French Laundry Review
An old stone building laced with ivy houses the most acclaimed restaurant in the Napa Valley—and, indeed, one of the most highly regarded in the country. The 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 such as fava beans and elevate them to art. Many courses also offer the option of "supplements"—sea urchin, for instance, or black truffles. Reservations are hard-won here; to get one call two months ahead to the day at 10 am, on the dot.
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