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Dec 14, 2013 10:59 AM

Michael Bauer's Recent Lunch at The French Laundry [Yountville, Napa Valley]

Just read this:


I love fine dining as much as the next person, but I too question if I really should be spending all this money at places like TFL, Meadowood, Saison, etc. But I guess you only live once, right?

I do think the article is *slightly* misleading because the photos of all the courses indicates that it's definitely NOT the normal tasting menu. It's clearly some form of a VIP/"extended" tasting menu. To get something like that would be close to, if not more, than double the quoted $270 price tag in the article for the normal tasting menu. You're not getting black or white truffle, the 100-day dry-aged steak, etc. Not sure it was a special event, or he was recognized/known to the house.

The normal tasting menu is pretty consistent in structure (those who stalk TFL and Per Se daily menus know what I'm talking about) and many of those dishes in Bauer's meal aren't in that structure. I think Bauer should have noted that the slideshow doesn't indicate a regular meal there.

That being said, that meal looked AWESOME.

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  1. Maybe he was charged only $270 and didn't want to mention that since it would make it obvious that he got special treatment due to being recognized.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      He clearly said he this was "his" 18-course menu. I don't get the impression from this that it was a review meal or that he was attempting to remain anonymous (which would be ludicrous in this case). I think it was more of a description of his recent experience rather than a review of what was supposed to be a typical experience.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        That sounds correct- it's in his "Between Meals" column.

        1. re: hyperbowler

          For a column named "Between Meals" it certainly talks a lot about meals. But maybe the name is a nod to A.J. Liebling.

          1. re: nocharge

            His "Between Meals" column is where he more informally blogs. The content on there may or may not end up in an actual review.

            1. re: hyperbowler

              Oh, I'm very much familiar with the column. All that I'm saying, somewhat facetiously, is that its name would have been more appropriate if the content had been dedicated to general restaurant business issues and not so much to describing actual meals.

          2. re: hyperbowler

            It's not a column, that's just what they call his posts on the Inside Scoop blog.

            It was probably his annual revisit to make sure it still deserves four stars and a place on his top 108 list.

      2. Made me think of this. I'll have what he's having.

        1. If I cared about Bauer even one little bit, I would have a reaction. But to me, it is all hype.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Tripeler

            I'm no longer trust Bauer's restaurant recommendations. Chowhound is so much more reliable.