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Apr 16, 2007 06:12 AM

The French Laundry-Yountville

How in the heck does one get reservations at this place??? Any help is appreciated.

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  1. By using redial--two months to the day before your date.
    I much preferred a 3-hour lunch than going for dinner, and it was easier to get the reservation at lunch.

    1. Hee, hee. The classic question on reservations at FL!! Four years ago on my birthday, and after repeated failures to get thru on phone (despite speed dial), I took the day off and drove the 60 miles from Hayward home arriving first thing in the morning at 9:30AM when opened. One other person from Santa Rosa was there like me, in person, and they gave each of us a reservation exactly 30 days in advance (not 2 months). My family of five (3 adult kids) had a very memorable +3 hours dining 30 days later. Was it worth it?? Good experience but value just not there, 3 dishes were fantastic, but 4 others so-so relative to price. Think a 2 stars in Paris much better taste. Another person who showed up few minutes later was a hotel concerige (sic?) making reservation for future guests (also 30 days later), so FL does not discriminate!! Good luck trying to get in. The reservation day was not lost, stayed for nice lunch at Buchon down the road and sampled several wineries, paradaise on a work day off!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: diner101

        I forgot to mention that reservation person at FL that phone reservations are filled within 10-15 minutes every day. So, impossible to get thru, and they only accept reservations for each day a month in advance. If it is two months, sorry about the longer wait or am I having a senior moment?? (For clarification, FL does not take orders for like 43 days or 65 days later, etc., only 30 days later. Very crazy, but supply and demand, etc.

        1. re: diner101

          I believe due to the preponderance of local concierge walking up and booking reservations for guests, FL stopped taking walk-up reservations about two-and-half years ago. I know this as I was living in Napa at the time; when I first moved there, I was able to walk-up and get a reservation. Within a year of moving there, they canceled that policy so that even locals have to go through phone call hell. However (and I have had this confirmed), it seems that locals ARE able to get in easier on the phone lines - something about being on the local exchange.

          1. actually works, I'm told.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Hao Chr

              Yes, at midnight, is it 60 or 30 days before your desired date? I have heard of people having luck with this. For what is worth, I enjoyed lunch there more than dinner and probably easier to get a reso.

              There was a story of a man that hired a temp for like 2 days. Her only job was to dial and redial TFL until she got through...too funny!

              1. re: chaddict

                I guess I'll be setting the alarm for midnight. So far, opentable has not worked. I also wrote to the private diningroom we were willing to reserve that room for 10 at 3600.00, but no reply for five days so far.

            2. I will probably go to hell for this, but anyway...I received a very generous gift certificate to FL back in 2000 when I got married. I was positively dreading the reservation process and so didn't do anything with it...until September 12, 2001. Convinced that the entire nation (the world, really) was distracted by other events, I started dialing...and I'll be damed if it STILL didn't take me a half hour to get through and manage a lunch res. If indeed I do end up in hell, apparently I'll have lots of company.