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May 21, 2011 11:50 AM

Do you recommend a particular table at The French Laundry?

I realize I should just be thankful that I scored a table at TFL, but I was just wondering: are the tables better upstairs or downstairs? Are there window tables w/ a view?

It seems that they allow ppl to tour the kitchen during their visit. Do you simply ask your server, or does it require special advanced requests?

The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

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  1. To me upstairs vs. downstairs is a toss-up. No real views and the room/tables are focused inward and the windows have heavy drapes/shades. There is a balcony upstairs but it's a formal room so it's not an easy move to just get up and go...and other tables/diners are there. I think the private dining room is the only room with clear/easy access to the balcony but not sure.Generally speaking you should be pretty involved with the food...and not much outside to look at if you could. For the kitchen tour, we just asked while leaving. Seemed like the natural time and they were happy to show us.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ML8000

      Just to verify: yes, you there's a balcony accessible from the private room. And even though it's formal dining, I wouldn't hesitate to get up and take a break in the garden (outdoor conditions permitting and letting your server know so s/he can pace your meal). It's a long meal and you shouldn't feel stuck in your chair the whole time.

      As noted below, part of the kitchen is in an extension of the building that has big windows.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        The rest rooms for downstairs are outside and the walk out there during a long meal is very refreshing. Not sure I'd go downstairs for a walk from upstairs but it is a good option...esp. for a 4+ hour dinner.

    2. If it's a romantic dinner with your SO, then I would suggest in the alcove off the main dining room. Otherwise, no real difference.

      1. You can actually see the kitchen from the outside. My buddies and I scored reservations as Ad Hoc (not fortunately enough to try out TFL yet) but we stopped by TFL anyway. We were able to see the cooks hard at work from the outside. It was really cool. I'm sure the tour inside will be better though

        Ad Hoc
        6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

        1. thx for your input, everyone. that's reassuring to know that seating won't detract from the culinary experience. it seems that the BEST views will be on my plate! can't wait for this much anticipated dinner event.