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The French Laundry 2001 - 2005


Rosie
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The cult of " French Laundry China" appearing soon at a  store near you. You can't cook like Thomas but you can eat off the same plates. What's next a Tony Bourdain line of knives? Or better yet Signature Chefs clothing. :laugh:  :cool:  :blink:

Everyone has a line of something. Jamie Oliver has dishes and pots. Nigella Lawson and Nobu have dishes. Emeril has pots. Daniel Boulud has knives and pots. Etc. There's no celebrity apparel in the Chefware catalogue ("The Look That Cooks") - but there are a lot of celebrity endorsements. The strange thing about the Keller line is it's so hard to find it. Robyn

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The cult of " French Laundry China" appearing soon at a  store near you. You can't cook like Thomas but you can eat off the same plates. What's next a Tony Bourdain line of knives? Or better yet Signature Chefs clothing. :laugh:  :cool:  :blink:

Everyone has a line of something. Jamie Oliver has dishes and pots. Nigella Lawson and Nobu have dishes. Emeril has pots. Daniel Boulud has knives and pots. Etc. There's no celebrity apparel in the Chefware catalogue ("The Look That Cooks") - but there are a lot of celebrity endorsements. The strange thing about the Keller line is it's so hard to find it. Robyn

Not being a FoodTV celebrity chef, Keller probably doesn't have the sales-punch as the others. Less stores will be willing to stock it.

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Not being a FoodTV celebrity chef, Keller probably doesn't have the sales-punch as the others.  Less stores will be willing to stock it.

I get the impression (possibly erroneous) that it was Keller's idea to restrict distribution. If he gave Bloomingdale's or Neiman Marcus or some similar store an exclusive (or even a piece of the action) - it would probably be "front and center" in the fine china sections. Robyn

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One other item of note, my mother had a glass of the Merus Cab Franc that is being bottled specifically for FL and PerSe. It was a heavy fruit bomb, that seemed much too young, but would be lovely in time. I thought I overheard the waiter say that Keller had a stake in the vineyards as well. Apparently the bottles can be purchased at the restaurant for $140. It was interesting and I plan to follow up...

Actually Merus does not make Cab Franc, only Cab. One year they did bottle splits of their Cab for the French Laundry, but that was only one year, (2000 I think), and they do not have any partnership or projects together with Thomas Kellar, just a mutual admiration there.

"Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage."

Woody Allen

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One other item of note, my mother had a glass of the Merus Cab Franc that is being bottled specifically for FL and PerSe. It was a heavy fruit bomb, that seemed much too young, but would be lovely in time. I thought I overheard the waiter say that Keller had a stake in the vineyards as well. Apparently the bottles can be purchased at the restaurant for $140. It was interesting and I plan to follow up...

Actually Merus does not make Cab Franc, only Cab. One year they did bottle splits of their Cab for the French Laundry, but that was only one year, (2000 I think), and they do not have any partnership or projects together with Thomas Kellar, just a mutual admiration there.

You are right, it was Modicum not Merus Cab Franc, that she had sorry. I got them confused. Weird names, start with M...

In my later post, I got it right though. :wacko::laugh:

Edited by rdailey (log)
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i drove up for saturday night. really a special meal for family and friends. lots of chefs who had worked there came back. lots of different cooks, so perhaps the food didn't have that diamond-like sparkle of the laundry at its best, but more than made up for by the spirit and the company.

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it was fun. i sat next to thomas' dad, the 82-year-old former marine. amazing guy worked his way up from buck private to captain ... any of you with any military in your background will know what an accomplishment this is. like a really tough self-made millionaire. talked about saturday white-glove inspections at home ... i understand thomas a lot better now!

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Russ, what was the menu for the evening?

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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it was a mix of old favorites and some new things.

(hurriedly typed, without thomas' annoying quotation marks)

In the garden:

Assorted canapés: salmon cones, “bacon and eggs”, etc.

1990 Veuve Cliquot “La Grande Dame” in magnum

“Oysters and Pearls” (Thomas)

Takasago Shuzo Sake “Ginga Shisuku-Divide Droplets”

Rock Shrimp Tempura with Santa Rosa plum, preserved Meyer lemon and Tahitian Vanilla Fragrance

And

Black truffle explosion with broccoli puree, applewood-smoked bacon and Parmigiano-Reggiano (Grant Achatz)

2001 Hirtzberger Riesling “Singerriedel” (Austria)

Summer potato salad with barbecue vinaigrette and pickled celery ribs (Mark Hopper)

and

Sashimi of blue-fin toro with geoduck claim ceviche, cucumber gelee and ama hito sea salt (Ron Siegel)

2002 Peter Michael Chardonnay “La Carriere”

Butter poached Maine lobster tail with sweet cherry tomatoes, crispy fleur de courgette and pistou (Jonathan Benno and Joshua Schwartz)

1996 Coche-Dury Meursault

Sauteed moulard duck foie gras with a pave of pickled watermelon, upland credss and tellicherry pepper gastrique (Gregory Short)

1997 Chateau d’Yquem in Imperial

“Duck, duck Goose” (Jeffrey Cerciello)

1994 Calera Pinot Noir “Jensen Vineyard” in magnum

Grilled Snake River Farms calotte of prime beef served with caramelized garlic, baby leeks, crispy shiitake mushrooms and bordelaise vinaigrette (Eric Ziebold)

1994 Abreu Cabernet “Madrona Ranch” in magnum

Roquefort with bing cherry compote, garden herb salad and thyme infused extra-virgin olive oil (Matthew Walsh)

1999 Turley Cellars Zinfandel “Turley Estate” in magnum

Berry Treasure farm strawberry sorbet with a Madeleine au citron et aux fruits d’ete, balsamic bianco gelee and Kendall Farm crème fraiche (Sebastien Rouxel)

And

“Coffee and Doughnuts” (Francisco Migoya)

1994 Far Niente “Dolce” in magnum

1994 Zind-Humbrecht Pinot Gris “Clos Jebsal” SGN (I don’t remember these two wines)

1954 Barbeito Madeira

Theobroma (Stephen Durfee)

1983 Dow and Fonseca Ports

i'd say my favorite courses were the oysters and pearls, of course, the sashimi, the lobster, the foie, the goose and the beef. well, that's about half the menu. all three desserts were great and i really appreciated being awake and sober enough to taste them for a change. my favorite wines were the meursault and the calera pinot.

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Wow, Russ. That sounds like quite a special night. Chef Keller deserves it after such a tough year.

FYI - Looks like FL has gone back to 7 days a week and lunch on Fri, Sat, and Sun, 11-1. Also the reservation line is open 10-5:30p. (this alwayas seems funny to me as on most days they are booked by about 10:30am.)

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We have a FL reservation in August. I was told to call the restaurant two days in advance to confirm. Can anyone tell me how I can do that without redialing for hours. Thanks.

they'll call your phone number and leave a message with a phone number so you can call to confirm. at least that's what happened to me.

mike

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We have a FL reservation in August. I was told to call the restaurant two days in advance to confirm. Can anyone tell me how I can do that without redialing for hours. Thanks.

They should have given you another number to call for confirmation. It is 1-800-944-1224. When you call two days ahead, you will get an answering machine that tells you to leave all pertinent info for the confirmation. from what I understand from my experiences, they do NOT call to confirm.

Have a great time Jelly!

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...from what I understand from my experiences, they do NOT call to confirm.

In each of my four visits, they did call. This is spread out over the last four years so unless this changed recently, like no longer allowing walk-ups to make a reservation, they should call.

But then, I always call as close to 48 hours of the reservation as possible. This means I usually call at 5:30pm two days before hand. And not knowing where I'm staying two months ahead of time when I make the reservation, I give them my home phone number. It's a nice little treat when you come home to listen to that voice mail, something to reflect upon. :cool:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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...from what I understand from my experiences, they do NOT call to confirm.

In each of my four visits, they did call. This is spread out over the last four years so unless this changed recently, like no longer allowing walk-ups to make a reservation, they should call.

But then, I always call as close to 48 hours of the reservation as possible. This means I usually call at 5:30pm two days before hand. And not knowing where I'm staying two months ahead of time when I make the reservation, I give them my home phone number. It's a nice little treat when you come home to listen to that voice mail, something to reflect upon. :cool:

Hmmph...Not sure what their actual policy is... I've been 4 times, and I went twice in the last couple of months. They have yet to call, and each time instructed me to call and confirm with the confirmation number. I live locally so perhaps that has something to do with it. I know I would not want to risk not confirming two days prior and counting on them to call... To important to risk.

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...from what I understand from my experiences, they do NOT call to confirm.

In each of my four visits, they did call. This is spread out over the last four years so unless this changed recently, like no longer allowing walk-ups to make a reservation, they should call.

But then, I always call as close to 48 hours of the reservation as possible. This means I usually call at 5:30pm two days before hand. And not knowing where I'm staying two months ahead of time when I make the reservation, I give them my home phone number. It's a nice little treat when you come home to listen to that voice mail, something to reflect upon. :cool:

Hmmph...Not sure what their actual policy is... I've been 4 times, and I went twice in the last couple of months. They have yet to call, and each time instructed me to call and confirm with the confirmation number. I live locally so perhaps that has something to do with it. I know I would not want to risk not confirming two days prior and counting on them to call... To important to risk.

Beats me, but I agree, it's definitely too important to risk. I wonder if they ever had someone not confirm and then show up after (I assume) the table was given to someone else.

Oh the tragedy! :smile:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Went to FL Sunday...hadn't been for several years, given the insane reservation situation...thought folks might be interested in the menu and some picts of some of the dishes. Food & service were absolutely outstanding...HOWEVER...the most expensive meal we've ever had...2 tasting menus, 2 glases of champagne and 2 wine pairings, with tax & 18% gratuity...$803.00!!!

The Menu

i11766.jpg

Oysters & Pearls

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Black Bass

i11758.jpg

Maine Lobster

i11759.jpg

Rabbit

i11760.jpg

Lamb

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Valrhona Chocolate Box

i11763.jpg

The Table

i11761.jpg

I apologize for the quality of the photos (definitely not Tana Butler quality!), but I was using my Treo 600 and available light.

"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti."

- Dr. Hannibal Lecter

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Went to FL Sunday...hadn't been for several years, given the insane reservation situation...thought folks might be interested in the menu and some picts of some of the dishes. Food & service were absolutely outstanding...HOWEVER...the most expensive meal we've ever had...2 tasting menus, 2 glases of champagne and 2 wine pairings, with tax & 18% gratuity...$803.00!!!

We were there the next night (Monday) for the first time since they closed for renovations - we were there the last night they were open also. The restaurant is better than ever, the wine list is much improved and the food is absolutely top-notch. All of our meals at tfl have ranged in price from $300-$500 per person. It certainly isn't cheap, but it's worth every cent.

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