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Travellers' Choice Best of the Best

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MICHELIN Guide's Point of View

Over 20 years old and topping every foodie’s bucket list, Thomas Keller’s legendary destination still doesn’t miss a beat. The cuisine, staff and state...
Read more on MICHELIN Guide
Three MICHELIN Stars: Exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey!
Extremely comfortable restaurant; one of our most delightful places.
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All reviews oysters and pearls tasting menu tapioca wagyu beef caviar amuse bouche chocolate truffles lobster cookies risotto salad bucket list once in a lifetime french laundry per se dining experience chef keller
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Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Have 6 pre-paid (enhanced dinner plus) for 11/4 for 6 at 4pm. Looking to sell at Face Value. Please let me know if interested. Thanks

Date of visit: October 2021
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

An amazing evening from the first moment of arrival to the last steps out the door. Michael the General Manager was attentive and welcoming and Hardy our head waiter was the best! Every bite of food was tasty and exceptional. Well worth it and a...special evening.More

Date of visit: September 2021
Reviewed 8 August 2021

We were lucky enough to get in. The atmosphere is charming and not stuffy. 8 courses. each inventive and delicious. three hours later, very happy but not uncomfortably full. The most expensive meal we have ever had and we have had a few but the...taste and inventiveness were inspiring and the service was very comfortable. If you have an occasion to celebrate and can afford it, this restaurant really does live up to its reputationMore

Date of visit: July 2021
Reviewed 26 July 2021

we have eaten at the best of the best including the Tour DArgent many years ago. This was not our kind of place..it was see and be seen and tell them Ive been thers ...the food was nice enough and well presented but not premier....the atmosphere was false as if we were to be grt the fisrt negative i have ever put on this site !!! he date below is incorrect we were there in 2019More

Date of visit: August 2020
Reviewed 20 July 2021 via mobile

Such a phenomenal experience! We visited in August during the pandemic and sat outside on the balcony. The service was lovely and so friendly - no pretense. It actually seemed like everyone was having fun. Each course was absolutely delicious. We did several of the...“upgrades” including foie gras and the mac and cheese, and we didn’t regret a thing. Chef Keller stopped by and we were a little starstruck ;) We spent a small fortune but it was worth it. My only advice (other than to GO if you can swing the tab) is to think ahead about wine. They don’t, or at least didn’t, offer a planned pairing - we asked if they could do it, which of course they can, and asked how much we’d like to spend. I think my husband panicked a little and overshot that number. If we had thought about it earlier and planned, I think we could have had an equally amazing experience and saved a few hundred dollars on wine!More

Date of visit: August 2020
Reviewed 30 May 2021

TK is king......The service is top notch. The only complaints people have is spending money they don't have. Everybody knows what you are getting into and it's just food.

Date of visit: May 2021
Reviewed 18 May 2021 via mobile

I've been wanting to eat here for over 5 years and finally was able to get reservation over the Easter break. Got lucky the day of reservation as they started booking since California opened up for dining. Choose to seat outdoors- it was beauty outdoor...with great weather that evening. Our dining was an experience- definitely fine dining even though we sat outdoors. The service was phenomenal. The food was what I expected and beyond. Like my friends ask me- it was worth every single penny. Like most guest, we were able to tour the kitchen. We are lucky to have Chef Keller that evening - he sat on our table, chatted with us, and took photos. He even took pictures with us in his kitchen. That kitchen was busy but super clean. The 9 course menu was excellent. They give you option to upgrade to of the entrees for a fee. There is plenty of food even though it's small servings- but each serving has an amazing presentation and it tasted phenomenal. There is a great selection of local Napa wines avd international wines. The Sommelier can assist you with some choices. Our server also recommended some wine and knew stories behind the wine. The ninth course is dessert but felt like 4-6 courses of dessert. Don't be shy when they offer you choices on chocolate bonbons- you can always take it hike with some of your boxed desserts. They also give you a copy of your souvenir menu and a surprise tin box of amazing butter cookies. Here is my recommendation- know the month you want to visit and where you want to seat (indoor or outdoor). Starting next month- on June 1st at 10 am west coast - reservation for July opens up. And you can book thru their website or thru Tock app. So booking happens on beginning of the month for the following month. Be quick and don't hesitate cause they sell out within the hour. Even with increase seating capacity (outdoor), they still sell out quickly.More

Date of visit: May 2021
Reviewed 17 May 2021 via mobile

Looking for a French Laundry reservation for May 30, May 31, or June 1, 2021 if anyone has one that they want to sell/transfer. Thank you!

Date of visit: May 2021
Reviewed 5 May 2021

For years, my wife and I have wanted to get reservations at The French Laundry when we’re in Napa, but we were never able to do so until a recent trip, when we were in the area to celebrate my wife’s 30th birthday. We were...very excited when we managed to get a dinner reservation this time, and our meal at Thomas Keller’s iconic three-Michelin star restaurant did live up to expectations in several respects. The outdoor dining space in the restaurant’s garden was absolutely beautiful, and for the most part, the service, food, and beverages were excellent. Compared to other expensive restaurants with tasting menus, it was very much in line with what you’d expect in terms of highly attentive service and an array of nicely presented plates over the course of a leisurely evening. However, although we left very happy with the experience and my wife thought it was a perfect dinner to celebrate her birthday, I was surprised by a couple of food items that I did not think tasted very good and a couple of minor service missteps. We’d definitely recommend this restaurant, but it wasn’t the best tasting dinner I’ve had. We made sure to make our reservation for dinner at The French Laundry on Tock exactly when reservations opened up, which was on the 15th of the prior month. I noticed that reservations for smaller parties were all taken immediately, while it seemed a bit easier to get a reservation for a larger group. It seems like it would be helpful if they offered more tables for two. At the time when we made the reservation, the only dining option was outdoor dining, although by the time we actually went for our dinner in late March, indoor dining was also available with a more expensive and longer menu. I was totally fine with outdoor seating, but I wanted to make sure we had a good table, so I made sure to address this with the restaurant when they reached out to us to confirm everything. I had seen that some of the outdoor tables are on the front porch of the building, really with just a street view, and I much preferred if we could have a table in the beautifully landscaped outdoor courtyard. I made the request and was told it couldn’t be guaranteed, but that they’d do their best to seat us where we wanted. Since it was forecast to get somewhat chilly over the course of the evening when we would be visiting, I also asked if there are heaters available outside. I was told that there are plenty of heaters, but was also told that we would have to request one, which was sort of odd (if there are plenty, why doesn’t every table just get one automatically?). When we actually arrived for dinner, every outdoor table had a heater, so this was a non-issue. The restaurant is a relatively unassuming historic stone house in Yountville, and you currently enter down a side street by the back of the restaurant, which is not as nice as I would have expected. The restaurant also doesn’t have any dedicated parking or valet parking, but there’s plenty of free street parking nearby. We were greeted warmly when we arrived, and I guess we may have been the only reservation at that time, because they knew exactly who we were immediately. As we walked in, I was surprised to see that there was one section of outdoor dining that wasn’t very nice. When you first walked in, there was outdoor dining in the back of the restaurant that was pretty ugly, in a fully covered area behind the restaurant with no view of anything, and some sort of indoor/outdoor carpet laid down on the ground. I was really glad that we kept walking past this area on the way to our table, which makes it all the more crucial to request a table location if you are booked for outdoor dining. As hoped, we were seated in the garden courtyard, which is just beautiful. There were perfect spring flowers in bloom all around, in a perfectly manicured and enclosed space with views through the windows of the kitchen. It was a really nice place to sit, and I didn’t feel like we were missing out at all by not being in the indoor dining room. After taking in the lovely setting, we were quickly greeted by one of the main servers. She was very nice, but I didn’t think she did the best job of introducing the meal and the service. Service at The French Laundry is clearly a team-based approach, with a full team of servers helping with different things throughout the meal, and it’s very attentive overall. However, I still think it’s nice to know who your ‘go-to’ person is, who will be leading service for your table throughout the meal. I believe that initial server we met was that person, but she never really said that or introduced things very well, so it was unclear. In addition, I found it odd that we weren’t given menus at the start of the meal. She verbally went through a general description of the courses, but with a multi-course tasting menu, I want to actually read what I’m having and have a chance to look over everything at the beginning, especially when some courses required making decisions on upgrades. We were given a souvenir menu signed by one of the chefs to take home at the end, but it was bizarre to me that menus weren’t offered to look over when introducing the meal. Luckily the menu is posted each evening on the restaurant’s website, so I was able to pull it up on my phone. Our next decision to make was what to drink. The French Laundry has an excellent, high end wine list, along with a selection of wines by the glass, but I hadn’t seen any information about wine pairings, which is what we were hoping to have with our meal. We learned that they do offer wine pairings, but there isn’t a set pairing or price point. Instead, they ask you how much you are comfortable spending per person on wine, along with any preferences on varietals/regions, and they’ll create a wine pairing for you. Although I wish this would have been mentioned before arriving so that we’d be aware, I actually really loved this way of doing wine pairings. I thought it was really nice that we could name our price and any preferences for wine. We ended up asking if our wine pairings could stay in the range of $200-$250 per person (and really gave no other preferences) and they were easily able to make that work for us. We ended up with a selection of wines from the by the glass list, as well as a couple half bottles that we split. Looking at the cost of the wines if we had ordered them separately, it looked like we actually got a good deal on the wine by doing it as a pairing. We also asked to have two glasses of Krug champagne to start the meal, and we expected to pay extra for these in addition to the wine pairing, but when our final bill came, they included these as part of it, which was very nice. From that point onward, the meal proceeded extremely nicely, with perfect pacing between courses and super attentive service throughout. It was a lovely experience, and it was especially nice that we sat down while it was still light out and remained there as the sun went down to have the experience in different lighting. As far as thoughts on the food itself: Amuse Bouche: The amuse bouche was an ‘everything bagel’ cone and a cheddar cheese cracker, both of which were tasty small bites. These were nothing super exciting, but a totally acceptable start to the meal. “Oysters and Pearls”: As many people know, the first course, Thomas Keller’s famous oysters and pearls with Island Creek oysters and Regiis Ova caviar is always on the menu and has been for decades. We really loved this course and thought it lived up to expectations. It’s essentially a decadent dish of oysters in a rich butter sauce with caviar, and there’s very little about that mix that I could ever find fault with. Compressed Persian Cucumber Salad: This was a really nice course. Although it was pretty basic, the cucumbers were so incredibly fresh and clearly straight from the restaurant’s garden, so it was nice to have a course showcasing this. Bread and Butter: It was a good brioche roll with butter – nothing crazy, but good. Applewood Smoked Hawaiian Swordfish Terrine: This honestly may just be a personal taste issue, but we hated this course. We’re not fans of anything in the form of a terrine, but hoped that The French Laundry would execute it in a way that would impress us. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The entire thing tasted very fishy to us, and I thought the end result tasted like canned fish, while my wife equated it to the taste of a fishy lunchmeat. Sweet Butter Poached Nova Scotia Lobster: Delicious – this was one of my favorite dishes. I just thought it was prepared perfectly and the citrus sauce with it was an excellent complement. Liberty Farms Pekin Duck (for my wife) and Hand Rolled Ricotta Agnolotti (for me): This was the first course that included an upgrade option, and my agnolotti with hand shaved Perigord truffles was $125 extra. I thought the upgrade cost was steep, but I was really curious to try their truffle pasta, and I was not disappointed. The pasta was served in a very cute dish shaped like a truffle, and they made a big production of coming over with a box of the truffles and shaving them very generously over the pasta. I thought the pasta itself was excellent, and the truffles were top quality too. My wife’s duck was equally good though, and we both thought the duck was cooked to perfection and went so well with the sour cherry “paté” and balsamic jus. This course was a huge success for both of us. Braised Elysian Fields Lamb: This course also had an upgrade option to pay $100 extra for Japanese wagyu beef, but we both decided to stick with the lamb, hoping it would be really well prepared. Unfortunately, I thought the lamb was a major miss, and did not like it at all. Maybe I misread the menu, but I did not expect it to be a mushy and overly salty dish with the lamb compressed almost in the form of another terrine. I just thought the lamb could and should have been prepared so much more nicely. My wife, however, thought the lamb was tasty, so I guess it was a matter of personal preference. “Gougère” with Andante Dairy “Etude” and Perigord Black Winter Truffle “Fondue”: I honestly had no idea what this was going to be from reading it on the menu, but it’s basically a savory pastry like a small biscuit, which came with a cheese sauce/“fondue”. The concept sounds great, but I thought the execution fell a little flat. For being the dedicated cheese course on the menu, it tasted totally fine, but was also a little bland and not memorable. Assortment of Desserts: Dessert was a major production (in the best way!), with an entire table full of desserts brought to us. They started by bringing a cake with a large sparkler in it to celebrate my wife’s birthday, followed by bringing all kinds of cakes, ice cream, homemade donuts, and a mini cappuccino dessert that was a standout. There was no way we could even come close to finishing all the desserts, but I tried bites of each one and they were all very good. They also brought over a box of gorgeous chocolate truffles after that, and we pretty much took one of each flavor before promptly realizing we couldn’t eat anymore. We took the rest home, which I’m sure is very common. All in all, the meal was lovely. We were there for almost four hours, savoring each of the courses and the well paired wines, and we really enjoyed the lavish experience. Having a meal like this is something we like to do from time to time, but don’t do all that often. However, as mentioned above, I was a little disappointed that I didn’t love more of the courses. There were a couple that I truly loved, a few that were fine, and a couple that I didn’t like at all. I just had hoped the mix would include a few more things in the “like” or “love” column. At the end of the meal, we were impressed with all of the things we were given to take home. The best one was the bottle of the restaurant’s Modicum sparkling wine engraved with a happy birthday message to my wife (it’s Schramsberg wine made in partnership with Thomas Keller for the restaurant). In addition, you get a whole bag full of extra shortbread cookies, chocolates, etc. to enjoy later. The experience also typically ends with a tour of the kitchen, which I was excited to walk through after having observed it all evening through the windows near our table. It had been very interesting to see the kitchen staff working in a surprisingly calm, organized manner all evening, and it was nice that we did catch of glimpse of Thomas Keller stopping by earlier in the evening (he was gone by the time we were done). Toward the end of dessert, one of the staff members asked us if we were interested in a kitchen tour. We said yes, but that we just needed a couple minutes to finish our coffee before we’d be ready to go. They said they’d be back for us in 5 minutes. However, no one had come back after quite a while had passed, and we were long done with our coffee, had fully paid, and were ready to go. There was this long awkward gap at the end of the meal where the staff no longer had any reason to stop by our table, while we just waited and waited to be escorted into the kitchen. Eventually someone did stop by and asked if we needed anything else. I said that we were still waiting for our kitchen tour, and we were then quickly taken into the kitchen for a quick tour on our way out. It was frustrating to be forgotten for so long at the end of the meal, and it seemed out of character based on how well managed and attentive service was throughout the rest of the meal. Regardless, the kitchen tour was interesting and fun, and we enjoyed seeing how service is split up among the kitchen staff, as well as seeing the tv monitor on the wall with a live feed of the kitchen at Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York City (unfortunately, service was over for the night in New York by the time we were in the kitchen). Kitchen staff members politely answered a few questions and took pictures for us. It’s a nice way to end the experience and usher guests out toward the exit right after. The only thing I noticed in the kitchen that should be better was staff mask wearing. Both during dinner when I was looking into the kitchen from our table and while we were in the kitchen, I noticed several kitchen staff members who were not good about keeping their masks on. As annoying as it may be to wear masks while cooking, in such a public kitchen it’s not a good look if the staff isn’t good about following mask protocols. Overall, I have no regrets at all about our choice to dine at The French Laundry for my wife’s 30th birthday. It was one of the highlights of our trip to Napa and offered a great experience. Service was warm and attentive, the outdoor dining space was lovely, and the food was mostly good, with wine pairings we loved. With a base price of $350 per person, plus add-ons and service, we paid around $1500 for this dinner for two. Since it’s an iconic restaurant and experience we were so excited to have, I would never regret doing it, but I do think the food could have been a little bit better for the price paid, at least for my taste.More

Date of visit: March 2021
Reviewed 24 April 2021 via mobile

The emperor's new clothes, dining version. " Dinner" consisted of a dozen mediocre canapés. The wagyu tartar was 90% tomato. The wagyu dumpling 90% rubbery wrapper. The " perigord" truffles shaved w great flourish on my brioche were nothing like. The seating capacity has grown...significantly as a result of adding pandemic-approved outdoor dining. As a result, the feel and taste of our dining experience had a barely edible, industrial, prefab feel to it. All I was left w was an empty wallet and a stomach ache. Dessert and service top drawer. I get they're trying to recoup months of lost income. But really? This place needs serious reboot. Don't waste your time or $$$$$.More

Date of visit: April 2021
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