French Laundry Survival Guide, Part 1

The French Laundry

Being that this was my first and possibly my last, (oh God I hope not ) time to dine at The French Laundry I have a few reflections and suggestions on how to do it right.  Going to a fabulous restaurant like this requires a few tips for those of us out there who don’t get out of our yoga pants often.

First and foremost, get a reservation, even if it takes a year or two.  A place like The French Laundry is worth the wait.  Do what you can to get your name on the wait list.  Beg, plead, offer your first born child, put in some overtime at work, let your significant other put in some overtime at work and put some good karma out into the world.

Secondly, get your ducks in a row. Make sure you have a reliable sitter for the kiddos, plane ticket, hotel reservations, rental car, sparkly new dress, wallet (full of paper and plastic), extra underwear. You get the drift.

Speaking of stellar babysitters, this is the best friend and the best “Manny” a gal could ask for.  Ladies, not only is this guy single, he’s an ultimate fighting champion AND he bonded with my Lil Bean Sprout for five hours while I ate my heart away at Frenchy.

Ok, once you’re finally there stop, take a deep breath and smell the chicken coop.

 (The Chateau Du Chicken is on the right)

Now take some time to walk around the gardens with a glass of wine from a local winery.  Come on people this is Napa Valley.  The food that you will eat is mostly harvested from the garden. As tempting as it might be, have some self control and don’t pick your own dinner. Trust me Thomas Keller has your back on this one.

Enjoy the views.  The scenery, the smells, the wind and the soil are all a part of your meal.  This is your appetizer before your appetizers.  Each morsel at The French Laundry is blossoming with the essence of the Napa Valley.

Some Additional Pre-Game Deets

Wear something comfy and a bit stretchy, it’s at least a nine course meal.  Don’t even pack the spankx (No, that wasn’t me peeling my spankx off in the Frenchy parking lot).  Make sure you feel as eloquent as the food you are about to eat.   Whatever your style may be, let it fly with all of its gusto and beauty.  You don’t want your plate to show you up.

Make sure your date is as cute as mine (Mom this one’s for you).  I took my brother Grant and I couldn’t have asked for a better date.  This is your time to be choosy.  You wouldn’t give just anyone your extra Super Bowl ticket would you?  Invite the special person in your life who will bask in this artistic cuisine made by a master.  Fancy food makes my m’love back in San Antonio a little nervous.  He was happy at home eating Chipotle burritos for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Either way if you bring someone as special as my brother Grant then your company will bring out the true flavors of each dish.  After all who wants to eat alone?

I know you’re all just itchin’ at your belt buckles to see some French Laundry food porn. Check back soon for Part 2 and don’t forget to plastic baggy your keypad. I promise there will be much for you to drool over.