The original French Laundry building
13 Facts You Should Know About The Iconic French Laundry
The Name
The restaurant’s name honors the building's history as a French-style steam laundry. The building was purchased in 1978 by chef Sally Schmidt and her husband Don.
When chef Thomas Keller purchased the restaurant in 1994, he kept the name and added the iconic wooden clothes peg and other subtle nods to the building’s past.
Since the restaurant only holds 60 people, getting a reservation isn't easy. Due to the length of the meal, only two seatings are available each day.
The restaurant opens the reservations one month in advance, on the first of the month at 10 a.m. Pacific time. They only take online bookings through Tock.
Tasting Menu
The restaurant has a nine-part tasting menu that changes every day. There are two options for the menu: the Chef’s Menu and the Tasting of Vegetables version.
A few touchstones include a salmon and crème fraîche cornet, Oysters and Pearls, and the final course mignardises. Chef Keller focuses on classic French cuisine.
Small Servings
For a tasting menu, there will be a lot of tiny plates, instead of the typical large entrée. Even though the plates are small, each serving is rich and tasty.
Tip Included
Keller has spoken about paying staff a fair wage. The French Laundry pays a salary and has a service charge, which is split among the staff at the end of the night.