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French Laundry preparation questions and last minute surrounding meals

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French Laundry preparation questions and last minute surrounding meals

lrealml | Mar 8, 2011 04:24 PM

So we are finally doing the big one this Saturday for our 5th Anniversary....
We are driving up Friday early evening and staying in Napa through Sunday. We have lunch reservations at 11 am on Sat. at the French Laundry... I have a few last minute questions...

First off, should one of us do the veg menu? We want to try as many different things as possible; however, typically the meat courses are more interesting to us. What I would really want to do is to have the veg option for the courses where there is only one meat option (and would both be getting the same thing) and the alternate meat option for the other courses, but I am not sure that they would allow that....

Secondly, do they still offer a wine pairing? I have read contradicting things... If so, we were thinking about sharing one pairing. If not, we are planning on telling the sommelier that we would like to spend $250 on wine... is this enough lately or should we bump it to $300? Also, how much wine will that normally get us (for example compared to the tasting at Manresa or Acquerello ; this also helps answer my next question)?

We are still debating on how we are getting to Yountville.... My SO has a high tolerance and super fast metabolism, and he may be able to drive us home at the pace we will be eating/drinking (also if it is a nice day, we can walk around some afterward if I bring a change of shoes). But in case he is not comfortable, anyone know how much a taxi to Napa is?

Coffee and Donuts - I keep reading that you can/should ask for this... How do you go about doing that (should it be ahead of time)? Also, does it come as an extra course (and is there an extra charge?) or does it come instead of something else (in that case is it worth missing out on something else)?

Finally, other restaurants.... in all my thinking about the French Laundry, I completely forgot that we will also have to eat Friday night, Saturday night (maybe), and Sunday lunch... I looked and unfortunately most of the places that I want to try or retry are already booked. (Ubuntu still has reservations Fri. and Sat, so we can probably do them for one meal; we haven't been since Fox left).
Anyway, I am looking for suggestions on nice places where we can either walk in and eat at the bar or good restaurants that still have reservations open (or don't take them at all). For Fri. and Sat. night we will probably want to stay within 15-20 minutes of Napa; Sunday for lunch we are more open to driving further. I don't want to wing it because the last time we did that we would up with some disgusting vanilla balsamic pork dish at the now closed Napa Valley Grille... Any help would be appreciated (btw we eat everything and anything)

Thanks in Advance

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