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Aug 2, 2011 04:34 PM

French Laundry OR Cyrus?

I'm making reservations this week (two months in advance!) for dinners during our honeymoon to the Yountville/Sonoma area.

Our itinerary has us flying in from the east coast Monday morning, driving to Yountville, staying there Monday, and then driving to Healdsburg/staying there the rest of the week.

Our original dinner plan (yes, I love to eat ;)) has us going to Ad Hoc Monday night for the fried chicken, doing something low-key in Healdsburg Tuesday, Cyrus on Wednesday (once we're relaxed and not jet-lagged) and then playing it by ear the rest of the week. I'm starting to wonder if I will regret not eating at French Laundry on our trip west.

My question:

IF I can get reservations tomorrow (which I realize is a BIG IF) - should we do French Laundry that Monday over Cyrus that Wednesday?

I just worry that trying to cram in a multi-course, multi-hour meal the same day we arrive on the west coast might detract from the experience. (We are willing to splurge, so the difference in cost isn't so much a factor. Just want to make sure we get full enjoyment.)


The French Laundry
6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Ad Hoc
6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

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  1. Get the reservation first and then worry about it.;-)

    2 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Agreed to get the reservation first and then worry about it. But I would say that, in an ideal reservation world, I'd say that you should have Ad Hoc fried chicken the night you get in, TFL lunch on Tuesday, and then spend the rest of the week in a low key mode. If you're willing to splurge, then yes, definitely TFL over Cyrus, but if you don't get a reservation at TFL, it's not the end of the world. The night that you get in would be a struggle, though.

      Ad Hoc
      6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

      1. re: JasmineG

        Does TFL do lunch on Tuesdays now? It used to be only Fri-Sun.

    2. If your trip is in early October, you might want to be aware that Thomas Keller and over a dozen of the French Laundry staff will be in London, although I'm sure that those that remain will do an adequate job.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nocharge

        The French Laundry, No doubt!

        The French Laundry
        6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

      2. Keep in mind that fried chicken is only served every other Monday at ad hoc

        2 Replies
        1. re: shouzen

          Thanks Shouzen - I did *not* know that. C'est la vie - still will be fun to try a Keller place, I think.

          1. re: berriehappie

            Well, if it's not fried chicken, it'll be BBQ, and ad hoc does that nicely. Either way, you're not going to go wrong.

        2. Trying to make reservations at the FL and thinking you have a chance is like winning the lottery.
          You're better off going to lunch at's wonderful...Fri/Sat/Sun at 11am.
          You don't want to be flying from the East Coast and then driving to Napa and dining 5*..imho

          Go to and have everything filled out..2 months to the date..
          Have all data filled in and press 'enter' right at midnight has worked for us and drinking wine and enjoying the sights of wine country is something I don't want to do at night...
          If Wednesday for dinner is the only option, FL is very much worth it..early works well.

          I would add Redd and Ubuntu to the list and for casual, Gotts for the best ahi burger..have not been to Cyrus but only heard fab things.

          Have a wonderful honeymoon!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Beach Chick

            Thanks, all - helpful stuff.

            I agree that it might be insanity to fly in, drive 90 minutes, and then try for a 5-star meal.

            FL's only open for lunch Fri-Sun, unfortunately, and we can't go Wednesday for dinner (or would rather *not* go Wednesday) since we're staying in Healdsburg and don't want to drive back from Yountville after a meal like that.

            I'm thinking *maybe* lunch on Friday could work; we'd have to be at the airport early Saturday morning, but we could wake up early. The only tradeoff is that if we do FL lunch Friday, we're definitely *not* doing Cyrus dinner that week (we don't mind splurging, but that's just outta this world.)

            I'm thinking I may stick with the original plan of doing Cyrus and skipping FL, at least on this trip. Hopefully we'll be back - after all, isn't that what anniversaries are for?? :)

            ***ETA***: Just realized Cyrus is closed on Wednesday - we'll go Thursday.

            Cyrus Restaurant
            29 North St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

            1. re: berriehappie

              'Hopefully we'll be back - after all, isn't that what anniversaries are for?? :)'


          2. Berriehappie: maybe Addendum for fried chicken/bbq (Thomas Keller casual place next to Ad Hoc) & Bouchon Bakery for pizza, desserts in Yountville:

            Ad Hoc
            6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

            Bouchon Bakery
            6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599