|The French Laundry Garden|
Let me say up front that since this experience was full of memorable surprises, out of respect for both the institution as well as food lovers reading this, I will discuss my recent outing to the French Laundry in mostly general terms--the details of specific dishes, as well as their visuals, can only be properly experienced first-hand.
|French Laundry Chef Scarecrow|
And on the Third Day, a miracle occurred. Two minutes after the lines opened, they answered. And there was a table. I was elated. The French Laundry apparently also releases one table for two and another for four on Opentable.
Next the cost. This is likely a once in a lifetime dining experience, with prices to match. The nine course tasting menu is $250 per person inclusive of service, and the wine list is incredible, but also priced luxuriously. So a safe bet is that it's pretty easy find a comma in your check. But if you love food, can afford the splurge, and are lucky enough to score a table, it is something every foodie should try.
|French Laundry Entrance|
Each of the nine courses and the several off-menu surprises were entertaining, unique, and tasted extraordinary. The French Laundry does not repeat an ingredient throughout the meal, and each course, while never what we pictured -- always far more inventive than I could ever conceive -- elevated all ingredients into a mini-work of art. The Foie Gras (a supplement) was quite literally flawless, the sorbet palette cleanser anything but ordinary, and the lobster, rabbit, and beef ingredients the best I've ever tasted.
I look at the experience like a private night at the theatre. I can honestly say this is the best meal I have ever had, and (somewhat surprisingly) proved both unpretentious and unstuffy. I am so thrilled that I was able to experience Thomas Keller's vision, and cannot say anything more than I highly recommend this one-in-a-lifetime experience.