The French Laundry
Thomas Keller is world-renowned for The French Laundry as well as his other Michelin three-star flagship restaurant in New York City, Per Se. It had been a while since I had eaten at The French Laundry, if only because a meal here takes a minimum of three hours, and when I’m working in California, it is impossible to find that much free time. However, my recent trip West was more relaxing than normal, so I had a chance to visit this restaurant and all I can say is
With respect to the wines, the Marcassin Chardonnays, which we culled from a vertical I had just completed, continued to perform well over another three hours. The tasting notes of that complete vertical are in issue #201 of The Wine Advocate.
The cuisine offered on the Chef’s Tasting Menu for a Saturday lunch in early May was as good as it looked, and it is difficult to choose a favorite course. One of Chef Keller’s signature dishes, the Oysters and Pearls Sabayon is legendary ... and rightfully so, but I must say the Santa Barbara Uni, Hen Egg Custard, the Turbot from Brittany, the Four Story Hill Farm Poularde en Crôute and the sensational dessert line-up (even though I don’t have a real sweet tooth) were all spectacular. One can not say enough about the impeccable service. It is a perfect blend of efficiency, professionalism and warmth. I also enjoy the intimacy of the restaurant, which is due to the relatively small rooms where everyone feels extremely comfortable.
This was a sensational meal at this Michelin three-star restaurant, which is clearly as good or better than any of its French counterparts.