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French Laundry Review with Pictures

tangbro1 May 20, 2007 10:20 PM

My friend secured reservations at French Laundry for 5/12.

We all did the extended chef's menu.

Among the standouts were the:
Oyster and Pearls "Sabayon" of Pearl Tapioca with Beau Soleil Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar
Moulard Duck "Foie Gras en Terrine" Tokyo Turnips, Pickled Ramps, Black Truffles, Garden Mache and Toasted Brioche
Sweet Butter-Poached Maine Lobster Tail Belgian Endive, Jacobsen's Farm Green Almonds, Parsley Shoots and Passionfruit Butter
House-made Russet Gnocchi with Freshly Grated Truffle
Coffee and Doughnuts

For a full listing with pictures http://tangmeister.com/french_laundry/

Thanks again Kevin for getting the reservations.

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  1. h
    honu RE: tangbro1 May 21, 2007 07:44 AM

    Thank you for the review - great pictures BTW. I admire your friend's tenacity for trying to secure a reservation but as luck would have it Ed Keller was there to save the day. This reminds me I need to make my 1 year in advance reservation for FL. :)

    1. p
      Problem Child RE: tangbro1 May 21, 2007 08:51 AM

      Do you think it might be the wine was overpowering the food? For my bachelor party, we brought a 1964 Bordeaux to Harris Steakhouse, I don't remember the producer. By the time we are drinking that bottle (we had approximately 3 bottles of other wines before that amongst 8 of us), we're totally ignoring the food and just focused on the drinking. The food was just meh, which I might deduce to the wine overpowering the porterhouse steaks.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Problem Child
        tangbro1 RE: Problem Child May 21, 2007 06:51 PM

        That is a good point I didn't consider. I know we spent a long time tasting the wine initially, but I thought we were able to set it aside and enjoy the food. I think I was underwhelmed by the Kobe beef because I had it in Japan

        1. re: tangbro1
          Eugene Park RE: tangbro1 May 22, 2007 09:20 AM

          Nice TR!

          Even though there's no official wine pairing, the sommelier will put together a pairing for you. He'll ask what types of wines you typically like. You don't have to go into much detail. I last ate there in February, and told the sommelier that I wanted the pairing to be very bold to the point of cutting edge. He surprised me with some inspired choices that I would have never considered. Not all worked, but I appreciated his effort.

          I honestly would've saved the '82 Pichon Lalande for a menu that was more basic. I'm sure it was a great drink, but IMO it would have been even greater if you had it paired with heartier fare. When I say more "basic" fare, here's a dinner I had earlier this month in Vegas that was tailored around Bordeaux - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/399437

          1. re: Eugene Park
            a_and_w RE: Eugene Park May 23, 2007 11:58 AM

            Also, if you don't drink alcohol, they'll also do interesting pairings with grape juices and micro-brewed sodas.

            1. re: a_and_w
              tangbro1 RE: a_and_w May 23, 2007 01:07 PM

              Yeah I did see that and we suggested it for our friend who didn't drink alcohol but sadly he stuck to his complimentary diet coke.

              1. re: a_and_w
                Cindy RE: a_and_w May 23, 2007 01:31 PM

                How fascinating! My only experience with grape juice is what the kids drink (which I'm sure is not what's offered at TFL!) Also, the micro-brewed sodas - these are like regular sodas, like Coke and Pepsi, but from a micro-brewery?

                1. re: Cindy
                  a_and_w RE: Cindy May 23, 2007 02:14 PM

                  Yep, my cousin doesn't drink alcohol so she had the pairings. There are any number of fine non-alcoholic grape juices, both red and white. The soda I remember being Boylan's or something similar. She's a pretty serious foodie and reported being pleased, so I'd definitely give it a shot.

                  1. re: a_and_w
                    Cindy RE: a_and_w May 23, 2007 02:34 PM

                    Great, thanks!

        2. m
          Mel RE: tangbro1 May 21, 2007 09:21 AM

          thanks for the great review and pictures... it looked amazing

          1. d
            Diana RE: tangbro1 May 21, 2007 11:35 AM

            is that the price PER PERSON?

            3 Replies
            1. re: Diana
              tangbro1 RE: Diana May 21, 2007 06:28 PM

              Haha no thats the total cost for 4 with tax and tip included

              1. re: tangbro1
                d
                Diana RE: tangbro1 May 22, 2007 07:12 AM

                long breath out....so fo one person it would be about $475 or so?

                1. re: Diana
                  tangbro1 RE: Diana May 22, 2007 09:04 AM

                  The menu is 240, 18% service is included so all you need to add is tax. The minimal price will be around 260 plus whatever you want to spend on alcohol.

                  There are some items that have supplemental charges like foie gras.

                  We ended up paying $425 a person.

            2. OCAnn RE: tangbro1 May 22, 2007 09:27 AM

              Nice pics & review. Well done.

              1. ccbweb RE: tangbro1 May 22, 2007 12:09 PM

                Thanks for the great write up. The pictures were excellent and it sounds like you had a great evening. I especially appreciate the thoughtful approach you had to each dish, I really got a feeling for what the meal must have been like.

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