Ready for dinner
Behind the menu our BYO wine corkage US$200!!
A restaurant with a huge reputation to maintain. The only 3 Michelin 3 star restaurant in the vicinity of San Francisco. The FL is in the small village of Yountville at 6640 Washington St, which is also the home of Thomas Kellers small restaurant Bouchon and his bakery Bouchon Bakery which I have recently reviewed. The FL is housed in a 17th century National Trust building which cannot be altered, or even renamed! It was once a laundry and at another time a brothel. The tiny upstairs toilet still has the no.7 from that time.
With some fear that the place would be very “stuffy’ moving past the very well dressed and obviously well heeled diners does nothing to dispel these concerns but it quickly changes to quite a fun place with our witty waiter Guillame who was quick with the appropriate repost as the level of levity rose at our table, beginning with the appearance of our 3 litre bottle of 1998 Benziger Merlot (corkage US$200).
Before the meal the menus are distributed and there are lengthy explanations of the dishes and where choices have to be made for the 9 courses – basically
$240 with supplements ( Foie gras $30 supplement)
The lavish use of quotation marks and the explicit detail of the ingredients in the menu which I have copied below, tell you very little about the food so I will comment about each dish we had.
Before the meal we were presented with a tiny gougers which were rather dry and had insufficient gruyere and a coronet of crispy pastry with a finely chopped salmon and cream cheese which was delicious
SALAD OF YOUNG GLOBE ARTICHOKES
Pickled Pearl Onions, Hearts of Romaine,Sweet Carrots and Moulin des Penitents Extra-Virgin Oil Emulsion
Tokio Turnips, Cranberry Compote, Navel Oranges and Watercress The foie gras was very smooth and super rich (and a $30 supplement)
SAUTEED FILLET OF BARRAMUNDI
Sugar Snap PeasKohlrabi Pea Tendrils, Marcona Almonds and Passion Fruit Gastrique
Celeriac, Black Winter Truffleand Chestnut "Ragout"with Yukon Gold "Pommes Puree" This had a very very strong taste of the sea
SWEET BUTTER POACHED MAINE LOBSTER "MITTS"
Glazed Sunchokes, Wilted Arrowleaf Spinach and Nicoise Olive Sauce This was as good a quail as I've ever eaten. Think of the qualities you would like and this dish had them all
ALL DAY BRAISED “ROUELLEDE TETE DE COCHON”
Melted Collard Greens, Fried Quail Egg, Applewood-Smoked Bacon and Blis Maple Syrup Jus Another really good dish for those who enjoy pork cheek
The $150 mouthful!SNAKE RIVER FARMS “CALOTTE DE BOEF GRILLEE”
Golden Chanterelle Mushrooms, Salsify, Brussel Sprout Leaves, and “Sauce Colbert” Tasted even better than it looks!
Granny Smith Apple Relish, Pine Nut Shortbread and Field Arugula Vinaigrette
FLOWERING QUINCE SORBET
and “Cardamon Panacotta” and Ginger Snap “Tuile”
Cashew Nut “Parfait” Caramel Delice and “Sauce a la Guimauve Flambe”
“VOL AU VENT”
Followed by “MINARDISES” and tea or coffee