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The French Laundry 2001 - 2005


Rosie
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Could you give us some details on the Game Menu?

Sounds interesting and would like to know what type of game was offered.

Here's the Game Menu in full:

Soup and Salad - Maine Lobster Consomme, Lobster Knuckle Salad with Frisee Lettuce and Coral Mousse

Salade Gourmande - Baby Mache Lettuce, Haricot Vert, Geisier de Canard and Shaved Moulard Duck Foie Gras

Brandade de Morue - Pan Seared Filet of Pacific Black Cod with Braised Celery Branch, Fingerling Potato Crisp, and Shirako Enriched Brandade Sauce

Pan Roasted Hand-Harvested Main Diver Scallop, Sweet Onion Fondue, Langue de Canard and Sauce Hydromel

Breast of Wolfe Ranch Squab En Crepinette, Served with a Fricassee of Perigord Truffles, Heirloom Beets and Spice Roasted Bartlett Pear

Applewood Smoked Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon of New Zealand Fallow Venison, Caramelized Savoy Cabbage, Winter Chestnuts, Butternut Squash Puree and Chestnut Honey Poivrade

Welsh Rarebit Fondue of Mrs. Appleby's Cheddar and Toasted Brioche

Wild Huckleberry Sorbet with Stewed Huckleberries and a Cornmeal Financier

White Chocolate Velours - Dark Chocolate Sabayon, Black Truffle Liquid Center, Perigord Truffle Syrup and Ruby Red Grapefruit Sorbet

I forgot about those beets in the Squab course until reading through the menu again. One of them tasted like strawberries. Best beets ever.

R. Jason Coulston

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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I think that all of us who have eatan at the French Laundry prior to its closing (today?) are very lucky. I can not imagine it will be the same. I hope it will maintain the same quality but in almost every case that I can think of when great chefs expand...quality goes down. Keller was almost always in the kitchen...he can't be in the future. But I do wish him the very best of luck.....I want him to take NYC by storm.

Lobster.

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I think that all of us who have eatan at the French Laundry prior to its closing (today?) are very lucky. I can not imagine it will be the same. I hope it will maintain the same quality but in almost every case that I can think of when great chefs expand...quality goes down. Keller was almost always in the kitchen...he can't be in the future. But I do wish him the very best of luck.....I want him to take NYC by storm.

I don't know. I've heard "it will no longer be the same" after every one of their temporary closings. I'm more optimistic.

Bruce

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Keller is doing it perfectly. Close down French Laundry while you're away in New York getting Per Se ready. Get the new restaurant to the point where it's ready to open, raise everything to strict standards, do the meet and greet with the start-studded opening night crowd, then come back to a freshly remodeled French Laundry. I can't think of a better way to time it.

R. Jason Coulston

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

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  • 2 months later...

The French Laundry web site now state's the following.

They are reopening in May and check back for exact date.

They are accepting reservation's April 15th and they will no longer accept walk in reservations!!

1 Will this mean Thomas will be at Per Se for a week or maybe two? :sad:

2 No more walk in's,Phone line's more busy then ever but we all have a equal shot?

RR

Robert R

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Today it says they will resume taking reservations on May 1

"Our reservations office will resume taking reservation requests on May 1st

via phone or online at OpenTable.com only. Walk-in reservations will no longer

be accepted. "

"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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  • 1 month later...

So, Has anybody been to TFL since it opened this spring? And how has the reservations changed other then opentable.com and no walk-ins? :shock:

Edited by Painting (log)

Isaac Bentley

Without the culinary arts, the crudeness of the world would be unbearable. - Kate & Leopold

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By way of a more recent update, and to answer your question, Painting, this:

From the SanFrancisco dept.

Tom Peterson, one of our readers, wrote in (thanks!) to say that walk-in reservations are no longer accepted at the French Laundry. I will update our French Laundry Part 3 soon. Looks like the only way to get reservations (other than through the painful manual phone and the online process) is through a local concierge. This is not good. There has got to be a better way that keeps both customers and the restaurant happy.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I found out the hard way about the walk-in policy change, i had my buddy adam drive down to TFL when it first opened... he wasn't to happy to be turned away...

But other then that, anything else changed? What did they do for all the time? I want to know everything!

*stomps foot*

Isaac Bentley

Without the culinary arts, the crudeness of the world would be unbearable. - Kate & Leopold

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I have some upcoming reservations on June 11, I will try and give a report. I managed to get through the day they started taking reservations again.

I did drive by around May 15 and noticed that there still seemed to be some minor construction work going on. Not sure if it was for work on the road or the restaurant.

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More importantly, will Keller be in CA, or at his new place in NY

I imagine it would make a difference

Presumably the chefs at both locations, and who work for and with him, are of the same calibre as Keller himself. Can't imagine he would permit anything less ....

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I tried calling last week and gave up after 45 minutes. I don't remember it being quite so hard before. I think I'll wait a few months before trying again.

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GG is indeed correct. Keller is currently back in CA at the moment, while Chef Benno handles everything at Per Se. And I'm sure by now you've seen the string of absolutely fabulous reviews, thus solidifying the fact that Chef Benno is indeed quite capable of maintaining the Keller level of quality in his absence. Being the perfectionist that he is, you can rest assured that whoever is running his kitchens is trained to perfection.

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Over the coming months, Benno will serve as Keller’s eyes and ears for two weeks out of every four as “Chef” divides his time between Per Se and the French Laundry. Benno is one of eighteen staffers imported from Yountville, ensuring a certain level of security for Keller (the real-time video hookup between the kitchens on both coasts should help, too).

“We’re both obsessive—about cleanliness, organization. That’s the biggest similarity. I would say there’s probably a clinical term for it,” Benno says, while whipping up scrambled eggs in a nearly empty Per Se kitchen early one morning. Pensive and vaguely abbotlike in bearing, Benno launched his culinary career, improbably, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Honolulu before turning serious about his craft and entering the Culinary Institute of America. Upon graduation, Benno, now 34, moved to San Francisco and jumped at the chance to join in Keller’s big venture in Napa.

the article on Chefs Keller and Benno

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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TFL was closed to construct a new kitchen. Additionally, they added a new state of the art climate control system that utilizes a series of deep wells dug into the ground. From a customer perspective, the experience is supposed to be unchanged.

As far a reservations go. You can use the traditional call-in approach or go to: OpenTable.com

Having used OpenTable in the past for Martini house reservations, I recently received an update email that listed TFL as a new restaurant that they handled reservations for. Still only 2 months in advance though.

Andy Szmidt

WineMiles.com - great wines! low prices!

The early bird may get the worm. But it is the second mouse that gets the cheese.

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Does it matter who the particular chef in place actually is, namewise? Aren't they all Keller-vetted and taught? I sincerely doubt that Keller "lowers the bar" for any chef whom he entrusts with his French Laundry/Per Se ... just an opinion really ... time will inevitably tell ... :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Does it matter who the particular chef in place actually is, namewise?

I think so when the venue has been praised so much with TFL and Keller as the chef. Places like the french laundry is all about the food, and for us foodies, the skill and prep and art that is what it's all about.

When you start making TFL more of an entertainment destination (that I pray would never happen) things start to change. I want Keller to keep striving for perfection in food and not having to worry about mass marketing his name to make more of a profit.

For example, Nobu has faultered over the years even though Nobuyuki-san is doing a awesome job traveling from one Nobu restaurant to another on a constatant basis. The quality isn't there as it once was, and each place has it's own level of quality as well.

Isaac Bentley

Without the culinary arts, the crudeness of the world would be unbearable. - Kate & Leopold

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My wife and I dined there Saturday for lunch. I'll post a complete review when I get more time later this week, but suffice it to say that we felt it was at least as good as it was on our previous visits, and if Keller and his crew are being stretched thin in any way, it isn't showing up in the food, the service, or the overall experience.

Jeff Shufelt

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