french laundry menu
Originally uploaded by hoonhkim.

Be well prepared for a nine course meal. I normally have a good appetite, but I don’t understand how regular people with regular stomachs can go through all of this food. Courtney and I both got the meat menu over the vegitarian and got all the upgrades, except instead of the prime beef we only got the lamb since it specifically serves two people only.

We started off with small cornettes of Salmon tartare with sweet red onion crème fraîche. These were mini ice cream cone like morsels of creaminess with just the right saltiness from the salmon but a little sweetness from the cone and fillling.

Appetizers

“Oysters and Peals”
“Sabayon” of Pearl Tapioca with Beau Soleil Oysters and Russian Sevruga Caviar

I though that this dish would be salty, but the tapioca had this warm rich creaminess to it that was almost like a soup but thicker. With our mother of pearl spoons I enjoyed the balance of oyster and caviar. I could have eaten this all night.

Salad of Slow-Baked French Laundry Garden Heirloom Beets
Belgian Endive, Royal Blenheim Apricot “Purée and Young Sorrel

Courtney had this dish so I only sampled a little bit of it. The beets were fantastic and of course everything was super fresh. Most of the vegetables are grown right across the street in a little garden.

Moulard Duck “Foie Gras en Terrine”
Pickeld Ramp-Hayden Mango Relish, Cilantro Shoots, Basalmic Vinegar Glaze and Toasted “Brioche”

This was fantastic. The foie gras was a paté that you spread onto the freshly baked toast which you then sprinkle with your choice of 3 different types of salt, red Hawaiian, regular sea salt, and a third mixed salt. As soon as your bread gets cold the waiter comes by with a fresh piece so that it is always warm enough to melt the foie gras. Fantastic.

2nd Course – Seafood

Sautéed Fillet of Japanese “Kanpachi”
Globe Artichokes “Rissolées,” San Marzano Tomato “Compote,” Green Garlic and Niçoise Olive Oil

Courtney had this dish but from the sample I tried also an excellently prepared dish and the tomatoes were delicious.

Grilled “Pavé” of Spanish Bluefin “Toro”
Garden Purplette and Cipollini Onions, “Koshihikari” Rice, Mizuna Greens and Ginger-Scallion “Aigre-Doux”

Simple melts in your mouth. I was a little dissapointed that it came slightly seared since I love sush toro, but all the fat in the fish just melts away when you pop it into your mouth. The rice was explained to me by the waiter to be from a certain year. Even the rice is vintage! The rice went nicely with the fish and had a slight sweetness to it that helped with all the fat from the toro.

Main Lobster Tail “Cuite Sous Vide”
New Crop Potatoes “en Trois Façons,” Périgord Truffles and “Fines Herbes”

With all of this food you would think the portions would be miniscule, but all of the courses had plenty of food and this was no exception. The lobster was perfectly cooked with a slight hint of butter and the potatoes were prepared three ways with the highlight being slivers of yukon golds made into florettes and lightly fried.

Course 3 – Meats

Wolfe Ranch White Quail “En Crépinette”
Melted Savoy Cabbage, Fuji Apple “Pont Neuf” and Applewood-Smoked Bacon Emulsion.

The Quail was plump and juicy. I can’t remember the exact seasoning but excellent. The bacon was like the extra piece of bacon that was left in the skillet to get extra crispy.

“Dégustation” of Bellwether Farm Spring Lamb
with an English Pea, Purple-Top Turnip and Sweet Carrot “Ragoût” and Garden Mint-Infused “Jus”

This lamb consisted of 5 different cuts from various parts prepared in various ways. It was the neck, forequarters, breast, rillettes and leg. The neck and the breast for phenomenal. The rillette was a like a lamb paté rolled into a log and covered with panko. Lamb can be very gamey but the all cuts were held in control.

Course 4 – cheese and desserts

“Petit Ardigasna”
Piquillo Peppers, French Laundry “Chorizo,” Jacobsen’s Farm Fava Beans and Country Bread “Croûtons”

The chees was on similar in consistency to a swiss cheese but had a slight hint of parmesan to it without the saltiness and gritiness. I wish I had more of the chorizo though.

Armando Manni Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Sorbet
Cornmeal “Financier” and “Coulis de Framboises”

Fantastic. The sorbet was to cleanse your pallet. Creamy and rich but definitely tasting like olive oil, the sorbet was clean with the rasberry and cornmeal adding a sweetness to it.

Malt “Teaser”
Valrhona “Jivara” Chocolate-Malt “Crème Bavarois,” Candied Coco Nib “Tuiles,” Baked Meringue and Malt Ice Cream.

This was Thomas Keller’s play on Malt. You had malt ice cream, malt and chocoate mini cake and then the baked meringue which was like one giant center of a Whopper candy.

Just when you thought we were done we were presented with a plate of chocolates (chocolate licorice, chocolate peanut butter, chocolate espresso, chocolate caramel, and chocolate and I think raspberry). Also out came a bowl of chocolate dusted Macadamian nuts, fudge with pistacio nuts, assortment of candied jellies, and finally light and dark truffles.

When you think of all the care and all the ingredients that you are getting it is well worth the price and experience. It will definitely be a while before I go back. Part 3 coming soon to talk about our wine.

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