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May 12, 2008 01:56 PM

French Laundry, questions about price

My boyfriend and I will be out west in July and are thinking about trying for French Laundry reservations. We're both in the business, wine & restaurant. We know the rules about making reservations, assuming we get them, how much should we budget for this experience? I want to make sure we enjoy dinner without being stressed about how much it will cost. Their website says tasting menus are $240 a piece, that's fine, but what about wine prices? How much is the pairing? I have heard that per se builds the 'gratuity' into the cost of your meal, is this true at FR or will I have to budget for a tip as well? Thanks for your help!

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  1. Recent discussions in which all those questions were answered, or at least debated:

    1. We were just there on Saturday so I'll give you a sense of what we paid. The $240 is inclusive of service, so no more tip is needed - there is a $30 uplift if you pick the foie gras option. We had a party of 4, only 2 of whom were drinking. They asked for a wine pairing and were not specific about price - just asked for a "nice" selection with more of a focus on reds. We ended up with 3 half bottles - two reds, one white. The two drinkers thought they were excellent wines and were pleased. The tab for the 3 half bottles was $275 (inclusive of service) - this turned out to be a little more than we had expected, although probably in keeping with the overall cost of the meal.

      I would advise you to let them know an approx budget, I don't think they took advantage of us - we were just very vague and they have a very deep wine book.