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French Laundry Reservation Conundrum?

Ok, I want to go to French Laundry on April 30th. They take reservations 2 months in advance to the day. Feb 30th? Which day is it acceptable to call? I will call them but thought someone here might know. Thanks.

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    1. Take my word for it , this place is not worth the wait, there are much better places.

      It reminds me of Michale Mina's in Union Square.

      All talk, all fluff, all a crock, its a tourist place, what else do you need to know.

      10 Replies
      1. re: McIntosh

        I am not from Younteville and I am a tourist. I have the money and have always wanted to go to FL just to see if he is the one of the great chefs in USA. If he doesn't live up to the hype I won't be back and I will leave nasty comments on CH like you!

        1. re: scfinson

          Nominated for post of the year! It's early yet, but I applaud the spirited effort.

          1. re: scfinson

            Hah! Someone below has the best advice -- check Open Table at midnight when it becomes Feb. 28th for the reservation (or the next morning before calling).

            1. re: scfinson

              I have not been there in 8 years, and it may have gotten commercialized. But, I have been there 5 times and it was so worth it except for the last time. Thomas Keller is a culinary genius, and he was always there, and you were always invited to meet him. The last time we went,he was not there and they were pushing ordering more bottles of wine. The experience was not as good. I am going back to the NV in May for our 20th anniversary and considered FL. Looked at the menu and saw it would be $500 without wine or foie gras. Decided against it. Going to the restaurant at the Meadowwods.

            2. re: McIntosh

              just curious, when did you go? and what about your experience left it so wanting?

              1. re: nicedragonboy

                Do you really expect a first time poster making a clearly false statement to reply?

                1. re: bbulkow

                  False? I agree somewhat. I don't think it is fluff, but very overy-hyped. I'd rather go to Etoile these days to eat what Perry Hoffman is creating at a third of the price. His parents were the owners of French Laundry prior to Keller and as a child Hoffman helped out in the kitchen.

                  That being said, as the OP said, sometimes you have to satisfy your curiousity. Some people appreciate FL. Some don't. Just like everywhere else

              2. re: McIntosh

                It is NOT a tourist place, it is NOT all fluff. It is a great restaurant with exceptional service. Yes, it is hard to get a reservation, but you can linger as long as you want and they do their best to make you happy. What more can one ask for?

                1. re: McIntosh

                  Wow...epic fail. I've eaten at both French Laundry and Michael Mina, and the latter doesn't remotely resemble the latter.

                  1. re: McIntosh

                    I take it you were not too happy with the FL. I have never been and have no particular desire, but I recognize what is involved in serving the best, fresh ingredients; prepared with meticulous care; in a clean pleasant atmosphere by an attentive wait staff, allowing ample time to enjoy the meal. It is expensive, but much less a ripoff than a mediocre burger at In and Ouit.

                  2. call them now and ask them. Chances are you'll have a hard time getting through anyway day of

                    1. I was on hold, so I signed on to opentable.com and got the reservation I wanted.

                      Best of luck!

                      1. If you can be in any way more flexible with your dates (i.e. 4/29 or 5/1 would also work) that would increase your chances, as would soliciting the help of friends or family to call at the same time. (You'll need to give a credit card, so make sure it's a trustworthy soul. :) )

                        Good luck!

                        1. I would also try for an early reservation, the later times seem to go first. I also prefer the early because the length of the dining experience.

                          1. I don't get it - someone asks for specific info and a bunch of people feel they have to tell the person why they shouldn't do what they intend to do? Let's assume the OP knows the pros and cons and just answer the question asked;)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: estnet

                              Ummm, only one person told the OP s/he shouldn't go to TFL. Everyone else either gave advice on how to get a reservation, defended the OP's decision, or called out the author of the single critical post.

                            2. Looks like my travel schedule changed and the trip is moved up so will be trying for Res. on March 23, or 24th with the 24th the much preferred date due to travel schedule but 23rd is acceptable. Should I hedge by calling for res on 23rd then call again for 24th and switch if a reservation is available? Seems a little greedy to me. But, this is maybe our only chance at this.

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: scfinson

                                I'm a Yountville part-timer (weekends only). The best way to try is to stay at the Vintage Inn or the Villagio (sister hotels in Yountville). They get one table a night and if not already claimed (talk to the concierge) you can stay there for a night (walking distance) and eat at FL.

                                Regarding the restaurant - it is great and a special treat once in a Blue Moon (we go about once every couple years which is more than enough). If you can't get in, we actually like both his other restaurants in town (Bouchon and Ad Hoc). While Ad Hoc is family style - it's exceptional food and our favorite in town.

                                1. re: scfinson

                                  That seems ok. It is not like the FL won't be able to find someone to fill the table should you switch.

                                  1. re: scfinson

                                    Even if you do not get in via phone , get on wait list. Also call on ay of when you are there or stop by mid morning. I think you will be fine and will enjoy it. It s not fluff or touristy but very great foo and wonerful service.

                                    1. re: celeryroot

                                      Ok, do the Open Table slots become available at midnight? I thought that might be the first step then if that fails start dialing at 10:00 tomorrow morning. Then try again on the next day if we still have not been successful.

                                      1. re: scfinson

                                        yes but open table only has a few tables is my understanding. if you do not get in at 10 try arnd 11 or later after initial deluge...get on waiting list and keep checking back every couple days. When they first open phone lines it is luck to get in for about an hour.

                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                            Ok we tried for the 23rd and got on waiting list. I took advice of TJMoore and called a local hotel. We were told that local hotel concierges can call a special number at 9:30am and reserve one table per hotel per day. We have one calling for us for 24th and will see what happens. I will call at 10:00 but seems somewhat futile if all the hotels get first crack at it. I don't know how many concierge's have access to this but there are a lot of hotels in the area! Doing open table at midnight did not work and it never showed tables available for the date in question. I have never worked this hard for a res before I am starting to see why people feel it can't be worth the hype but will give it another try tomorrow!

                                            1. re: scfinson

                                              Success.!!! The hotel concierge was able to come through for us. For others CH's reference we were told by several hotel concierges if you have a confirmed hotel reservation for the day you wish to dine at FL the hotel is able to call a special number at 9:30 am. They are allowed 1 table per hotel per day. Thanks for all the help! Looking forward to our visit and will try other Yountville restaurants as well and report back.

                                              1. re: scfinson

                                                Congratulations! I hope you have a wonderful time at French Laundry!

                                                1. re: scfinson

                                                  Hopefully you've been following the Ubuntu raves. I haven't been to Cyrus, but I do think Ubuntu's something special right now. Worth the "long" drive from Yountville to Napa.

                                                  1. re: scfinson

                                                    Congratulations, and hope you have a wonderful time!

                                                2. re: JasmineG

                                                  Actually, it is not midnight, but around 10 am when someone at the restaurant "opens up". And I'm set for 3/24, 9 o'clock seating. Can't wait!

                                                  1. re: BubblyOne

                                                    No, it's midnight on Open Table. Congrats on your reservation! Take an afternoon nap so that you're wide awake the whole time.

                                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                                      Thanks! Actually, it is not midnight. I called the restaurant and asked, it's when someone comes in and sets things up, between 10-11 am. I started on 2 comps and 2 phones (lol) around 9:45 and hit Open Table about 10:15. I can't wait, last time we did Cyrus and Ad Hoc.

                                                      1. re: BubblyOne

                                                        Hmmm, either the restaurant was telling you something wrong, or that changed, because it has definitely been midnight in the past. I don't think that they have to set anything up, because they always have the same number of reservations available on Open Table for each day, and since the day is available at midnight, that has always been when the reservations become available in the past.

                                                        1. re: JasmineG

                                                          Well, just to make sure....crazy me did start on Open Table from around midnight until 1ish, with nothing coming up until I tried in the morning. This leads me to believe whoever I spoke with was right. Maybe they changed how they operate with OT?

                                                    2. re: BubblyOne

                                                      Are you reserved for a table for 2? I find with a table for 4, you can obtain a decent timeslot. 9:15 is usually what is easiest to get, but often find 6:00 - 7:45pm slots on Opentable for a 4 top (applies to weekdays only). I'd get on the waiting list for an earlier time... dinner can easily last 3+ hrs. It's an experience for sure. Enjoy!

                                                      1. re: Keesey

                                                        Yes, for 2. We don't mind the time, as we are late diners (and plan on taking Jasmine's advice and having an afternoon nap:)

                                            2. Hi, My husband and I have managed to secure a table of 6 for Saturday 24 April 2010 at 11.30am however there is only the 2 of us. If you are a table of 4 and dont mind sharing the table with us send me your details! My email is melissabridge1@gmail.com. Cheers, Melissa.