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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dining Out: Unexpected Birthday Present

On our mini-moon in November, we missed out on dining at The French Laundry, one of two restaurants in the SF Bay Area to receive three Michelin stars. We did learn a trick for increasing the likelihood of getting a table; a trick we employed. Eleven days ago we got an unexpected call. When I hung up the phone, we had a table for two at The French Laundry secured.

We headed up to Yountville immediately after work. Traffic was light, so we had time to change clothes as well as chill at our Bed and Breakfast.
We have a fireplace and a walk-in closet!
We have a Jacuzzi tub!
Our dinner date ended with a buffet breakfast - fresh fruit, quiche, bagels, English muffins, cold cereal, yogurt, coffee, and fresh juice.

But you're not interested in where we stayed (The Bordeaux House) or what we had for breakfast. You're interested in what it was like to dine at The French Laundry. You're wondering is it really worth the price?

The French Laundry exceeded all of our expectations. The food was to die for. The service impeccable. And we're going spend another year saving up for our next trip to The French Laundry.

Our dinner reservation was for 8:45PM. We sat down at a table for two in front of the fireplace. It was set exactly like the cover of Thomas Keller's cookbook.

During dinner, we asked one of the staff their favorite dish and learned that the menu changed not monthly, not weekly, but daily. To experience a dinner so well executed that's not crafted nightly is amazing. We were asked to keep in mind the dishes and choose our favorite as he'd come back to ask.

My favorite dish is a tie between three: The Salmon Tartare Amuse Bouche. The Beef. And the Capuchino Semifreddo. 
Salmon Tartare
Salmon Tartare
Snake River Farms "Calotte de Boeuf Grillee"

Capuchino Semifreddo
Capuchino Semifreddo
Full-size photos of these dishes and the rest of our meal are up on Flickr.

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