French Laundry

I have waited a very long time to eat at the much hyped French Laundry restaurant in Yountville. Considering we live just 2 hours away, it was quite frustrating to try every year around the time of our anniversary in December to find out that there were no reservations available!
Finally we just picked a date on the calendar and two months out made a reservation.
We went with two other couples, all of us being French Laundry Virgins. When we arrived, we almost missed the unassuming restaurant from the outside. Once inside, its very simply yet elegantly decorated.  The tables reflect the restaurant’s name: crisp, white linens; the napkin secured to white plates, with an old fashioned laundry pin.
The service was extremely professional and courteous.
We were all set to do the Chef's Tasting Menu along with the wine pairing but the big disappointment was that they did not offer a wine pairing. Honestly, we were all shocked as in our minds that was a given being that the restaurant is in wine country!
The restaurant suggests talking to their sommelier who would come up with wine recommendations but that just seemed like a lot of work up front!
Once we got past the wine ordering, we settled in to enjoy our meal, which literally took five hours!
Our meal service started with cheese gougeres and salmon tartare with red onion crème fraiche in a sesame tuile. The gougeres were simply incredible and I could've easily had a dozen more. The salmon “ice cream cone” is legendary for good reason. It’s refined, playful, and delicious. The red onion crème fraiche provides a refreshing burst, and the tuile is so delicate you wonder how it can support the weight of the teaspoon of salmon. 

After our palette was teased, we followed by the ever so excellent oysters and pearls. The Foie Gras was one of my favorites on the menu, which was prepared with cherry jam on a graham cracker and served with warm brioche toast.
I finished the meal with mixed feelings. The chef’s tasting was wonderful but there were elements that did not agree with my personal palate, but that is really nobody’s fault. 

French Laundry is considered one of the finest restaurants in the world. It is where Thomas Keller still spends the majority of his time, and it’s also where Pixar sent a team to intern when they were creating Ratatouille. 

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