Friday, October 28, 2011

The French Laundry

Prepared to head out to supper

Taking our Deerfield Ranch DRX to supper

Signature Laundry Pins

A half bottle of champagne to start the night
(chosen on their iPad wine list - an update from our last visit)

Michel Turgy, "Réserve," Blanc de Blancs, Mesnil-sur-Oger

Warm Gourges (Cheese Puffs)

Salmon Tartare with Creme Fraiche in Handmade Cones
"Oysters and Pearls"
"Sabayon" of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar
First serving of bread with Cowgirl Creamery Sweet Butter made for TFL
and a whipped, salted butter (MrP's fave butter on earth)
Chanterelle Mushroom Veloute
Nantes carrots, Cipollini Onion Marmalade, Coriander and Curry Creme Fraiche
Salad of Black Mission Figs
Fennel Bulb, Piedmont Hazelnuts, Arugula and 100-Year Aged Balsamic Vinegar

"Fish and Chips"
Sauteed Fillet of Mediterranean Rouget, Garlic "Palettes" and Parlsey Coulis

"Smoked" Fillet of Atlantic Cod
Littleneck Clams, Confit Potatoes,  Celery Branch and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

(this was a play on New England Corn Chowder)
Sweet Butter-Poached Maine Lobster "Mitts"
Jacobsen's Farm Pears, Roasted Salsify, "Herbes Fines" and Lobster Broth

Bacon wrapped Devil's Gulch Ranch Rabbit Sirloin
"Musquee de Provence" Pumpkin, Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries and K&J Orchard Chestnuts

(You can't see it well, but this also had a rabbit kidney and featured a frenched rabbit chop. This is knife work at it's finest - something Chef Keller likes to feature -
highlighting the staff skills)

Wolfe Ranch White Quail
Sweet Peppers, Broccoli, Spanish Capers and Braised Pine Nuts

Snake River Farms "Calotte de Boeuf Grillee"
Baby Beets, Arrowleaf Spinach, Horseradish "Pain Perdu" and Aged Balsamic

Snake River Farms "Calotte de Boeuf Grillee"
Baby Beets, Arrowleaf Spinach, Horseradish "Pain Perdu" and Aged Balsamic

(MrP wanted a pic of his, too. - his best beef dish EVER)

"Comte Reserve"
Sour Cherry Clafoutis, Compressed Endive, Marcona Almonds, Arugula and Burgandy Truffle

Verjus Sorbet
Candied Cashews, Grapes and Mountain Mint
(This dish was designed to be a palate cleanser, following the beef - before dessert -
 but could have easily been the showcase; the flavor of the sorbet was incredible.)

Caramelized White Chocolate "Namelaka"
Piedmont Hazelnuts, Toasted Oats and Black Mission Fig Sorbet

To celebrate our anniversary they also brought out out a Chocolate Wine cCke

"Pommes Anna"
Funnel cake, "Pruneaux d'Agen", Rum "Anglaise" and Salted Caramel Ice Cream


As a special treat, guests last night were also presented with an original French Laundry classic
"Coffee and Donuts"
 consisting of a frozen cappucino semi-freddo with sugar dusted beignet.
They also provided their traditional caramel covered macadamia nuts.
MrP holding the copy of the menu heading into the French Laundry kitchen

Milton's (our main waiter - you can see his hand here) giving us a tour of the kitchen and explaining the various stations. Here is where the vegetables and fish(?!) stations.
Protein station, followed by Pastry (who are always the last chefs to finish up)
The two of us under the five stars of Thomas Keller

Wine Cellar

Chef Timothy Hollingsworth discussing next night's menu with one of his staff

Chef Hollingsworth
The one 'regret' we had of the evening was that we didn't even think to have our picture taken with him! LOL
He was very humble (upon congratulations of their retention of the Michelin 3 stars, his reaction was "Thank you! It's definitely a group effort!"

Autographed menu
(he's even got an elegant signature!)

Parting Gift

Shortbread and the unfinished macadamia caramel chocolates
At the beginning of the evening, we were unsure of whether our second visit could stand up to the hype of the first, which was undeniably the best dining experience we'd ever had. After visiting Daniel in NY, we'd both thought they might have won for 'best food'. (Our first visit to TFL having been our first three star dining experience, we were still learning the ins & outs of what we enjoyed).

While there was really nowhere to go but down, somehow The French Laundry's staff managed to make this visit even better, outdoing themselves once again. The food was exquisite, the the service was spectacular and the experience was second to none. Still #1 in our books - in both experience and food,

(As a side note, I told MrP that had I died last night, it really would've been my perfect day - fabulous day of exercise, followed by the best meal of my life!)


  1. I think my hubby would love to tag along with you and enjoy all the wonderful food as he loves his food :) So thrilled the second time round at the restaurant was just as good as the first :) Happy, happy anniversary (((hugs)))

  2. You two looked fantastic, such a cute pic :) From the photos it definately looks like a day to remember! I totally applaud you for being able to take all those shots of the food! Amazing! I was wondering if they still did the signature cheese puffs and salmon cones to start off...Those will always be tattooed in my brain! How cool that you got to see the kitchen!?! You must tell me how you managed that! Awesome!


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