Patti (whipartist) wrote,

French Laundry and Napa

How do you get reservations for the French Laundry? You get on the phone at ten a.m., precisely two months before you want to attend, and hope you get lucky. A couple of months ago, the PLHB did this, and managed to score reservations for us.

Yesterday we made our way up to Yountville for the holy day of dining. And what a day it was! Nine courses of tasting menu heaven, plus various amuse bouche. I don't have a copy of the menu, and I was too busy being dazzled to make notes, but the whole meal was utterly delightful.

One of the highlights of my meal was risotto with white truffle shavings. They made a show of bringing out a wooden box of truffles and giving you a look at (and smell of!) the open box before selecting one and shaving bits of it over the dish. The smell, oh my god. It made me light-headed. There were two other tables in the small room with us, and they both had the risotto as well. That meant that the lovely waiter showed up two more times to open the box of heavenly smells in my general vicinity.

Our hotel was cute-- each room was a converted box car. It was funky and charming and just a fun little place.

Today we made a quick trip to Bouchon Bakery to pick up random morsels, then headed for Calistoga. We went to the Sterling winery (lovely building, charming gondola ride to get there, unimpressive wine), St. Clement (cute little place, the PLHB found a nice chardonnay), Prager Portworks (funky, fun little operation, I came away with a few things), Niebaum-Coppola (we spent some time wandering, but skipped the tasting and were too late for the tour), and Domaine Chandon (a wonderful tour by a great guide.)

At Niebaum-Coppola, someone was selling fresh roasted chestnuts to benefit some organization or other. I pounced, but the PLHB had never had chestnuts before, much to my amazement. He loved them!
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