Tag Archives: worlds top 100 restaurants

Perfection Defined at The French Laundry

The French Laundry

As Donny recounted here, we were extremely lucky to secure a table at the French Laundry during our short stay in Yountville CA.

When you google The French Laundry, perfection is a word that is synonymous with the numerous reviews that appear, and after our experience at this restaurant I cannot think of a better word to describe the few hours we were lucky enough to have at 6640 Washington Street.

Not only is the service polished and the quality & presentation of each dish impeccable, but each minute detail in the appearance of the restaurant has been thought about – from the wooden pegs that adorn your beautifully pressed napkin, to the prints on the softly glowing lights.

A Table for Two at The French Laundry

The alarm goes off – it’s 4:56am in Melbourne, two calendar months to the date that we arrive in Napa. Sleepily, we reach for our phones – three of them in total – and do a quick check that all our speed dials are getting through to The French Laundry’s answering machine.

We had done a fair bit of research into getting a booking at The French Laundry – heralded by most people as the best restaurant in the United States, and currently ranked number 32 in the world. The size of their dining room (16 tables / 60 seats), coupled with their reputation, means that getting a reservation is inherently tricky. Various blogs echoed frustrated stories of people trying for months and months to secure a 3 to 4 hour experience at Thomas Keller’s eponymous restaurant, so we were always a bit worried that our 4 day window might not be enough.

The World’s Top 100 Restaurants

Gentle braise of sea scallops, pearl oyster, rock lobster, lettuce hearts, cucumbers, lobster velvet, oyster cream, pea flowers

I was looking at the San Pellegrino World’s Top 100 Restaurants list for 2010 (1 – 50 here, 51 – 100 here), and was surprised that Ritsy and I have actually been to 4 of them.

4% of the top 100 restaurants isn’t all that many in the scheme of things – but considering a night out at any of these restaurants (especially in Europe and America) can cost $1000AUD, it’s not too shabby.

Here’s our thoughts on the ones that we have been fortunate enough to dine at.

Number 15: Le Bernardin

We went here for dinner in 2008 (was it really that long ago!?). It specialises in seafood, and has held 3 Michelin Stars since 2005.