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The French Laundry

Wednesday, 3 April, 2013
3 out of 4 breads.

This past weekend I, along with my husband and select friends, did something so grown up – we ate at a fancy restaurant on Saturday night. Not just any fancy restaurant, but one of the two fancy restaurants here in Northern California. How is it fancy? It’s a three starred Michelin restaurant. It is called The French Laundry. I dressed up. I wore make-up. I wore pretty shiny, while still understated, shoes…and I wore pants that gave me room to breathe because after all that food, I really needed it.

Below is the listing of food that I had…Menu is at the end of my list. In some parts of the menu you were able to pick and choose what you wanted and some of the options cost a bit more, but were well worth it.

Flash photography was NOT allowed and these pictures were taken with Mr Carinae’s camera – a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100. Also, another friend of ours took photos as well, so we’re not short of shots from that night, but this is a sampling of what I had.

Amuse-Bouche – Salmon with some kind of cream cheese wrapped in a little crunchy wrap…it looked like ice cream at first. Then I bit into it. It set the tone for what was to come.

Course 1 – I chose the Royal Ossetra Caviar

Course 2 – I chose Salad of Holland White Asparagus

Course 3 – Hawaiian Big Eye Tuna

Course 4 – Hand-Harvested Stonington Maine Scallop

Course 5 – Wolfe Ranch White Quail (according to someone at the table: “Best damn chicken nugget ever!”)

Course 6 – I chose Marcho Farm Nature-Fed Veal Rib-Eye

Course 7 – Andante Dairy “Acapella”

Course 8 – Verjus Blanc

Course 9 – I chose Passion Fruit “Swiss Roll”

While nine courses are listed, it truly felt like we had been served fourteen. I didn’t count the breads in between the courses, nor did I include the palate cleanser between Course 8 and 9. There were also sweets before Course 9, then Course 9 itself and then came out the chocolate truffles…and then the coffee and donuts…and then the toffee glazed chocolate macadamia nuts. Mercifully that ended the meal, but still – so much food for FOUR hours.

I literally cried from all the food. Like I was truly defeated. It’s not like they were huge portions. It was the fact that they were flavorful and the food kept coming at us for four hours. It was like a real life Plants vs Zombies, but we were the Plants that had to defeat the Zombies (food). We gave it a good go.

As always, please click on the image for the full-sized version.

 Menus from our dinner

The French Laundry - Chef's Tasting

The French Laundry – Chef’s Tasting, which is the menu I chose. Autographed by Timothy Hollingsworth, the Chef de Cuisine. No Hubert Keller…it’s cool.

 Wait, I thought Timothy Hollingsworth had left The French Laundry? I remember reading about it last year! Either way, it’s great we got to see him, despite the fact it was after midnight and everyone in the kitchen looked like they wanted go home…but they were still serving people!

Tasting of Vegetables

Tasting of Vegetables

 

Wine List

Wine List

 

Hand-Harvested Stonington Maine Scallop

Hand-Harvested Stonington Maine Scallop

 

3 out of 4 breads.

3 out of 4 breads.

 

Marcho Farm Nature-Fed Veal Rib-Eye

Marcho Farm Nature-Fed Veal Rib-Eye aka VEAL WRAPPED IN BACON!!! OMG!!!!11

 

Palate cleanser between dinner and dessert(s)

Palate cleanser between dinner and dessert(s)

 Notice the little wafer at the top of the glass? It was to act like caramelized sugar in creme brûlée. The white frothy stuff tasted a bit like champagne to me and the fruits at the bottom tasted like passionfruit and something else. It was yummy.

Salted Caramel truffle

Salted Caramel truffle – post dessert

 

Salted Caramel truffle

Salted Caramel truffle; up close and very personal

 

Passion Fruit "Swiss Roll"

Passion Fruit “Swiss Roll”

 

"Princess Cake"

“Princess Cake”

 

Andante Dairy "Acapella"

Andante Dairy “Acapella” – that cheese was to die for…

 

49 Day Dry-Aged Snake River Farms Beef

49 Day Dry-Aged Snake River Farms Beef (Colin’s dish)

 

Stainless Steel Straw

Stainless Steel Straw

 

Kitchen at The French Laundry

Kitchen at The French Laundry…photo bombed by our lovely friend Jean-François. See Timothy Hollingsworth in the bottom left corner looking at his phone? I know he wants to go home! Can ya blame him?!

 

Prior to that fabulous meal, Colin and I arrived on Friday night, staying at an adorable bed and breakfast called Oleander House, which is run by a lovely woman named Kathleen. We were able to get last minute reservations and I feel completely lucky. We had the ground floor garden room. It faced the street and there was a lot of light that came in, but I’m not as fussy as some other people. There were ear plugs on the bedside table. No worries. Once I’m down for the count, I’m down for the count. Breakfast was at 9am — what a great way to start the day!

When we arrived on Friday night, Colin and I went to Gott’s, a lovely roadside burger place. I got a white pistachio shake while he got a vanilla bean one…in the end, we swapped.

Saturday we had breakfast then puttered around, hitting Mustards Grill for lunch. What a delight that was. Seriously, we will have to take friends there. It was so lovely.

We had a lovely weekend up North.

Next place to dine at for us is The Restaurant at Meadowbrook…Maybe you would like to join us and our friends?

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