In honor of The French Laundry's 24th anniversary, let's travel back in time to one of the most incredible dining experiences I had the privilege of enjoying earlier this year - all thanks to my better half.
The French Laundry, a 1,600 square-foot structure constructed of river rock and timbers, was built as a saloon in 1900 by a Scottish stonemason. The building later served as a residence, and during the 1920s operated as a French steam laundry, hence it's name. In 1978, Yountville mayor Don Schmitt and his wife Sally renovated the structure into a restaurant, which Thomas Keller then purchased in 1994.
Every day, The French Laundry serves two different nine-course tasting menus and no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal. We both opted for the chef's tasting menu (the other option is a tasting of vegetables). This goes without saying, but the food itself impeccably lived up to the hype. After having been through culinary school, I have a greater appreciation for the methods, techniques, skill, and attention to detail that goes into each course and its components - especially challenging for a menu that changes daily. Even more impressive was the service; eyes are on you at all times, anticipating your every move and need. The planning and choreography that goes into The French Laundry's execution, both in the back and front of the house, is nonpareil; definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience!