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French Laundry greenhouse, Yountville,

French Laundry Receives Top Honors – 3 Michelin Stars ***

Home » Blog » French Laundry Receives Top Honors – 3 Michelin Stars ***

The Only Bay Area Restaurant to Receive Top Honors

The Michelin Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country 2008 results are in! For the second year in a row, Napa Valley’s highly-acclaimed French Laundry received 3 stars. Thomas Keller’s popular Yountville eatery was the only Bay Area restaurant to receive top honors.

1 star = Very Good Restaurant; 2 stars =  Excellent Cooking, worth a detour; 3 stars =  Exceptional Cuisine, worth a special journey.

Other Bay Area recipients included Chez TJ in Mountain View (2 stars), Meadowood in St. Helena (2 stars), Bouchon, Bistro Jeanty and Red in Yountville (1 star each), Madrona Manor in Healdsburg (1 star) and Martini House in St. Helena (1 star). San Francisco one-star restaurant recipients included Ame, Coi, Cortez and One Market.

French Laundry

Built in the 1890’s as a French steam laundry, today the French Laundry is considered one of the nation’s most highly-acclaimed restaurants. It was twice named “The Best Restaurant in the World.” Dining here is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will talk about for years. The quaint French country restaurant is housed in a rustic two-story stone building, surrounded by lush gardens, in the heart of Yountville. Don’t come here to eat if you’re in a hurry. The dinner pace is leisurely… so that you can savor every amazing bite. Years ago, during our first visit to the French Laundry, we enjoyed strolling in their garden courtyard between courses. During a recent visit, our dinner lasted four hours — truly a joyful experience 🙂 Try to arrive at the French Laundry a little earlier before your meal so that you can visit their beautiful garden and take pictures – it makes a great memento.

A Gastronomic Delight

Critically-acclaimed Chef/Owner Thomas Keller (winner of consecutive James Beard Awards – as Chef of the Year), is the only American-born chef since 1900 to hold multiple three-star Michelin ratings. He was named the “World Master of Culinary Arts” – the “first ever” recipient of the Wedgewood Awards, a new Culinary Award that pits the world’s best chefs against each other, topping 70 International Chefs. The restaurant was also voted “Best Restaurant in North and South America” and the “4th Best in the World” in a poll published by Restaurant magazine. The French Laundry serves local and organic ingredients from its own vegetable, fruit and herb garden (pictured at top), located directly across the street from the restaurant.

The French Laundry offers two menu selections (each priced at $250) that change on a daily basis:

  • 9-Course Prix-Fixe Chef’s Tasting Menu
  • 9-Course Prix-Fixe Vegetable Tasting Menu

Be sure to come with an appetite. During a recent visit, we each opted for the 9-Course Prix-Fixe Chef’s Tasting Menu – it’s a lot of food, especially with a few extra treats in between the nine courses, but each bite is a gastronomic delight. From the very first taste (Salmon Tartare on Crème Fraiche, wrapped in a delicious crispy sesame cone) to the last bite, the food is absolutely sensational. And each plate is a work of art. Eating at the French Laundry is more than just a meal – it’s an amazing dining experience… and sure to bring a smile to your face 🙂 It’s also very expensive, but well worth it!

World-Renowned Restaurant & Wines

The French Laundry is world-renowned for its creativity, fresh seasonal ingredients (they grow all their own produce in the garden across the street, pictured below), incredible gourmet cuisine, fabulous presentation and impeccable service. And wait until you see their 100+ page wine list!

Superb Wines

As you might expect, the French Laundry also offers a superb wine list (over 104 pages) – including a variety of fine wines from Napa Valley and around the world. The wines are extremely pricey, so be prepared. Don’t expect to find any wine under $100 – on the high end, wine runs $10,000+ a bottle!

Celebrate a Special Occasion

Its intimate setting makes the French Laundry a perfect choice for celebrating a special occasion with a loved one or good friends. It’s also a great place to entertain VIP clients and guests… or to reward your Top Performers. Seating is available on two levels – the ground floor also features a small cozy stone-walled semi-private dining room, located just off the main dining area.

Private Dining Room
Reservations for the restaurant’s Private Dining Room (located upstairs), can be made up to one year in advance. It overlooks the garden courtyard and seats up to 10 people.

Private Parties & Events
The French Laundry offers exclusive use of its entire restaurant for up to 60 guests. Call 707-944-0456 for more info and availabilty.

Garden Patio
During the Summer months, the outside Garden Patio is available for hosting a private event for 12-18 guests.

Lunch: Fri, Sat & Sun 11am-1pm
Dinner: Daily 5:30-9:15pm

Reservations are essential. The Reservations Desk is open daily 10am-5:30pm.
The French Laundry accepts reservations two months in advance via phone or online (walk-in reservations are no longer accepted). Don’t be disheartened if it takes a while to get through on the phone – the restaurant is extremely popular.

Dress Code
Jackets are required for both lunch and dinner service. Ties are optional. No jeans, t-shirts, shorts, or tennis shoes.

Street parking. Most Yountville hotels, inns and B&Bs are within easy walking distance.


Very expensive; Prix Fixe $250 per person (service included) + Tax and Wine

More Info
The French Laundry (6640 Washington Street at Creek Street, Yountville)

Bon Appetit!

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