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The French Laundry

4.8
760 reviews
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$50 and over
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American
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Notable Wine List

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About

Built in 1890 as a French Steam Laundry, this rustic two-story stone house is surrounded by a country garden planted with vintage roses, perennials and seasonal herbs. The French Laundry Restaurant has an intimate dining room with 17 tables. The dining time is 3-4 hours with two prix-fixe menus to choose from. Reservations are taken one month in advance to the calendar date (i.e. Reservations for April 1st are taken March 1st).

Jackets are required for gentlemen, although ties are optional. We also ask that no one wears tennis shoes, shorts or t-shirts in the dining room.
Dining Style
Fine Dining
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Cuisines
American, French
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Friday - Sunday: 11:00am - 12:30pm
Dinner: Monday - Sunday: 5:30pm - 9:15pm
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Phone number
(707) 944-2380
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Jacket Required
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Executive chef
Thomas Keller is the Owner/Chef
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Private party facilities
Private dining reservations and events can be secured up to one year in advance. No matter the occasion of your party, be it an intimate luncheon for 8-12 guests in our private dining room, a unique social gathering for 60 with access to the entire restaurant and its courtyard or a celebration at a venue of your choosing, we offer a number of settings and accommodations for your private event. Everything from menu selection to wine pairings, flower arrangements to parting gifts, can be custom designed for a memorable occasion.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Creek Street
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Parking details
Street Parking Available on Washington Street, Parking Lot on Creek Street
Additional
Banquet, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 760 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.8based on all time ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.6
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on February 5, 2010

This is was simply an extraordinary experience. As a member of the La Chaine organization, I have eaten in many world-class restaurants, and yet I can say without reservation this was the best food and finest dining experience I've ever had in my life.

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5.0Dined on February 5, 2010

Worth every penny.

We all know the reputation the French Laundry has, and I can say it's absolutely deserved. The food was out of this world and the service was fantastic. The staff really cater to your every whim and will help make your visit there a special one.

An anecdote: We went to celebrate our anniversary and our friends to celebrate their recent engagement. When the waiter brought out our dessert, we saw that they had prepared small fondant plaques with the messages "Congratulations" and "Happy Anniversary". A small touch, but a much appreciated surprise.

Tip: ask if they can prepare their signature "coffee and donuts" dessert.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2010

best dining experience we have ever had. Food, people and ambiance were perfect.

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5.0Dined on February 2, 2010

French Laundry is well worth the expense to dine there and the time to secure a reservation. It is not a meal, but an experience. Service is perfect and everyone is very knowledgeable about the food, ingredients and preparation. It is a 3+ hour meal, unrushed but with 12+ courses, there is plenty of activity. Portion size is perfect and the pacing of courses is well done. The French Laundry deserves all the fame.

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5.0Dined on February 2, 2010

Very lovely, especially the service, every detail attended to. Only dish not outstanding was the buckwheat pasta on the vegetable tasting menu.

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5.0Dined on January 31, 2010

Impeccable food and service. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. The head server Gillon (not sure if I am even close to spelling that correctly) made the experience enjoyable and fun yet elegant and sophisticated. Since we were one of the last tables of the night he gave us a tour of the kitchen and we got to meet the talented young chefs that were responsible for executing the marvelous food. It was an experience I will never forget.

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4.0Dined on January 31, 2010

A very nice experience, although the food at times did not meet the high expectations. Some dishes were outstanding but others consisted of odd combinations of flavors, it may come down to personal preference, but I was not entirerly impressed with the use of huckleberries, cranberries, rhubarb...all were extremely tart. Also the foie gras was bland in my opinion (the orange relish was good). That being said, with so many courses there were many exceptional dishes. The service was top notch, staff was mostly friendly. Room was very quiet (we sat upstairs in a small room with only 3 tables). Bill was $609 for two people & non-alcoholic drinks only. The desserts on the menu were not notable,but we asked for the coffee & donuts which was great

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5.0Dined on January 31, 2010

This is truly the best restaurant in the country. The presentation of the food is picture perfect and what a treat for your taste buds! The service is fantastic. This is the special place you share with someone important in your life!

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5.0Dined on January 31, 2010

The best lunch experience of our lives. Both food and service were at the highest level imagineable. Getting a reservation was incredibly difficult which might add to the mystique but is not a model for outstanding customer service. Service in the restaurant was flawless and understated. Each course was unforgettable and each member of the team was able to explain each dish in detail when questioned about ingredients and preparation methods. 250 wines are available by half bottle which was perfect for pairing and the sommelier made outstanding recommendations. Bring your appetite, be prepared to spend a lot of money, and do it right.

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5.0Dined on January 29, 2010

Outstanding in every way. Waited a long time to go and loved every minute of it.

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4.0Dined on January 28, 2010

Perfection: the lobster, the cod, the foie gras.
Disappointing: the lamb. This was decent, but far from exceptional. The meat was slightly overdone and did have a game-y odor to it. Cheese plate. I did think that the cheese strongly overpowered the granny smiths.
Unremarkable: hearts of palm, scallops (insufficiently caramalized).
Overall: it was a real experience, but probably not one to be replicated without a corporate expense account.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2010

I had high expectations coming into the French Laundry, and they were certainly met. The food was amazing, service impeccable and the wine pairings were perfect.

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5.0Dined on January 27, 2010

Sublime, of course. It *is* the French Laundry. I know that the theatrical visits like El Bulli and Alinea are popular now, but I'll gladly take a stellar, no-frills master class in cooking like this without even looking twice at the bill (admittedly, it is expensive, but I think it's worth it for a peak experience in cuisine). You'll never think of "X" the same way again...for me, it was Leeks, Feijoa, and Huckleberries.

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5.0Dined on January 26, 2010

Had dinner Tuesday night January 26, 2010 at the FL. This was our second visit to the FL. Our first was in February 1, 2006. Our seats by the fireplace were a little warm. Each dish was well prepared and very tasty. Just like our 1st visit I kept looking for something that wowed me but nothing did. Each dish was delicate in it's flavor and very artistic in it's presentation. I had the vegetable tasting and my girlfriend had the meat. The dishes arrived quite quickly, 10 courses in just over 2 hours. I had expected a little more time in between. We had learned our lesson from our last trip and didn't let the waiter pick the wine, in '06 we spent 800 for wine. I'd go again, for sure, but get a room in town, you don't want to drive far stuffed

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5.0Dined on January 25, 2010

I considered this a "once in a lifetime" experience. After waiting several years to
secure a reservation, we booked our flight, and set off for California (from Wisconsin)
The dining experience was very memorable. We appreciated the quality of ingredients
and the skills of the chefs. Our waitstaff and sommelier were knowledgable and attentive.
Having been fortunate enough to also haved dined at Per Se, I was surprised that our
first 2 courses were exactly the same. That did take a little of the mystique away.
I also emailed the restaurant regarding a wine request and received no response. Upon
confirmation, they willingly helped me with that request, and did note that we were
celebrating a birthday in the dessert course.

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5.0Dined on January 25, 2010

Yes it is expensive and hard to get a reservation. Yes, it is totally worth it. Wonderful.

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5.0Dined on January 25, 2010

Perfection! From beginning to end, the whole experience was worth it. The food was delicate, sophisticated, and a work of art. Who knew brussel sprouts could taste so good? I thought I've had great lobster before, but nothing compares to the butter poached lobster! The soft texture and the sweet lobster meat bursting with flavor! And the beef! Melt in your mouth goodness! Or the lightly crispy white quail, so dainty but juicy and full of flavor. I could go on forever about the food... The service was also excellent. Patrick made us feel so comfortable. He was not "snooty", but very helpful and understanding of our every need. And he made great wine recommendations too! Everyone was so nice and that made it extra special.

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5.0Dined on January 24, 2010

Dare I say I was disappointed. There is so much hype that, yes, it fell short for me. For one thing, everything was exquisite but the food didn't seem like real food - it was so decorative that style seemed to take precedence over substance. Don't get me wrong, the quality was excellent but maybe just a little too fussy and pretentious. The red pepper taste was there in the little red dots on the dish but there never was anything to sink one's teeth into. Everything was compressed into neat, tiny shapes and designs. I missed the earthy basic quality of real food.

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5.0Dined on January 24, 2010

Had an wonderful and memorable time at TFL last Sunday! I love the whole attentive staff. Brian and Mischa were awesome! The best part is meeting Chef Keller! In a few weeks I will be munching on my favorite cookies! TKOs are the best!!!!!!!

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5.0Dined on December 21, 2009

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!! ... It was definitely an evening to remember ... especially since I poped the question to my girlfriend there that night. It made for a wonderful story - and absolutely worth the $700 bill. ;-)

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5.0Dined on December 18, 2009

If you are a foodie, I should not have to explain this place! We got a tour of the kitchen. One of the greatest nights of my life.

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4.0Dined on December 18, 2009

Exquisite technique on each dishes. Unexpected (in a good way) presentation. The sommelier's wine selection for Food & Wine pairing was superb. I can not afford dining here so often because of their price, but it is worth to pay much. French Laundry is a "brand" itself.

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2009

I can't say enough good about this place. From the second we arrived and took a seat out on the patio to wait for our seating time to the second we walked out everything was perfect. The food was almost beyond us in quality. Really incredible.

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3.0Dined on December 10, 2009

If you want to spend 4 hours+ on dinner, this is the place for you. Tasting menu is $240/person, wine is minimum $125/bottle. be prepared to listen in on other people's conversations, as the tables are quite close together. I guess it's worth going to once, but never again for me....

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4.0Dined on December 6, 2009

The service was perfect, as expected. The noise level was about what you expect in a smallish room with 20 people having a good time. In looking back at the food, I can't remember one thing I ate that I thought "I can't wait to have that again" or "This is the best thing I've ever eaten" or even "Wow!". For me and a couple of other people in our group, it was more of an intellectual exercise - trying to taste little dabs of things and figuring out what it matched on the menu. Of course, the food was beautiful and beautifully presented. In fairness, a couple of the other people in our party are still raving about the food and the overall experience. On balance, I'm glad I had the opportunity.

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2009

Restaurant exterior is understated and not easy to find immediately, but from the moment we arrived we were treated warmly and made to feel welcome. We had a cozy table in an alcove. The table captain was extremely knowledgable - it was no problem mixing the two menus (one of us didn't want the meat dishes, so she suggested seafood substitutions). She was also extremely helpful in suggesting wines and brought interesting non-alcholic beverages for our non-drinker throughout the meal. Food was exquisite -- hightlights: oysters and pearls, lobster tail, duck foie gras was worth the extra money as was the grilled pave of Japanese toro. Everything is special, right down to the butter and array of salts! Desserts were amazing. Worth the money!

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5.0Dined on December 5, 2009

The entire experience was amazing! From the food to the impecable service, it was one of the best dining experiences ever. I highly recommend it.

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4.0Dined on December 4, 2009

The French Laundry was very good. But would I spend $240.00 for lunch or dinner and have the food that we had, NO. But it was very nice and lunch was very good.

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5.0Dined on December 3, 2009

I am 55 and have lived all over the world....this was the BEST restaurant I've ever had the pleasure of dining at. It took me 20+ years to get the reservation but I promise to be back....their private label Meritage is over the top

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4.0Dined on November 30, 2009

The qualitity of the food was outstanding but the amount was little bit too much. After nine courses we were very full plus additional desserts. We were not able to enjoy all the end courses as we were much too full.

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5.0Dined on November 25, 2009

My best restaurant experience ever, bar none. The ultimate once-in-a-lifetime destination.

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2009

Superb. Delicious food. Excellent service.

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5.0Dined on November 2, 2009

The French Laundry was everything you hear and read about. Excellent.The price tag for the meal is inexpensive when you consider the expense of the whole experience from the amount of wait staff to the amount of dishes. Our upstairs table was great. Highly recommended.

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5.0Dined on October 30, 2009

Our expectations for dinner at the French Laundry were high and it exceeded them all. Never have I felt so well-tended at a restaurant. The staff were friendly, helpful and attentive, the food and wine were sublime. For true foodies, this should at least be a once in a lifetime pilgrimage. Save up and do it right. We hope to go again someday. Amazing!!

Highlights: oysters and pearls, white truffle gnocci, pompano with hearts of palm and medjool dates. Wine list and sommelier were awesome. Don't look at the price: just go and be amazed!!

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3.0Dined on October 25, 2009

Would be 4 stars for food, but for what you pay and its lofty status, it wasn't as good as i had expected.

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2009

An AMAZING experience. The food, the ambiance the whole package was incredible.

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2009

Far and away, the best dining experience in my life.

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2009

The French Laundry is an extraordinary place...beautiful, gracious, friendly, dignified. Every time the doors open, whether lunch or dinner, the menu is new and original. There is a regular menu and a vegetarian menu. Whatever your taste, you will be pleased. It is a nine course menu that is expensive. Be prepared. But, don't be deterred. Each course is taste-sized and absolutely delectable. No music, no paintings, no gimmicks, just you and the marvelous food. Perfect. You will not forget this marvelous experience.

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5.0Dined on October 6, 2009

Amazing! This was the best meal of my life!

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5.0Dined on September 30, 2009

Absolutely wonderful, perfect meal pacing, friendly (and funny) staff and the food is all wonderful. At some point you wonder if they will ever stop bringing new dishes to the table. Thomas Keller or not, this is a wonderful thing to experience, at least once.

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