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Fodor's Southern California 2014
French Laundry Review
An old stone building laced with ivy houses the most acclaimed restaurant in Napa Valley—and, indeed, one of the most highly regarded in the country. The restaurant's two nine-course prix-fixe menus (both $270), one of which highlights vegetables, vary, but "oysters and pearls," a silky dish of pearl tapioca with oysters and white sturgeon caviar, is a signature starter. Some courses rely on luxe ingredients like calotte (cap of the rib eye), while others take humble foods like fava beans and elevate them to art. Many courses also offer the option of "supplements," such as sea urchin or black truffles. Reservations at French Laundry are hard-won, and not accepted more than two months in advance. Call two months ahead to the day at 10 am, on the dot. Didn't get a reservation? Call on the day you'd like to dine here to be considered if there's a cancellation.
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