another couple. We’ve been planning this for a year now. Just tried to get a reservation for 4 at 6:00 P.M. on July 16th, 2013 but no luck. Tried thru Open Table right at midnight on May 16th and no luck. Appreciate it if someone has any tips to get this reservation for us. We will call the reservation line at 10:00a.m. and hope for the best.

  27. we are couple from Sacramento area and would love to get a reservation for 2 any time over the next 2-3 months on Weekends. Anybody any idea how to get this please send me a message. Getting your cancelled reservation would be very much appreciated.

  28. Hi there, would love to luck out and find someone with a June 21st or 22nd reservation. Wife and I are there on our anniversary and would love to somehow someway get a table! Let me know if you have a reservation you can’t make either of those days… Thank you!! korysmith at gmail.com

  29. Hi, I am looking to make a lunch or dinner reservation for June 19,20 or 21 2013 for 4 people. I like so many was added to the waiting list. If anyone has a reservation they need to cancel I would be happy to take it off your hands. Please e-mail me should you be able to help me out. Many [email protected]

  30. I need a cancellation for four at the French Laundry for any day, any time. I am trying to complete my elderly cousin’s bucket list dream and have been trying to get a reservation for a year. (I guess I’m not very clever)

  31. If anyone has a cancellation for 2 from June 30 to July 3 please contact us at patelnews at gmail dot com. We are celebrating big milestone and want to make it special. Flexible on time. Thank you!!

  32. Hey! My fiance (soon to be husband) and I are going on our Honeymoon to Sonoma, CA (From Philly!) and would LOVE to eat at French Laundry any day between August 26, 2013-August 30, 2013. I tried to make reservations on-line, but they must go in like, an hour!! Let me know if anyone has any!!!

  33. We are hoping to celebrate our 22nd anniversary by (finally) dining at French Laundry. Like so many others, we have tried this year and past years to make timely reservations, and failed. We are hoping someone on this blog can help. Our anniversary is September 14th. We would happily dine on the 13th or 14th, if someone on this blog can help us make it happen please let us know! Many thanks, the Palmers

  34. Hi everyone,

    I am trying very hard to book a reservation at the French Laundry to surprise my husband for our one year anniversary in September. We will be in California between the 14th and 22nd of September and we will take ANY reservation during this time (I will actually plan the entire trip around it!). I’ve been trying to make reservations over the last week but I have failed miserably – if anyone can help, I would REALLY appreciate it!

    Warm Regards,

    Rosie.

  35. Hi all,

    Like many of you, I’ve been trying endlessly to book a reservation at The French Laundry; surprise celebration for our upcoming 1 year anniversary! Would love 9/29/13 (any time), but anytime on 9/27-9/28 would work as well. Thanks in advance, and good luck to all those hunting as well!

    -B

  36. Swapping French Laundry Reservation

    Hi,

    I have a reservation for 2 on 10/12/2013 (lunch 11:45am). I would like to swap with 10/11, 10/4, 9/27 for lunch.

    Please contact me.

  37. Hello Everyone,

    I have been attempting to get a reservation at TFL for some time now and would really love to have an opportunity to visit anytime between now and end of September if anyone has a reservation they need to release.

    My fiance royally surprised me for my birthday (designer gifts, fine dining, amazing flowers, wine, champagne, the works!!), the only way I could think of to say “Thank You” is to treat him for dinner at The French Laundry.

    I would appreciate any assistance from fellow foodies!

    Warm Regards,

    Karen

  38. Hello All:

    I am in that ever ongoing wait list group, as well! I was hoping to check The French Laundry off my husbands bucket list for his 50th and have been unable to get an opening – I have 4 on wait list but can do 2 looking for anything between Sept 19 – Sept 22 2013. Thanks for any help and good luck to everyone in trying to get their chance at this once in a lifetime experience.

  39. Hi,

    My wife and I would love to share a reservation with another couple or large party on either 10/26 or 10/27 2013. Tried unsuccessfully too book a reservation. This is our last place to try in the Keller dynasty. We can offer up good manners and good conversation if you are interested.

  40. Hi,

    I am also looking for an October 1 dinner reservation for 2. Would appreciate hearing from you if you have one available!

    your.friend.amanda.1 AT gmail.com

    Thanks!

    Amanda

  41. My husband and I are going to Sonoma next week over Thanksgiving for some much needed R&R and will be there until Sunday evening. If anyone has a last minute change in plans and could pass a reservation on to us for a table for 2, this would be fantastic!!!

  42. I have a reservation for 4 on Sat Jan 18th @ 8:30pm. Does anyone have a party of 2 that would like to join?

  43. Hi. Asking for something first without knowing how/what to give in return is a new (and a little awkward) experience for me, but I have a short window in order to get a reservation at the French Laundry (the long-distance bf will be in the US for 3 days and it will be the last time he sets foot in the same country as me for min. 2 yrs, this is not meant to be a sob story, it’s just to give you an indication of our limited time!) so I’m willing to try anything (well, almost anything lol) to increase my chances, in addition to hoping for the best online and via phone. I am hoping to get a reservation at the French Laundry for Monday April 28, 2014, completely flexible on the time, less flexible on the date, but still open to eg Sunday April 27, 2014. If anyone has a (complete or partially cancelled) reservation and would like to bequest or spend the evening with a young, well-traveled couple, please kindly feel free to email me at [email protected].

    Many thanks in advance,

    Samantha

  44. I need a reservation for FRench Laundry for 2 on either May 9th or May 10th. Anytime works for us we are flexible. Been trying to call for the past month but no luck. Visiting Napa for our 10 year anniversary and really want to celebrate it at FL. Thanks again

  45. Hi,

    Desparately seeking reservation for May 24th or thereabouts. (Memorial Day weekend) Wife and I taking vacation to Napa for first time in many years. Have tried calling for a couple months without luck.

    If anyone has a reservation would be very grateful. Thanks in advance!

  46. I am hoping to find a reservation for two any lunch or dinner from dinner June 21 through lunch on June 25th. You will make a culinary student very happy.

  47. Desperately Seeking a reservation to French Laundry July 17-19 anytime. Anyone… Anyone?

  48. Hi,

    I’m trying to find a lunch/dinner reservation for my husband’s 30th birthday and our 1st year anniversary 🙂 Spent too long trying to get a hold on the reservation line and after many tries all booked already both dates both lunch/dinner 🙁

    I’m flexible for lunch or dinner on Oct 25th and Oct 26th. Does anyone have a reservation you are not going to be able to use?

    Please email me at [email protected] if you have one!

    Thanks in advance, your help will be really appreciated.

  49. I need a dinner reservation for 2 for Nov 25th at The French Laundry. If you only have lunch please let me know.

  50. I am going from Europe to Napa region for this restaurant. I need a dinner reservation for 2 any time between 30 December 2014 -2 January 2015 (included). I will very much appreciate any help here because i do not have success with the reservation so far

  51. I plan on proposing and need a reservation for 2 people for 6/12/15 or 6/13/15 for dinner for anytime. Please let me know if you can help. Thanks!

  52. My wife and I have a table for 4 on July 16, 2015, @ 5:30 and are looking for 2 people who would like to join us.

  53. Looking for a reservation for 2 or 4 any day/ any time between 9/4-9/7. Any help/suggestions are so appreciated!

  54. Looking for a reservations for 2 anytime on 8/16 or 8/17. Its for our one year wedding anniversary. Thanks in advance!~

  55. Hi, looking for a reservation for 2-4 people on any day within the next month for dinner (15 Sept – 15 Oct). My sister’s birthday is coming and wanted to surprise her.

    Please email: ms.estherolivia at live.co.uk
    Thanks!

  56. Hi all! Looking for a reservation for 4 on Oct 24-26. Open to lunch or dinner. Celebrating birthday weekend and this would make our weekend, nay LIVES, if we could pull this off!

    yates.nick at gmail.com

  57. Looking to fulfill my dream of eating at French laundry even with people I know that have worked there and being in the business have been unsuccessful. Going there tomorrow will be in napa from October 6 to 10th if anyone has any tips or a reservation they want to cancel please let me know anytime

  58. Hi! Awesome blog! Celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. Looking for a reservation for 2 at The French Laundry on March 12th or 13th, 2016. Please help if you stumble upon one. We’ve been desperate to go since our 10th! lisashahevans at gmail dotcom

  59. Hey all, had some friends cancel out on us so we’ve got 4 extra spots at our table for 6 for lunch on Saturday 5/28. We’re happy to share our table, or if someone even has a 2 person table they’d like to trade us. Thanks!

  60. Would love a reservation for two the evening of June 20, June 21 or June 22 for our 42nd wedding anniversary. Does anyone have a table for two or extra seats at a larger table they would like to fill. I have tried to get in here without any luck for 15 years. We are from Missouri
    Thanks 816-678-1145

  61. My girlfriend is turning 30 on October 13, and she has been dying to go to the French Laundry. If anyone can help get reservations for any day around October 13 that would be amazing, and can pay for the spot if neccesary. Email me at

  62. I really enjoyed this play-by-play description of the different courses, I can see why this blog still shows up more than seven years later. The observation on the first half of the tasting menu being more enjoyable is really insightful, I never thought about that before but you’re totally right.

    Anyway, we have been dying to get to the French Laundry forever… hopefully someday we will succeed in getting a reservation…

  63. Was looking to propose or celebrate said proposal at French Laundry on a trip to to Cali from East Coast. Unfortunately, I can not get a reservation. I am looking for two on 4/28 or 4/29. If any one has a opening or has connections that can get me a reservation I would truly be grateful!! Since my g/f may follow this blog (due to the nature of her work and interests) I have created a email specifically for this but . Thank you in advance.
    [email protected]

  64. Hi! First of all, what a fantastic blog and what a perfect way to propose!

    So, here I am – hoping for a couple seats – by some miracle – for any date or time among October 6th, 7th or 8th, 2017. The 6th is our 10 year anniversary and we’ve been trying to get into this place almost all those years! We’ll buy a bottle for the kind souls who happen to have two extra seats to share. 🙂

    If that’s you, please email me at — Maitely (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thank you!!

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