Archive for the 'French Laundry – Yountville' Category

French Laundry

From a meal in early December.

Champagne – not pictured


Salmon Cornets

Fr- gougere



FR - soup 1

Parsnips chips, Piedmont hazelnuts, cranberry, burgundy truffle

FR - soup 2

Celery Root Veloute poured on top

Fr - Oysters and Pearls

Oysters and Pearls – Sabayon of Pearl tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar

FR wine 1 after oysters


FR - sea urchin

Maine Sea Urchin Chiffon (mousseline of uni) – Kendall Farms Creme Fraiche, Sour Apple Relish, Finger Lime, Cilantro

FR- langoustine

Wild Scottish Langoustine en gelee, smoked steel head trout roe, preserved tomato, horseradish, celery, oyster crackers

Fr - Snapper

FR - snapper 2

Gulf Coast Snapper gently cooked in olive oil, snapper brandade, remoulade, watercress, Spanish saffron, young fennel, picholine olives, saffron broth poured on top

Fr - Hen Custard

Hen Egg Custard with a ragout of Perigord Truffles

Fr wine after custardd


FR - canape of meat

FR - canape of meat 2

“Tour de Canapes de Viandes” 1.Duck pastrami, hearts of palm, raisin puree   2.Braised Quail leg, Onion Marmalade, Dijon

Fr - salad of palm

Salad of Hawaiian hearts of peach palm, compressed Jacobsen Orchard Persimmons, Sunchokes, toasted Piedmont Hazelnuts and Black Winter Truffle Puree

Fr - lobster

Sweet Butter-poached Maine Lobster, La Ratte Potato Puree, Garden Celery, Pommes Maxim’s and Razor Clam Chowder

FR wine after lobster


Fr - white truffles

White Truffles Presented

FR - risotto

Carnaroli Risotto Biologico – Castelmagno Mousse, Beurre Noisette

FR - risotto with truffles

The Risotto with the White Truffles from Alba shaved on top

Fr wine after truffles


FR - beef

Charcoal-grilled Snake River Farms Calotte de boeuf, Short rib Croustillant, Garden Broccoli, Nantes Carrots, Black Trumpet Mushroom Coulis and sauce Bordelaise

Fr - birthday cake

Birthday Cake

Fr - dessert plated

“Passionate about Vanilla” – Vanilla custard with green tea biscuit and passion fruit mousseline

FR - desseertss more

More desserts!

David Breeden is now chef de cuisine at French Laundry and he showed his skill, expertise and finesse with this meal. It was excellent.

French Laundry

This was our second meal at the French Laundry in July! It has been quite some time since this meal so I will have to let the photos tell most of the story. Enough to say, it was quite a story! (At least I did keep my detailed notes).

Champagne to start

Salmon Cornet


Soup being poured

Sweet Brentwood Corn Veloute, Baby Corn,Truffle Vinaigrette, Lovage and Truffle Relish

First Wine

Oysters and Pearls – Sabayon of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar

Seafood Canape – Santa Barbara Uni (in the spoon), Cucumber, Lychee, Yuzu, Garden Blossoms, Ginger Sake Granite

Second Wine

Mediterranean Lubina, Razor Clams, Mussels, Dehydrated Eggplant Chip, Cauliflower, Micro Cilantro, Thinly Sliced Fennel, Lemon Vinaigrette

Hen Egg Custard with a Ragout of Perigord Truffles

First Bread Service – Brioche, Pinwheel Pain de Mie

Butter Service

Summer Salad – Summer Melons, Hearts of Palm, Baby Radish, Garden Cucumbers, Watermelon Sorbet, Yuzu Puree, Black Sesame Nougatine, Mountain Mint and Finger Lime Vinaigrette

Grilled Fillet of Atlantic Halibut, Hobbs’ Bacon, Green Tomato Relish, Demi Sec Tomatoes, Black Strap Molasses

Third Wine

Next bread service

Sweet Butter Poached Lobster Mitts from Stoney Point, Haas Avocado, Romaine Lettuce Spears, “Piperade”, Meyer Lemon Creme Fraiche

Australian Black Truffles Presented

Hand-Cut Tagliatelle, Black Truffle Beurre Monte, Australian Black Truffles (The truffles were shaved table side – no photo)

Fourth Wine

Four Story Hill Farm Poussin Presented

Four Story Hill Farm Poussin, Cracked Bulgar Wheat, Fairytale Eggplant, Moroccan Olives, Cilantro Shoots, Poussin Poularde Reduction

Marcho Farm Nature-Fed Veal (sous vide and roasted), Creamed Morel Mushrooms, Caramelized Cipollini Onions, Nantes Carrots, Chives, Red Wine Vinegar Sauce

Reblochon – French Laundry Garden Pole Beans, Frisee, Fennel, Summer Truffle, Summer Truffle Vinaigrette

We never do a full dessert course at French Laundry so …… for John his favorite “Coffee and Donuts”

donut holes

Cappuccino semifreddo

Macademia Nuts

What a fantastic meal!!!!!!!

French Laundry

French Laundry is always a special experience. We are very lucky in that we have been to The Laundry many times over the years and both the front of the house and the back of the house know what we like – a front-loaded menu with many canapé-type courses. We never look at a menu and just let the chef decide our meal.

What was interesting about this evening at the Laundry, it was like a “party!” Many people feel that the French Laundry is like dining at a temple –  focused diners who speak in hush tones. This was not even close to that. We all were laughing, enjoying meeting each other – a lovely couple from Australia and a Chinese family tops our list and engaging the staff in a lively conversation about food. To say the least it was quite an evening.

As for the food, I will let the photos tell the story.

Champagne to start


Salmon Cornets

New Holder for the Cornets

Dungeness Crab Arancini

SOUP - First the Iberico Ham Foam and Korean Chili is presented

Then the Brentwood Corn Veloute is added table side

White Wine

Santa Barbara Uni, Sea Beans, Lychee Granite, Royal Oscetra Caviar

Island Creek Oyster, Tokyo Turnip, Champagne Gelee, Royal Oscetra Caaviar, Edible Gold leaf

Tartare of Pacific Kanpachi, Hass Avocado, Pink Lady Apple, Squash Blossom, Cucumber and Ginger “Aigre-Doux”

Hen Egg Custard with a Ragout of Perigord Truffles

Salad of Hawaiian Hearts Of Peach Palm, Santa Rosa Plums, Black Sesame Nougatine (the crumble), Spruce Tips, Mizuna and Yuzu-Tofu Emulsion – the hearts of palm were presented 3 ways – baton, ring and diced

Red Wine

Sauteed  (pan-fried with skin on) Fillet of Mediterranean Lubina, Brentwood Corn Pudding Puree, Popcorn Crust (the popcorn had been ground up and sprinkled over the pudding), Black Eye Peas and Blackstrap Molasses Gastrique

Sweet Butter Poached Maine Lobster Tail (the lobster from Ingrid of Maine), Oven-Roasted Pancetta, Globe Artichoke, Picholine Olives, Oven Roasted Tomatoes tossed in French Sea Salt, Greek Basil from French Laundry’s Garden, Spicy Lobster Broth and Foam made with Bird’s Eye Chili from China

Truffles presented

“Campanelle Carbonara” – Guanciale, Dungeness Crab, Jidori Hen Egg, Snap Peas

The finished dish with Shaved Australian Black Truffle – truffle puree was on the bottom and the crab was underneath the yolk

Red Wine

Liberty Farms Pekin Duck, Royal Blenheim Apricot, Broccolini (from The French Laundry Farm), Marcona Almond, Crushed Almonds Puree, Tarragon, Garden Blossoms, Natural Duck Jus


Snake River Farms “Calotte de Boeuf Grillee”, Marble Potatoes, Nantes carrots, Breakfast Radish, Young Fennel, Ice Lettuce and “Sauce Chevreuil ( demi glace that you break with a herb vinaigrette)

“Monte Enebro” ( goat cheese from Spain), Baby Beets, Brooks Cherries, Radicchio, Mustard Seeds, Dijon Mustard

It is our choice not to have sorbet and a parade of desserts.

My husband however does insist on his doughnut holes!

As always a special place with incredible ingredients handled with finesse and served with grace and precisian.

French Laundry

When we go to Yountville, our approach is to have 2 meals at French Laundry – over-indulgent yes! Again, we never look at a menu or the wine list. I will let the photos tell the “story.”

Champagne to start

As always we began with Gougeres.

Followed by Salmon Cornets

Soup – first a bowl is presented with pine nut milk foam, oxalis and black truffle

Then a puree of poached Hubbard squash and sun choke is added – a lovely beginning soup

The piece de resistance, however, is that is served with a pine nut and cherry wrapped in feuille de brik

“Oysters and Pearls”

Reisling for the next courses

Starting from the left, crumbled dried olive oil, Granny Smith Apple Granite, Santa Barbara Uni, Verjus foam and blossoms from the garden

Presentation of the next dish – a bit of drama is always a part of a French Laundry meal

Bone marrow cooked confit, pickled beet, topped with Royal Ossetra Caviar from China – this dish was created by Chef Mike Wallace (meat station) minutes before being served -what a wonderful and novel combination of flavors

Grilled Cod Collar being presented

Plated – Grilled Cod Collar, Cod Tripe, Cassoulet of Spring Pole Beans and Green Garlic, Tomato Compote, Pain de Campagne Croutons

Pinot Gris

Presentation of next dish

Truffle and Cauliflower Custard, Coddled Egg, Sauce Perigord, Brioche Soldiers

Winter Chicory, Melted Belgian Endive, Turnips, Poached Michigan Sour Cherries, Frisee, Chocolate/Coffee Puree


Foie Gras presented

Hudson Valley Foie Gras, Roasted Salsify, Mache, Bergamot Jus, Pain d’Epice topped with Dehydrated Bergamot Orange

Lousy photo of the Puligny Montrachet

Alaskan King Crab “Oscar” – Ris de Veau, Sacramento Delta Green Asparagus, Herb Salad, Bearnaise “Mousseline”

Maine Lobster Tail poached in sweet butter, black trumpet mushroom duxelle, pommes maxim’s, fava bean veloute


Jidori Hen Egg Tortellini, Prosciutto, Watercress, Castelmagno Cheese

Black Truffles Shaved Table Side over the Tortellini

Guinea Hen, Petite Onions, Grilled Okra, Black Strap Molasses Sauce and Ranch Dressing


Elysian Fields Lamb Rib-Eye, Merguez, Swiss Chard, Jingle-Bell Peppers, Endive, Saffron Chip

Goat’s Milk Cheese, House made Granola, Toasted Pecans, Napa Valley Honey with Rosemary

Pecan Pie, Maple-Brown Butter Gastrique, Grains of Paradise Ice Cream

“Coffee and Donuts”

What a marvelous meal! I hope the photos conveys it all!

French Laundry

We are not the typical French Laundry diner in that we have been many many times since 1995 – 17 years ago. We never look at a menu or the wine list – everything is orchestrated for us. Our only responsibility is to just sit back and enjoy and let the magic of French Laundry cast its spell.

A welcoming sight – the French Laundry Clip

Krug champagne to start – no photo

Gougeres – the standard FL beginning

Salmon Cornets – the other standard beginning

Soup – first a bowl is presented with puffed grains granola, barley, black rice, Medjool dates and Miner’s lettuce from Tucker Taylor’s farm from across the street (Refined Palate’s letterhead above is the the French Laundry Garden in its earlier days)

Then warm cauliflower veloute is poured on top – a lovely start

The signature dish of “Oysters and Pearls” – “Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar – as good as always

First Wine

Sashimi of Cured Australian Hiramasa Belly, Eggplant, Jingle Bell Peppers, Nicoise Olives, Arugula and Piquillo Pepper Marmalade – this was as beautiful to look at as it was to eat.

The eggplant had been shaved paper thin and covered the sashimi

Presentation of the next dish – a bit of drama!

Shad Roe “Porridge”, Hass Avocado, Finger Lime, Cilantro Shoots and Diane St Clair’s Butter – what a unique preparation of shad roe. There was a hint of applewood smoked bacon from the steam in the first photo.

Another signature French Laundry dish – Hen Egg Custard with a ragout of Perigord Truffles

Corton- Charlemagne

Ash-Baked Holland White asparagus, Petite Lettuces, Rhubard, Kendall Farm Creme Fraiche studded with Black Truffles, Black Truffle Coulis – an asparagus never had it so good

Sauterne with the next course

Moulard Duck “Foie Gras au Torchon”, Cara Cara Orange, Celery Branch, Marcona Almonds and Juniper Yogurt

What made this dish extraordinary was that it wasn’t served with the customary Brioche, but instead “Hoe Cake”

The Hoe cake being presented. It was then cut into squares for service – no picture of the foie with the hoe cake, though as my photographer was too busy devouring it!

With the foie there is also a salt service:

Sel Gris (France), Fleur de Sel (France), Pangasinan (Phillipines), Jurassic (Montana). Alaea (Hawaii) Molokai (Hawaii)

Gulf Coast Cobia, Hawaiian Hearts of Palm, Young Fennel, “Maltaise Mousseline,” Blood Orange and “Sauce Japonaise” ( think mirin, sesame and soy) – the different components of the dish plus the meaty fish was a lovely combination. The mousseline approximated a very rich blood orange flavored hollandaise.

Sweet Butter-Poached Maine Lobster Tail, Fava Bean “Raviolo,” Sunchokes, Fava Beans Blossoms, Sunchoke Chips, Black Truffles and a sauce that was based on Noilly Prat – another delicious combination with tender lobster


Hand-cut “Tagliatelle”

Black Truffles shaved table side – to say this is a generous shaving of black truffles is an understatement!

Chateau Canon

Buttermilk-Fried Wolfe Ranch Quail, Tomato “Pain Perdue,” Braised Swiss Chard, Pickled Green Tomato and “Barbecue Sauce” with Black Strap Molasses  - who needs to go to the south

“Roncal” (sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region), Piquillo Pepper Marmalade, Royal Blenheim Apricot Puree, Red Walnuts, Arugula and Garden Blossoms – an elegant composed cheese course

“Coffee and Donuts” – now donut holes! My husband’s favorite ending

A French laundry meal is a special event – it is magical – every person there from the back of the house to the waitstaff, the managers, the sommeliers are part of an extraordinary team that goes out of their way to make each and every guest from the first time visitor to the “old timers” feel special.



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