The French Laundry is a renowned restaurant located in Yountville, California. Founded by chef Thomas Keller in 1994, it has consistently been ranked as one of the best restaurants in the world. TFL is known for its innovative French-inspired cuisine, which is heavily influenced by the seasons and the local produce available in the Napa Valley. Chef Keller and his team work closely with local farmers and purveyors to source the freshest and highest quality ingredients.
The French Laundry has a unique nine-course tasting menu that changes daily, and the restaurant also offers a vegetarian tasting menu. The menu is always seasonal and features dishes such as oysters and pearls, a sabayon of pearl tapioca with island creek oysters and white sturgeon caviar, and coffee and doughnuts, a dessert of warm doughnuts, coffee custard, and a milk chocolate and coffee ganache.
The restaurant itself is housed in a historic stone building, which was originally built as a saloon in the late 1800s. The interior is elegant and understated, with white tablecloths, candlelight, and a fireplace. The atmosphere is sophisticated yet comfortable, creating the perfect setting for a special occasion or a romantic dinner.
The French Laundry has earned numerous accolades over the years, including three Michelin stars and multiple James Beard Awards. In 2003 and 2004 it was named the world's top restaurant by World's 50 Best. The restaurant's success is a testament to Chef Keller's passion for culinary excellence and his commitment to using the freshest ingredients. The restaurant's tasting menu is a true culinary experience, showcasing the chef's creativity and technical skills.
I visited The French Laundry in 2015 after an extensive amount of effort to secure a reservation. This was my first time dining at a Michelin starred restaurant and is arguably the most incredible meal I've had in my life. There's something to be said about the leaving a great first impression. I want this great memory to last for the rest of my life so I'm not sure I ever want to dine here again. However, I've since dined at Chef Keller's other excellent Yountville restaurants, Bouchon Bistro and Addendum.