Re: The French Laundry: Recap

1

I read your mother's review. The food was okay, she says, but when are you going to make some babies already?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:32 PM
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Standpipe!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:33 PM
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Mom, bpl and I

I supposed we better get used to that locution.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:35 PM
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Teofilo! How are you? How's the sexx0r going?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:35 PM
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I supposed I is semi-literate.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:36 PM
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This is the sort of post you'll want to redact when the Revolution comes. In the meantime, it sounds like a fantastic experience.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:37 PM
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Here is buckit, makes u happee.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:37 PM
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Teofilo! How are you? How's the sexx0r going?

I'm fine. The sexx0r is imminent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:37 PM
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This is the sort of post you'll want to redact when the Revolution comes.

This is the sort of post that ensures that ogged won't be around to redact anything when the Revolution comes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:38 PM
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The sexx0r is imminent grave and gathering.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:38 PM
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I almost suspect it wasn't lamb at all, but the flesh of innocent virgins

True to form. Anyway, congrats on the fabulous meal, the menu for which nearly made me weep with desire. Looks like bpl played her cards right.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:40 PM
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The sexx0r is percolations are imminent.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:48 PM
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The sexx0r is imminent grave and gathering.

This reminds me of a friend who, when referring to dates ending in teh sexXx0r, used to say, "sex reared its ugly head."


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:48 PM
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I'm trying to figure out what the French Laundry's quotation-mark policy is.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:51 PM
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"Yes."


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:52 PM
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So what does Mom think of bpl?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:52 PM
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It seems to be foreign terms, but also "lobster roll."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:53 PM
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then I put in a little more for the gratuity to round it up, because we really liked our server and we got a tour of the kitchen.

Are you trying to get him fired or something?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:54 PM
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Did the mom and the BPL get it on, or hit it off, or whatever you young people say?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:54 PM
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17 - I think that's because they like to do really ridiculous and over-the-top stuff and then call them by a pedestrian name. Like at the fancy place that Ellie and I went to in Vegas where the amuse bouche was foie gras "hamburgers".


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:55 PM
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Also, I'm really busy these next couple of weeks so if Teo really does get laid, somebody had better email me.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:56 PM
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But also "gnocchi." I'm guessing those are honest-to-god gnocchi, which does not require a term so foreign that it requires quotation marks. Same with "flan."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 9:56 PM
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I'm guessing those are honest-to-god gnocchi, which does not require a term so foreign that it requires quotation marks. Same with "flan."

See, that's where the brilliance of Thomas Keller confounds your expectations. The "gnocchi" are actually marshmallows, and the "flan" is a bowl of vapor.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:01 PM
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A marshmallow gnoccho? Oh no!


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:03 PM
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The Laundry quotes precisely those terms used to designate "ever weirder moves".


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:06 PM
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And the place isn't even a laundromat! How crazy is that?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:11 PM
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BPL was smart to get back together with you, wasn't she?

(I'm glad you still have a tummy with which to eat all that food. Lobster without a stomach would be a definite challenge.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:25 PM
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You took the bpl to French Laundry after less than a year together? When's the wedding?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:39 PM
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teo, why haven't we been kept apprised of your dating progress??


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:40 PM
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The sexx0r is imminent grave and gathering.

If those are the historical standards we're going by, that means teo's just about to get a kiss on the cheek.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:43 PM
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Come to think of it, what happens at places like the FL? You make reservations like 6 months in advance, right? So what if you make a reservation and then someone dumps you, or dies, or something? Do you just go anyway because dammit, getting a reservation there is HARD? Do you keep it, figuring that by the time it rolls around you'll probably be dating someone new anyway? Do you have to pay a deposit if you cancel your reservation less than 48 hours in advance? What?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:46 PM
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So what if you make a reservation and then someone dumps you, or dies, or something?

You just bring them along anyway, like Weekend at Bernie's.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:47 PM
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teo, why haven't we been kept apprised of your dating progress??

I've been really busy lately, for one thing, and haven't had time to do a whole lot of blogging or commenting. Also, I'm trying not to reveal too much because things with other girls have tended to fall apart soon after I blog about them. For instance, I haven't heard from this girl since, well, that date. I'm not really superstitious, but why take chances?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:48 PM
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30: Note that those aren't the words I used.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:49 PM
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Has the British government learned that you've been trying to procure teh sexx0r in Africa?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:51 PM
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Shhhh!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:52 PM
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Fair enough, though unsatisfying to our prurient interests, er, affection & concern for you.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 10:52 PM
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So what if you make a reservation and then someone dumps you, or dies, or something?

You have 72 hours to cancel, otherwise they charge you $100 per person. I actually put myself on the waiting list a week before I wanted to go, and lucked out that someone canceled.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:00 PM
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I actually put myself on the waiting list a week before I wanted to go, and lucked out that someone canceled.

I hate you.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:07 PM
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Try it, you might luck out. But I told them that I'd take any time between the 21st and the 25th, so my chances were actually pretty decent, I think. And it's not impossible to get regular reservations, particularly if you're willing to go in the middle of the week, which, why the hell not? Go for dinner, spend the night at one of the little places that's walking distance, and take the next day off work.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:12 PM
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You make reservations like 6 months in advance, right?

Two months.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:13 PM
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Go for dinner, spend the night at one of the little places that's walking distance, and take the next day off work.

I say again: recant and redact, for the Revolution is coming.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:17 PM
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43

I think I can take McManus.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:18 PM
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So what if you make a reservation and then someone dumps you, or dies, or something?

It's like that old joke, with a new variation:

A couple is dining at French Laundry and spies a man across the room eating by himself. Thinking to himself "what a waste", the husband goes over and asks the man why he is there alone.
The man replied, "The reservations were for me and my wife. She passed away." The other man replied, "I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. May I ask why you didn't instead bring a friend or a relative?"
The man replied, "They're all at the funeral."

Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:20 PM
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And it's not impossible to get regular reservations, particularly if you're willing to go in the middle of the week, which, why the hell not? Go for dinner, spend the night at one of the little places that's walking distance, and take the next day off work.

Yeah, we'll probably try just this later in the year. Some friends went for dinner in January and made the mistake of driving back to SF after the meal; no way I'm gonna do that.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:20 PM
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Thank you everyone. I'll be here all week. Please remember to tip your waiters.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:21 PM
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43: You think he'll be alone?


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:24 PM
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48

Crap, and you guys give me shit about the damn koi pond.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:24 PM
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49

Then again, come to think of it, why the hell didn't Mr. B. take me someplace nice for my 40th birthday??? Grr.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:26 PM
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50

I liked that they served the Kuroge beef as a tartare.

Beef tartare is God's own food.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:27 PM
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You have a koi pond? Those are much harder to redact. Though, when the Revolution comes, you can make gefilte fish.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:27 PM
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50: I suppose you think BSE will save you from the Revolution. No, my friend. It will not.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:29 PM
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Crap, and you guys give me shit about the damn koi pond.

Nice meals are transient. Koi ponds are forever.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:31 PM
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54

Certainly if you drown in one.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:36 PM
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51: It belongs to the landlord. As a renter, I'm down with the gente.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:38 PM
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I'll just note that I don't think the Laundry is the most innovative restaurant I've been to.

This may be sacrilege in a thread about such a fine, but seemingly relatively traditional, meal; but have any of the gastronomes* here gone to any of the places that take "molecular gastronomy" to an extreme (hmmm... and now I notice The FL on the list at that site as at least being influenced by it)? The Bigelow Grille here in Pittsburgh operates one ("Alchemy") where I had what will probably be the most intriguingly unusual meal of my life. But my undiscriminating palate makes me totally unqualified to render useful culinary judgment, perhaps one of the P'burgh crew has been there, or can try it and report back.

*Which seems to be most everyone, at least relative to me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:40 PM
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The palate is not important, JP. The meal is conceptual.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:45 PM
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48 and 49 provide a neat sort of summary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:45 PM
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I haven't. I'm dying to go to Alinea. El Bulli, too, but that's apparently hard to get to even if you're already in Spain, so I doubt I'll ever make it there.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:46 PM
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Oh, hey, ogged, have you been to Coi? Given your tastes, I think you'd like it quite a bit.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:49 PM
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There's also this problem at El Bulli.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:49 PM
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Notes: As always, the names of these dishes delight me. Did anyone get the "JAMBONNETTE" OF DEVIL'S GULCH RANCH RABBIT (pardon the caps), which sounds marvelous? I've constructed a bizarre mental picture of what it might be.

I am also curious about the SAUTEED FILLET OF PACIFIC KAHALA (what is Passion Fruit Gastrique?)

Did your mom try the VALLEY OAK ACORN "FLAN"?

(Really, I'm sorry about the all-caps pasting.)

Happy birthday, ogged?

And I've been to Manresa: I second the recommendation, y'all. Truly astonishing in some of the textural combinations, ways in which dishes morphed as you progressed through them (this is a plus, believe me), not to mention the best venison I've ever tasted, as well as the best cream of celery soup (it was not called that). Really delightful. And a very inviting, relaxed atmosphere.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:49 PM
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El Bulli meetup! June 2012!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:50 PM
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Yeah, above besides, I've been wanting to try some inkjet printed foam molecular nonsense for a while now. Sounds rad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:51 PM
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51 to 60.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:52 PM
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Minibar appears to be the place in DC for molecular ridiculousness. It sounds cool.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:53 PM
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I've been to Manresa

You under-the-radar-jetsetting-bookseller!

It's true though, great restaurant, even if it isn't in the The City.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:53 PM
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have you been to Coi?

Have you been there?? It was one of the places I looked at for Valentine's day, but some reviews (at chowhound, I think) put me off. Although I might have just decided that it wasn't a Valentine's day kind of place; I really can't remember.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:54 PM
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that given the regular 15-hour days that are required, it's a young person's job.

Also, some may not be getting paid, or may even be paying the restaurant, to work there.


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:56 PM
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Magpie and I have been thinking about going to this place in May, but it's not clear if our schedule will work out that way. The cyber egg sounds interesting, but I'm not convinced by the idea of the foie gras milkshake. (They also have the most confusing website ever.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:57 PM
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Do it!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-22-08 11:59 PM
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Have you been there??

Twice now (and we're going again in late April or early May). It's been fucking outstanding both times. The first time we went was in late December, and the menu was absolutely perfect; it managed to be both inventive and completely suited to the weather. The grapefruit perfume they have you put on your wrist for the first course walks right up to the line of cutesy, but that's not at all representative of the place in general. And it's an excellent place to go for a romantic dinner; the dining room only seats maybe 30 people.

(The only reason the first meal we had at Coi wasn't the best meal I've ever had was that that position was held by the meal we had at Patterson's previous restaurant.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:04 AM
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They also have the most confusing website ever.

Wow, no kidding.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:04 AM
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It's been fucking outstanding both times.

Ok, back on the list it goes. It might be a while before I make it there, given how much money I've spent on such things lately.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:09 AM
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67:

Pfeh. I can see you aren't going to answer my questions regarding the menu items at the French Laundry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:10 AM
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Oh, sorry. My mom didn't have the "flan," she had the artichokes, and the Kahala was fantastic (fish and bacon: yes!), and the gastrique was, if I recall, just a streak of sauce on the plate and I can't recall precisely what it was like. One of the problems with sharing between three people was that I couldn't linger over the flavors as much as I like to.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:14 AM
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Oh, hell, I'm not sure there's such a place as Coi in the mid-Atlantic region; I'm envious.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:16 AM
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Yeah, I figured the "gastrique" was a streak of sauce. I still think it's a great way to present your dishes: don't be shy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:20 AM
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I note that the menus of both the Minibar and combal zero use the word "deconstructed," and suggest that it is the duty of right-thinking people to boycott such places.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:22 AM
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Looks like this is the place in the DC area.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:23 AM
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80, meet 66. 66, pwn 80.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:27 AM
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Wow, missed 66 completely.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:28 AM
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Not that very good chefs don't do it—a friend served me what he described as "deconstructed ratatouille" at his place—but this use of "deconstructed" must be stopped, along with all the other incorrect ones.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:35 AM
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Minibar seats 6. So. Interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:35 AM
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Off to bed. Later, y'all.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:37 AM
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this use of "deconstructed" must be stopped

I'm not sure what's up with the use of quotation marks around obvious foods: "ravioli", "sun dried" tomato. Both in the Minibar menu. (But the French Laundry menu had some of this weird quoting thing as well.) I'd wonder whether, at the Minibar, we were going to discuss the provenance of "ravioli". Which I guess could be interesting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 12:41 AM
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Yeah, I figured the "gastrique" was a streak of sauce.

A gastrique is a kind of sauce.

I had dinner at Trio when Grant Achatz was there, before he was famous. So, like, neener neener.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 2:29 AM
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Also, my bicycle seat was stolen while I was at a concert with Wrongshore. I'm certain he was in league with the thieves.

I would also like to know why the latest checkout of exaile runs out of memory when scanning my library.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 2:35 AM
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(Answer: because psyco chokes.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 2:45 AM
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How was E.A.M.B., Ben?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 7:33 AM
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a totally charming guy named Zion

If he was white, he's almost guaranteed to be LDS.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 9:43 AM
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a totally charming guy named Zion

If he was white, he's almost guaranteed to be LDS

I assumed he has a superhero/villain.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:07 AM
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The wife is taking me to Coi next week.

I'm getting the impression that the French Laundry has declined a bit in recent years; when we went in 2002, it was pretty stunning.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:07 AM
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If he was white

He wasn't.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:18 AM
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I assumed he has a superhero/villain.

Were you thinking of Static? Somehow, that's who I think of when I hear "superhero" in conjunction with "Zion." I couldn't for the life of me tell you why.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:24 AM
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has declined a bit in recent years

Emphasis on "a bit," and that's why I wrote the first sentence of the post. I think competition and changing expectations account for about 90% of the supposed decline, and minor slips in service and the occasional bum dish account for the rest.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:24 AM
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You make reservations like 6 months in advance, right?

Two months.

Six months is more like it for Eigensinn Farm.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:25 AM
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I don't think you get any part of the advance if SWPL links. Just, you know, FYI.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:27 AM
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I feel like an enabler of ogged's whiteness.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:34 AM
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Was there Kobe beef?


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:35 AM
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Eigensinn Farm.

Zion's lair.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:41 AM
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Seaweed restaurants in Tokyo accept 18-year reservations from newborns for their high-school graduation parties. These reservations can only be canceled by death, which is why so many failing students commit suicide.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:41 AM
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96: Some folks also fuss about which coast Keller is on on any particular day, claiming it's only worth eating at FL or PS when he's there. I find these people annoying.

97: Two months is the only reservation window offered. You can't make reservations 6 mos. in advance at TK's restaurants.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:42 AM
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Is there a black market in bicycle seats, or is it just sniffer pervs?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:43 AM
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103 true. You wouldn't get one at EF in a two month window, but the dynamics is different. They've got very few tables (and one seating). So reservations have a deposit and are months in advance.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:45 AM
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A gastrique is a kind of sauce.

I love you, Ben. Menu writing is an art, is it not, and it really does delight me.

I'm trying not to hate you all for reviving my interest in dining experiences that are beyond my budget. Come the revolution, we will trade a glorious treatise on authenticity for a stunning amuse bouche. The trade will be accompanied by a wink and a smile.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 10:57 AM
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How was E.A.M.B., Ben?

Really good.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 11:08 AM
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I think competition and changing expectations account for about 90% of the supposed decline, and minor slips in service and the occasional bum dish account for the rest.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's also due in part to the expansion of Keller's empire. Do you know if he was at FL when you went?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 11:23 AM
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Do you know if he was at FL when you went?

I don't think he was. I didn't see him, anyway.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 11:25 AM
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And no "Happy Birthdays" sung, I trust?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 11:29 AM
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god... sounds so amazing. definitely sealed it for me. i am planning a trip to san fran to celebrate graduating from medical school. my graduation gift to myself is going to be dinner at FL. can't wait...


Posted by: japhy | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 11:34 AM
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I'm torn between two thoughts:
1) The meal sounds wonderful. Hurray for food!
2) That's, like, my food budget for the next four months.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 11:37 AM
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yum. I'm going to try to get reservations at minibar!


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 8:10 PM
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i am planning a trip to san fran to celebrate graduating from medical school.

Do it. *We* were planning a trip to India, which got downgraded to a trip to Mexico, which got downgraded to a new laptop.

Hm. Between that and the 40th non-birthday....


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 03-23-08 8:32 PM
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