Monday, August 9, 2010

The French Laundry and Their Culinary Garden


A few weeks ago Mr. A's wine group, The BNO (Boy's Night Out) attended a special event in Napa Valley--the other wine country! This time the wives were included! More on that later....
We spent the night after our event in picture perfect Yountville, which happens to be the home of The French Laundry.

No, we didn't eat here--it takes two months in advance to get a reservation.
This restaurant is legendary. Chef Thomas Keller has received three Michelin stars and the restaurant was named number one in the world in 2003 and 2004.

We were intrigued with their culinary garden across the street.
Three acres of the most wonderful organic produce! A plein air artist was painting the garden.

The garden is a work of art with all the rows neatly lined up and perfectly groomed.
The vegetables were perfect!

The early morning's harvest of heirloom tomatoes.



Mr. A standing next to the Jerusalem Artichokes.

It's hard to believe this old stone building, built in the early 1900's and originally a french laundry, could be the top restaurant in the world! It is very discreet, yet everyone knows where to find it.
We did eat here three years ago as a special group. It was incredible!

After our nine course meal, we were so lucky to have a tour of the famous kitchen.

Just for fun, here is a vegetarian tasting menu.


For even more fun, here is a video of Anthony Bourdain's experience at the French Laundry.

After hanging out in front of The French Laundry, we mosied down the street for coffee and pastries at Bouchon, Thomas Keller's other restaurant in Yountville.

The French Laundry has a beautiful website here with lovely mouth watering food photos.
Also, check out Bouchon's website here.
Both restaurants have lovely cookbooks as well.

I'm joining Susan at A Southern Daydreamer for Outdoor Wednesday!
Thanks Susan for hosting!

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22 comments:

Mariette said...

Dearest Delores,

What a treasure! Good for Mr. 'A' for standing next to these huge arichokes to really show how they look like.
It is always so special to have such a tour at a Michelin Star(s) restaurant. I did so at the Cloister here in Georgia at Sea Island where the former Clinton Chef led us around. Also my best friend's daughter in The Netherlands did give us a tour at the Michelin Star restaurant where she's the vinologue and hostess... So I fully understand you.

Sunny greetings from Georgia and thanks for sharing this!

MariettesBacktoBasics

Kathysue said...

I have been to Yountville and have heard of the French Laundry for years but have never ventured to look for it. It was fun seeing it through your eyes,Kathysue

joanny said...

Yes, thank you for the beautiful tour. This exquisite Michelin Star(s) restaurant is in my future horizon. A special place right here in the pacific coast -- The Luberon region of Provence soul sister is located in Yountville, California.

Lovely photos as well, glad they serve vegan.

Joanny

the polished pebble said...

LOvE it all, Delores! Thanks for the peek inside.

~kelley

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Love the pics! You live in one of the most beautiful areas in Cali.!

I always love getting little glimpses!

My mom ate at French Laundry about amonth ago. She was visiting some friends and then heading off for an Alaskan cruise. She said it was fabulous and that I would love it...maybe someday;)!

I am going to check out the link you gave us.

Enjoy!
Cathy

Allison said...

The French Laundry - fabulous restaurant! I love Yountville, too. We were just talking about The French Laundry with my nephew who is a chef at another terrific restaurant in Sonoma County. My father said he just got reservations for next month. What a treat!! Fun to see you feature it today, Delores. Those Jerusalem artichokes plants are amazing!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What a garden, and what a restaurant! I watched the video, and that food was way over my head. I'm sure that would not keep me from eating it though. Talk about presentation! Wow! I'm afraid I'd never want to eat ordinary food again if I ate there. Thank you for the tour. laurie

Fabulously french said...

A few years ago we stayed in Yountville and I loved every minute our our stay. We tried to get a reservation at the French Laundry but were told that we needed to book a couple a months in advance so I know for next time :-)

I ate lunch last Friday at a restaurant not far from our house who was awarded a michelin star in April and have to say it was fabulous.

Leeann

p.s. loved the video!

Jacqueline said...

What a lovely event. That garden and those tomatoes were quite a treat. I am glad you got invited along so you could share with us. I would love to eat there someday, but I don't know if I could plan 2 months in advance!

La Dolfina said...

Gorgeous post Dolores!!!!!
We ate there on my 40th Birthday and it was amazing. There really are no words to describe the experience. I didn't know about their garden but it makes sense. Thanks for the wonderful tour and beautiful photos.
xox

Tamra said...

17 years ago I read an article about "The French Laundry" in Yountville. I told my husband that someday I wanted to go there. Still waiting. We just can't seem to get up there to try it and with the 2 month waiting list it's really difficult. Some day.

Valerie said...

I could just imagine visiting French Laundry. How lucky for you, hour husband and friends.

Beautiful pictures by the way....

XO,
Valerie

Trouvais said...

Hi Delores. Thomas Keller's "Ad Hoc" restaurant is also nearby and much easier to get in to then French Laundry...a friend just recommended it to me. Great pictures, merci! Trish

xinex said...

I would love to eat in both of those restaurants, Dolores....Christine

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Dolores,
What a great weekend you had..I have heard of the "French Laundry" but have not eaten there yet..
The garden is lovely and so perfectly manicured.
Have a sweet day, hugs~Elizabeth

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

We are headed for Yountville and Napa this fall. We weren't able to get reservations to The French Laundry so it was nice to see their garden and your photo of their kitchen. Maybe next time we visit the area we'll be lucky!

Sherry said...

What a wonderful post. Thanks for showing us. It was a very fun peak.
Sherry

colorchic said...

What a fun reminder of our trip to Yountville a few years back... we need to go again as your pictures show, it's so beautiful!

Lila said...

I love Tony Bourdain. He's my secret pleasure. But, can I just say that garden is amazing! Your meal looked awesome! I love food in general but, when everything's fresh like that, it's all worth the effort that's put into it!
xoxo
Lila Ferraro

shopannies said...

what a beautiful place to visit with the gardens and building all look a bit rustic which is what I love my hubby and boys would love the nine course meal

Linda said...

Wow! We were lucky enought o eat there 2 years ago when we visited family who lives nearby. It was wonderful...your photos bring back memories!

FrenchGardenHouse said...

It looks and sounds divine! What a beautiful place to eat with friends. xo Lidy

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