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Recent Napa trip (French Laundry/La Toque) Long

jrdeal | May 29, 200507:38 PM

I just wanted to post to let everyone know how wonderful the food and servce were at FL and La Toque this past weekend. My wife and I celebrated our 10th aniversary at The French Laundry on Saturday and I thought I would pass along the menu and wine parings.
We both had the chef's tasting menu...
Here goes...
1st course... Califlower "Panna Cotta" with Point Reyes oyster glaze and Russian Sevruga Caviar was paired with a Txomin Extaniz, Hondarribi from Txacoli,Spain 2004.

2nd Course...I had a salad of Big Island hearts of peach palm with field rhubarb "confit" and perigord truffle syrup.
My wife had the Terrine of poached moulard duck "foie Gras" with pickled muscat grapes,Jacobsen's Farm clear almonds,"gastririque au verjus" and young parsley leaves.
This course was paired with a Joh. Jos. Cristoffel, Reisling,Auslese,Mosel-Saar 2000

3rd course...was a sauteed filet of Pacific Kahala amandine with melted Belgian endive and brown butter gastrique

4th course... was Maine lobster tail "Cuit Sous Vide" with Sonoma heirloom carrots,watercress puree and sweet carrot emulsion.
We had a Yves Cuilleron,Voignier, "Les Chaillets" Condrieu, 2003 with course 3 and 4.

5th course...was an all day braised Hobb's Shore "Poitrine de Pork" with glazed turnip Parisienne,ramp bulbs and a whole grain mustard sauce.

6th course...was Snake River Farm "Calotte De Bouef Grillee" with California Cepe mushrooms, wild lillt bulbs, butter braised Jacobsen's Farm "La Ratte" potatoes and sauce bordelaise.
We drank Colgin, Cabernet Savignon, "Cariad" Napa Valley 2001 with the meat courses.

Cheese course...was Saint Nectaire with poached royal Blenhiem apricot, fennel salad and nicoise olive oil

Dessert courses were... Hayden mango sorbet, Yuzo scented genoise,Goma nougatine and black sesame coulis and
a "Tentation Au Cocholate Noisette et Lait" which was a milk chocolate "Cremuex", hazelnut streusel with madagascar vanilla ice cream and sweetened salty hazelnuts.
Fir the cheese and desserts we drank a Kiralyudvar, Tokasi," Cuvee Ilona", Hungary 1999

They did start us off with a couple amuse bouche...the 1st was a guryere puff pastry followed by the famous sesame cone of Salmon with creme freche.
There were also mignardises...I can't remember them all, but I do remember an excellent macaroon! and some really nice chocolates.

I can't start to cover the entire meal, but the califlower panna cotta,caviar dish was one of the best bites of food I have ever tasted. The foie gras was served with thick slabs of brioche and they brought out extra warm pieces during the course. Being from the Memphis area..I am not easily swayed by pork dishes, but pork was wonderful. The skin was crunchy with the fat dripping into both the light and dark meat!
The wine parings were dead on...our Captain never missed a beat and led us to the correct wines for our palate...Overall a great way to spend 3.5 hours on your aniverary...We are already looking forward to our next trip.
La Toque was also excellent and was a little less than half the cost of the meal at The French Laundry...not nearly as elegant but, nonetheless wonderful. The menu was pretty much what is listed on their web site and I would very much recommend the wine parings. I was fortunate enough to get a glass of 2001 Lagier Meredith Syrah with my lamb dish and I am still thinking about that glass of wine!!!
Sorry the post was so long, but there is no way to do justice to the 20 or so courses without alot of words...
Happy reading

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