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For my dearest Kyle: dinner at the French Laundry

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by itsstillmatt, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The wild and the pure.
    I will be attending a conference in San Francisco this October.
    Six months ago my wife and started thinking about the possibility of dining at The French Laundry and Cyrus.
    Made the obligatory call two months out for The French Laundry.
    Zagat says 29.
    3 stars in the Michelin Guide.
    What gives?
    Are we wasting our time and money?

    You aren't wasting your time at either. I've only had one bad (perhaps subpar) meal at Cyrus, it is pretty consistently good. TFL is an experience worth having, though I have had two disappointing meals spread over a decade or so. I've only been twice. Pro tip would be to make sure I am not going the night you are, and am not in your party. I imagine that I am very unlucky there.
     
  2. Sartorial1

    Sartorial1 Senior member

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    Pro tip would be to make sure I am not going the night you are, and am not in your party. I imagine that I am very unlucky there.
    When I get to the office Monday,
    I'll send ya the dates!
    Deal?
     
  3. SField

    SField Senior member

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    When I get to the office Monday, I'll send ya the dates! Deal?
    I think going to TFL once is worth it. The quality is generally very high, I think you'll enjoy it. I think it's worth the price, if only once. I really doubt that you will regret it. I'd venture to say that one would require an incredible amount of context (meaning, a lot of experience and a large basis of comparison) to find TFL not to be one of the best meals of your life. I've had one of my best meals there ever, and I've worked at three 3 star restaurants, and often go very much out of my way (geographically) for a great meal, so I think you guys are in quite a bit of danger of really loving it.
     
  4. Sartorial1

    Sartorial1 Senior member

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    Thanks to all.
    Fretting stopped.
     
  5. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    Thank you for the quick response.
    I was really fretting there.
    Still fretting a bit,
    especially given the prices at The French Laundry and the words in this thread.

    This is not something we do every day.
    We've dreamed about this for years.
    Have reservations at both.
    But maybe we should think about dropping the French Laundry,
    and look to another place for our second meal.

    Will be staying with dear friends just outside Calistoga after my conference.
    The getting to Healdsburg & Yountville won't be too difficult.


    I went to cyrus less than a week ago and went to TFL about 2 years ago. They were both good experiences but for different reasons. TFL was quite a hassle to get reservations. I and one of my friends called the TFL 3-4 days straight just to get reservations. We were there for 5 hours and was more like an event. They even made coffee and donuts for us when it was not on the menu. I'm sad to have missed oysters and pearls.

    Cyrus is far more laid back than TFL. The service was much more engaging and less formal. The staff is very knowledgeable and willing to share. When I was dining there I couldn't help but wonder who Kyle was dating - I'm obviously not up on my SF gossip. That waitress Andrea is quite pretty.
     
  6. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Senior member

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    Cyrus is far more laid back than TFL. The service was much more engaging and less formal. The staff is very knowledgeable and willing to share. When I was dining there I couldn't help but wonder who Kyle was dating - I'm obviously not up on my SF gossip. That waitress Andrea is quite pretty.
    [​IMG] Andrea is beautiful. But I'm not in California anymore, I'm back in Chicago. My waitress love tryst was here. Although there are certainly several waitresses at Cyrus with whom I'd be more than honored to share some experiences.
     
  7. Sartorial1

    Sartorial1 Senior member

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    I went to cyrus less than a week ago and went to TFL about 2 years ago. They were both good experiences but for different reasons. TFL was quite a hassle to get reservations. I and one of my friends called the TFL 3-4 days straight just to get reservations. We were there for 5 hours and was more like an event. They even made coffee and donuts for us when it was not on the menu. I'm sad to have missed oysters and pearls.

    Cyrus is far more laid back than TFL. The service was much more engaging and less formal. The staff is very knowledgeable and willing to share. When I was dining there I couldn't help but wonder who Kyle was dating - I'm obviously not up on my SF gossip. That waitress Andrea is quite pretty.

    Thank you sharing your experience.

    I'm thinking TFL must be similar in experience to having the tasting menu at Pierre Gagnaire or Moulin du Mougin.
    Of course, each restaurant is different.
    Formailty is fine with us; we're from Charleston, S.C.

    We're looking forward to both meals.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. SField

    SField Senior member

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    Thank you sharing your experience.

    I'm thinking TFL must be similar in experience to having the tasting menu at Pierre Gagnaire or Moulin du Mougin.
    Of course, each restaurant is different.
    Formailty is fine with us; we're from Charleston, S.C.

    We're looking forward to both meals.

    Thanks again.


    I've been wanting to visit Charleston, as I'm unfamiliar with that part of the country. Is formal dinner service commonplace still? I know that at one point, a great premium was placed on social graces at formality in parts of the south. Is this something that endures now?
     
  9. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    Upstate New York
    I've been wanting to visit Charleston, as I'm unfamiliar with that part of the country. Is formal dinner service commonplace still? I know that at one point, a great premium was placed on social graces at formality in parts of the south. Is this something that endures now?

    Without a doubt. NASCAR hats must be removed and the coon hounds must be checked at the door.
     
  10. MarquisMagic

    MarquisMagic Senior member

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    Beverly Hills, CA
    Going to NY later this year. How does Per Se compare to TFL?
     
  11. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    It appears you may be a food critic,
    and a good one.
    Have you anything to add about TFL?


    i'm not a critic but i do write about food. my experiences at TFL may not be appropriate since except for the first couple of times i ate there, i've been known to the staff and the chef is a very good friend. that said, i've never been to a restaurant that works harder at delivering a perfect experience. at times, this can get in the way ... the effort shows. and certainly at times they fall short, which is all the more disappointing because expectations are so high. but of my dozen best meals ever, i'd guess half of them have been there.
     
  12. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    Going to NY later this year. How does Per Se compare to TFL?
    i've only eaten at per se once ... celebrated my 50th there. the menus and approaches are similar. to me, per se just has a certain metropolitan chill that detracts from teh experience. TFL is warmer and somewhat more relaxed. though both are undoubtedly excellent.
     
  13. Sartorial1

    Sartorial1 Senior member

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    I've been wanting to visit Charleston, as I'm unfamiliar with that part of the country. Is formal dinner service commonplace still? I know that at one point, a great premium was placed on social graces at formality in parts of the south. Is this something that endures now?
    It endures.
    It's not like it used to be.
    Formailty is less common in public.
    Restaurant dining is less formal today,
    but the food is certainly better.
    But it isn't what you can find in Atlanta, New Orleans, or New York.

    Formality is more ingrained in our private life,
    and to a lesser degree in our professional lives.
    The visitor may sense it,
    but it won't be forced on him.
    However, an outsider may find it hard town to crack,
    unless he has relatives or other close connections.
    We're skeptical of you
    until you prove your commitment to the community.

    Speaking of community
    our city is comprised of small closely knit communities.
    Everyone knows everyone else within a community.
    Much entertaining is done at home
    Dinner parties are common,
    so are garden parties.
    A lot of life centers around country
    and various other private clubs.
    And, we still have a social season.

    It is a way that is dying.
    But I tell you, Charleston is doing its best to keep it with us.
     
  14. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Going back next weekend, hopefully with great results.
     
  15. Mandres

    Mandres Well-Known Member

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    You can always tell A man from Charleston By the way he types Exclusively in verse
     
  16. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    So, I went. It was better than last time. I have to admit, knowing that I will likely be labelled as somebody who gets off on hating on great stuff, which is totally untrue, that I don't find the food to be that well prepared or very well seasoned at all. It is beautiful, though.
     
  17. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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    Running the trap house.
    

    Hater.
     
  18. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    :tinfoil:
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2011

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