Going to French Laundry for the first time, need some suggestions

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Saltricks, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Saltricks

    Saltricks Senior member

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    I'll be dining at French Laundry next week for my birthday. Not the type of place I can go ever day, so I've been saving my pennies for a few weeks just to be able to fly up and have a good time.

    My question is in regards to wine:
    I don't think I'll be able to afford their wine pairings (I've heard their wine list is pretty overpriced for what you get), and not having a particular taste for wine yet, I don't think it would be worth it anyway. It is a special occasion however, and I'm willing to pay the corkage fee to bring in something special to have with dinner. I was thinking of a nice champagne (Dom perhaps), but when would you enjoy this? During the first few courses...with the main...dessert? Or maybe there is a nice bottle that you men can suggest for a young wine noob such as myself, that would help a lot too.

    Oh, and if you have any other suggestions for a better experience at French Laundry, I'm all ears.
     


  2. CouttsClient

    CouttsClient Senior member

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    Don't take that friend you're always writing about here
     


  3. Saltricks

    Saltricks Senior member

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    Lol, that's a given. He'd probably jump kick thomas keller when he saw the bill.
     


  4. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    Keller can make you a special "Club" "Soda" with "Lemon".
     


  5. Saltricks

    Saltricks Senior member

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    Is this a joke regarding his overuse of quotation marks in his menu? I know it seems a little pretentious to do that, but I didn't really notice it until people pointed it out.
     


  6. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    don't bring Dom. Paying corkage for a wine on the list is a major faux pas.

    Also, don't buy Dom from the list either, it's overpriced to the point of hilarity. As Manton would say, it's a giant middle finger pointed at the diner (although he was referring to Keller's Per Se wine list).

    And Keller wont be making you shit let alone a "club" "soda" with "lemon".
     


  7. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    also, this is IMO, but Champagne can be enjoyed with most anything.
     


  8. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    I only really noticed it when gome pointed it out mocking a quail dish I made. I thought it was pretty funny.
     


  9. Saltricks

    Saltricks Senior member

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    Wow, good to know. Haha. MAJOR faux pas? :( a minor faux pas i may have done it, but not if its a major one. Any champagne recs?
     


  10. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    And seriously, If I were in your position, I would just look for a reasonably priced Chardonnay on their menu. Something buttery that would go with both fish and meat. Ramey Russian River Valley is pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011


  11. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    I wasn't actually intending to "make fun of you". But "quotes" really "annoy me". And the menu at Per Se is "full of them".

    Yes major. I suppose others may disagree, but bringing in a wine that is also on a wine list is kind of a no-no. I'm happy to browse through TFL list and give some recs (for value and quality).

    FWIW, corking at Per Se is $90 a bottle. I'd have to be spending $300+ in a store for that to seem worth it to me.
     


  12. gomestar

    gomestar Super Yelper

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    Chablis.
     


  13. mgm9128

    mgm9128 Senior member

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    In all honesty, If you're going to do a tasting menu at The French Laundry, I think the wine pairing is somewhat essential to the overall experience. It will be hard to buy a bottle that can pair well and compliment each and every one of Keller's "dishes".
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011


  14. Young Pro

    Young Pro Senior member

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    For the record, there is no "official" wine pairing option at TFL. However, the sommelier will be happy to help you select wine within a budget and based on your tastes. In doing so, they will pick from glasses and bottles on their list, so there are no smaller 1-2oz pours that are typical of other restaurants that offer pairings.

    I was there in April, and had the sommelier pick 2 glasses (from their per-glass list) and a dessert wine (my wife was not feeling well so opted not to drink). For 2 or more, you have a lot more to work with since you can have a couple of half bottles.

    While it's true that the wine list at TFL is terrifically overpriced in general, there are some reasonable values to be found. The list is posted online, so do your research beforehand.
     


  15. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    i'm with young pro. tfl wine list is punishingly expensive unless you have enough experience to navigate it. but the staff works really hard to make sure that everyone has the best possible experience. if it were me, i would e-mail whoever sent you the confirmation. be completely honest and even begging (always works). tell them that you're a poor student who has always dreamed of eating there and now you will be, but your budget won't stretch to include the wine pairings. ask if they have some advice. i'd be willing to be that they will be able to find some way to make the evening great.
     


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