There are scores of fantastic French restaurants across California, some serving classic bistro fare, others adding a Japanese twist, all of them mouth-wateringly good. Many are offering a takeout service at the moment and some are finding inventive ways to serve customers and keep them safe – such as introducing parking lot patios. Here’s what the inspectors from the Michelin Guide had to say about this selection of gastro-destinations.
THE FRENCH LAUNDRY
6640 Washington St., Yountville, 94599
Rating: Three Michelin stars
What the Michelin inspectors said…
Over 20 years old and topping every foodie’s bucket list, Thomas Keller’s legendary destination still doesn’t miss a beat. The cuisine, staff and state-of-the-art kitchen embedded with the chef’s renowned sense of purpose and functionality continue to remain at their pinnacle. In fact this may be known as the greatest cooking space in America, as every aspect of the setting is carefully determined—from the counter height to the flowing lines of the ceiling. It’s a meeting point of the past, present and future.
Chef Keller continues to pair classic French techniques with wildly fresh ingredients in a setting that is a perfect storm of restaurant greatness—we should all be so lucky to score a reservation here in our lifetime. Choose from two seasonal tasting menus, including a vegetarian option. Both feature products from boutique purveyors. Dinners may highlight signature oysters with white sturgeon caviar in a warm sabayon studded with tapioca pearls, or Scottish sea trout with avocado mousse and a sorrel- and sesame-miso vinaigrette.
Located along a winding road, The French Laundry is the very picture of bucolic charm with ivy creeping up its stone façade and a tastefully decorated dining room.
We want to try…
Herb-roasted Elysian Fields farm lamb, Watsonville artichokes, crispy chickpea panisse, summer squash pistou and sweet curry jus (from the tasting menu, $350 pp).
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