For my dearest Kyle: dinner at the French Laundry

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

  1. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    I've been to Cyrus half a dozen times in my life. The dinner we had was similar to five of those times, with one meal being much worse than the others. This was considerably worse that the time we went, and probably as good as the worst meal I have had at Cyrus.

    Wow. Think you caught them on a bad night at TFL?

    Edit: Scratch that. For that money and with that reputation, a place is not allowed a bad night.
     
  2. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Wow. Think you caught them on a bad night at TFL?

    Edit: Scratch that. For that money and with that reputation, a place is not allowed a bad night.

    I assume that I did.
     
  3. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    sounds like a bad night, which really sucks because they don't give you a discount for those, do they?
     
  4. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    sounds like a bad night, which really sucks because they don't give you a discount for those, do they?
    That is what I assume, though it is hard for me to imagine that I would have liked the foie preparation on any night. It was just overworked, and didn't retain the taste or texture of a good torchon. I think that was on purpose, and I think I understand why, though I disagree with it. I don't know about the mackerel, but I should say that the other fish dish, which one woman at the table got, was quite good, maybe excellent. As to the temperature of the food, that is pretty difficult since it seems as though they cook nearly all of the proteins sous vide. It is hard to hold temp if something is the same temperature all the way through. I wonder how they get around that on a good day. Still, that didn't bother me as much as it bothered some of the other people at the table. I don't like my food to be super hot anyway.
     
  5. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    i did notice the repeated mention of temperatures. personally, unless i expect a dish to be super-hot or super-cold, that's not something i notice very much, though i have a friend who basically uses it as a first-line criteria. funny. i'm the same way with the textures in wine. unless it's extreme, it just doesn't occur to me.
    i've eaten at tfl many times and have had some of the best meals of my life there. the one disappointing meal i had was when tk wanted me to taste all of his new exec's dishes. they were good, and perfectly executed, but not to the measure of oysters and pearls or cauliflower with caviar, etc. that was the one time i regretted our friendship as i stared longingly at the plates of the people at the next table who were free to order whatever they wished.
     
  6. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    I have good friends who didn't have a good experience at the French Laundry last year. Their review sounded very similar to iammatt's. I haven't been to FL, but Keller's Per Se did not impress me as much on my last visit in July as it had previously. There were shortcomings in both the food and service.
     
  7. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    So I count ten courses, of which you strongly disliked two, really loved two, and at least liked six. This is not such a negative review, it seems to me.

    Feakonomics works.
     
  8. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    So I count ten courses, of which you strongly disliked two, really loved two, and at least liked six. This is not such a negative review, it seems to me.
    I think there is a difference between disliking a dish and having a dish which is signficantly flawed. These were in the latter group. One lacked seasoning and texture, and the other had absolutely no balance. Of the ones I liked, none was better than very good (not multiple star food.) Two were, as you say, excellent.
     
  9. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    How far away are they these days from Keller's routine presence? Not that it should matter.
     
  10. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    I'm not a FINE-diner so I have no idea how customer service at a place like FL works. Can you complain? Do you tell your waiter that the food's tastes off? I understand that sous-vide prep is iffy temperature wise but shitty tasting is shitty tasting on a personal basis. I can't imagine dropping 3 bills and leaving disappointed.
     
  11. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    How far away are they these days from Keller's routine presence? Not that it should matter.

    it shouldn't matter, but inevitably, it seems to. i do know that he spends most of his time in the valley, but that doesn't mean he's in the house. running a restaurant at that level is a hellish proposition. to keep everyone both front of the house and the kitchen operating at that level really requires a strong hand, either from the owner (and that's what he is now) or from the exec and maitre d'. it would be a shame if this became a regular pattern. i can't think of another restaurant in this country that regularly performs at that level--both aspiration-ally and practically.
     
  12. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    I still maintain that I prefer Cyrus to TFL, and that of Keller's restaurants, my best meal was actually at Per Se.
     
  13. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Having a Ball

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    Speaking of Cyrus, can anyone tell me if they've been recently and how they felt about the bread? My friend that I lived with when I worked there switched from savory to pastry about a month ago and has been focusing on bread service lately. I'd love to hear that he's been banging out some quality product.
     
  14. cchen

    cchen Senior member

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    The only two dishes I'm really looking forward to are the salmon cones and the oysters and pearls. those were my favorite dishes are per se and i'd bet they will be my favorite dishes at tfl
     
  15. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    Speaking of Cyrus, can anyone tell me if they've been recently and how they felt about the bread? My friend that I lived with when I worked there switched from savory to pastry about a month ago and has been focusing on bread service lately. I'd love to hear that he's been banging out some quality product.

    That time I went after you left, the dry, rock hard grain bread was a lot better. [​IMG]
     

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