BIGGEST RIPOFF EVER!.
This review is LONG overdue, and i can not get this ridiculous experience out of my head. First of all, the hype around French Laundry is completely overrated! The fact that they make you call 3 months to the date that you want to make a reservation should have been the red flag... We get there, and are totally unimpressed with the decor, not elegant at all, very quiet, and the staff is not very friendly, almost snobbish. Fine. We are here. We order. Every add on is more and more money. Fine. Take my order. The waiter takes my order, and I point out to him that there is a bug (gnat) on my plate. He takes his finger and SQUISHES IT ON MY PLATE, and then proceeded to walk away! We all looked at each other in disbelief...I then asked him for a clean plate, and he said to me..."you are not going to eat off that plate anyway" and started to walk away. I KNOW WHAT A CHARGER PLATE IS, I live in San Francisco and eat in fine restaurants often. From that point on the meal was done for me. We should have all walked out. The entire staff was cold, the food was totally unmemorable, and I would NEVER recommend FL to anyone! Go to Gary Danko in
Should Be On Every Foodie's Bucket List.
The French Laundry is not just a great French restaurant in America, it is a great French restaurant anywhere in the world, most definitely including France. There is a magic that has been cultivated here that inspires the kitchen each day. This is an intangible that is extremely rare in the brutal world of the culinary arts where even the most enthusiastic practitioners can fall prey to the grind of the kitchen.
Also adding to the FL's ability to perform at such a high level on a consistent basis are their strong relationships with other inspired vendors. The herb garden across the street provides a good foundation upon which to rely, however, the meats and seafood that make it into this kitchen come from vendors who truly care about their products and the customers who they serve.
Every single aspect of the FL has intelligent thought put into it. The type of salt, pepper and oil are as carefully chosen as the meat or mollusk in which they will flavor. It all works together in synchronicity much like nature itself. A meal at the FL is similar to experiencing any other great art. It will linger pleasantly in your brain for several days afterward eventually finding a comfortable niche in the pleasant part of your memory. It will be there forever to enjoy like your first love.
This is truly one for the "bucket list" if you are a foodie. Go there at least once and celebrate one of the greatest gastronomic experiences available on Earth.
Best French food even compared to France!.
Go for the tasting menu it changes often and the 9 course will fill you up and you will be amazed at every dish. The common words you hear from everyone is "WOW" and most will say that at least half of the dishes!
I've been to the best places in Paris and France and while there were many 9 out of 10's only the French laundry gets my vote for a 10!
not too high an expection.
I came into this restaurant without much expections at all. Or perhaps what I mean is not too high an expection. I certainly wasn't shocked when that's exactly what I got.
When I saw it on the menu and the foie gras terrine (not fresh) was presented, I knew I had to brace myself for disappointment. The food was the biggest disappointment. The servers really tried their best. It wasn't their fault. It was the food that was all to blame. I think maybe chef has been resting on his laurels too long because there was certainly nothing new, innovative or worthwhile from what my partner and I ate.
We eat a lot at restaurants, and are serious foodies, but to a point that we're very forgiving too. It's just that the food here really disappointed.
The only reason I gave an extra star is for the great service. At least these people tried.
Surpassed my expectations. I made reservations two months ago and dined tonight. During that time, I had spent several weekends researching all I could about Thomas Keller, his restaurants, his philosophy, studied the 100+ page wine menu, etc. I've read more reviews than I can remember, both good and bad. I tried going in with reasonable expectations: this is considered the best restaurant in the Americas by Restaurant Magazine. What does the "best" restaurant taste like? I think what makes The French Laundry different is that you're not just having a meal; you're having an experience. I'd heard from several people who explained it as such, but now I really get it. Your dining experience starts, in my opinion, once you get out of your car and walk up to the building. 4 hours later, when I left the restaurant to return to my car, I felt I got my money's worth. Not just with the food, but, well, everything. Alot of people complain about the portions at high-end restaurants. I cannot possibly imagine anyone complaining about how much food you get here. I literally couldn't eat another bite of dessert by the time we were done with the 9 courses. One thing I tried and was very happy with was doing a wine pairing; you get to try many different wines by the glass and each one compliments each course perfectly--a credit to our sommelier. The service was exceptional--every time either one of us would get up, we'd come back to the table to refilled water glasses, a clean table, and fresh napkin. I know that sounds trite, but every little nicety adds up to an unbeatable experience. Before ordering, our server asked us if there were any foods we were allergic to or didn't like. How cool is that? What could be your excuse for having a bad time here? I'd wholeheartedly go again, maybe in the Fall when they have white truffles. Unfortunately it was raining tonight so we didn't get a chance to enjoy the garden or the outside seating...someday!
Wishing for the wow factor!. I dined at the French Laundry & was a bit disappointed. Started w/ oysters with a sabayon sauce, which I would have preferred chilled, I guess I wasn?t expecting the oysters to be poached, however the caviar was briny & delicious. Foie gras was the best dish of all, served with 3 different salts and the most delicious brioche, the salt cut the fat perfectly. If your brioche gets a bit cold, warm brioche is ready to replace it! However, I was disappointed that the foie gras was an additional charge to the prix fixe menu. The urchin dish was a true disappointment, again I guess I was expecting a cold dish, instead it came on top of a gratin of warm cabbage, with some kind of cream sauce; not good. Next course was seared scallop; it didn't stand out. The braised pork belly was very good, but how can you go wrong with pork belly and it's on everyone's menu. Lamb was delicious, with the cutest carrots I've ever seen and the dates were just sweet enough to go with the sauce. Had the sheep's cheese, served along side a green apple relish, which was really good, but it was a less than a thimble size with a drop of excellent honey. Palate cleanser was refreshing guavasteen sorbet. Finally the finish was pumpkin sherbet (which was delicious) pumpkin croutons which were light and fluffy and pillowy chocolate dentelle. Of course, the alcohol bill was gigantic, but I guess it has to match the food. The food presentations were immaculate and beautiful (except the uni dish), over all I felt the environment while stately, was bland. While I appreciate the quality and dedication to the art of this culinary experience, I would not make the effort to go again. I must be a philistine.
French Laundry SO Not Worth The Price.. We dined with a party of ten in Sept. 2006 and 2007. At our 2007 seating they forgot the promised birthday cake and 5 of the 9 dishes were the same as the previous year. When we emailed and asked them to vary the menu for our 2008 seating, Thomas Keller called us personally and said, "If you don't like what I serve, don't come. I'll even help you find another restaurant to eat at." We canceled and will now dine at Gary Danko's in S.F., a much better restaurant. French Laundry is SO not worth what they charge you. For $6,000.00 for dinner for 10 people Keller should kiss the foot of his customers and remember his roots and where he belongs, sweating over a hot stove to earn his keep. There is no longer room in his restaurant for customers along with his ego.
Due to character limitations, I can't show my full review, but it can also be found on the Yelp website. Look up user "Dave M" under the French Laundry reviews.
Simply put, the food was incredible. A culinary masterpiece, sadly tainted by a clear example of discrimination.
Disregarding the above issue (albeit a difficult thing to do), from a service perspective, I was much more impressed with local San Francisco gems such as Chapeau! and Gary Danko. French Laundry's service was structured and formal, but far from personalized during our meal.
In summary, he did provide an apology for the "embarrassing and unfortunate experience", stating this action did not reflect the establishments customer service "ideals" and "that the situation was addressed with all those involved that night."
What was missing was any attempt to address my personnel satisfaction or any effort to make up for the experience.
The service ruined the entire experience....
We went here for our 5th anniversay, after a wait of nearly 4 months. The dishes was okay, but far from spectacular. I am a pretty nice guy and maybe my expectations were higher, but this is truly a classic example of a restuarant with rave reviews that has become lazy and now is run solely on the reputation of it's former glory.
It's a shame as I see this a lot. A restaurant gets divine praises and then the wait list becomes neverending, the prices increase, the head chef is never there, and the quality of food and service declines rapidly. We did a tasting menu (and paid out the wazoo for it, believe me), and the dishes were decent and good, but no better than a meal I could of gotten at my local french restaurant, only except it would have been only about 10% of the price...
The main complaint (ant utter surprise really) I had was how poor the staff and waiters were. 4 of the courses came out disassembled, meaning that the food "stack" clearly had fallen over (again, attention to detail- it seemed like a 15 yr old mop boy plated our food), but what was over the top was our waitor who, on TWO occasions, used his hands to fix the food once it was on our table!! I almost had a heart attack!
The staff here is extremely pompous and has a higher than thou attitude that makes me think they are thinking "I am working at the FRENCH LAUNDRY and therefore I am BETTER than you!". My wife asked alot of questions and the answers were given very harshly and in a condescending way. Basically, they made us feel like idiots.
I can forgive alot of things because I understand things happen and we have off nights, but poor and RUDE service I will not tolerate, and because of the service we recieved, not only is the French Laundry andsuppar experience, but it has joined my list of one of the worst dining experiences I ever had, and I will be sure to tell as many of my colleagues as I can.
Such a disappointment. After waiting the apparently "required" 2 months to get a reservation at The French Laundry, my husband and I were extremely excited to experience this "world class" restaurant. The wait staff, though attentive, was stiff and pompous, the food was a disappointment, and the final bill for the evening over $800.00. The next day we enjoyed a picnic on the grounds of a beautiful winery, with lovely bread, cheese, olives, and wine, that beat The French Laundry by a mile. Don't believe the hype.
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