Dinner at The French Laundry

Becky Paskin - 30/03/2012

The French Laundry’s daily changing tasting menu is heavily influenced by the ingredients available to chef Thomas Keller each day – whether from it’s lamb rearer in Pennsylvania; the lobster supplier in Maine; or the vegetable garden situated across the street tended to so lovingly by culinary gardener Tucker Taylor. So despite a few regular appearances from signature dishes such as ‘Oysters and Pearls’, the French-American menu is almost certain to provide diners with a unique experience every time. Excited to see how Keller and head sommelier Dennis Kelly pair wines from the beautiful surrounding Napa and Sonoma Valleys, we headed to The French Laundry in early March for dinner.   Canapes Served with 1999 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru from Salon, Le Mesnil  

Choux pastry with gooey gruyeux filling   

Buttery cornets topped with fresh salmon and a creamy red onion creme fraiche  

Oyster leaves coated with sticky cocktail sauce, presented on a bed of crushed ice  

Fava Bean Veloute Thick Fava Bean Veloute with Serrano Ham 'Gelee', creamy Egg Yolk Emulsion and Truffle Croquette  

'Oysters and Pearls' Keller's signature dish. Sabayon of Pearl Tapioca, poached Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar  

Dungeness Crab 'en Feuille de Brick'
Sweet, crispy pastry cigar filled with tender Dungeness Crab, Hass Avocado, Petite Radish, Horseradish and Garden Blossoms  

Shad Roe 'Porridge' Upperwood Smoked Sturgeon and tangy Satsuma Mandarin Rice Snap 'Raisins' Served with 2010 Gruner Veltliner 'Rotes Tor', from Hirtzberger, Federspiel, Wachau  

Hen Egg Custard Creamy Hen Egg Custard with a White Truffle and Mushroom Base, topped with a rich Perigord Truffle and Veal Ragu with a Potato Chip Served with Blue Apron Ale, Brooklyn Brewery  

Salad of Marble Potatoes Blue and Golden Potatoes with Pearl Onions, Miners Lettuce, 'Soubise' and Black Winter Truffle with a White Sesame Puree and Black Oil Reduction  

Moulard Duck Foie Gras 'Pastrami' Soft cured Foie Gras with Knell's Speck Ham, pickled Tokyo Turnips, Sorrel, Caraway 'Gastrique' and Brioche  

Australian Hiramasa Collar 'En Cocotte' Succulent Hiramasa with Abalone Mushroom, Sea Beans, Pine and Citrusy Yuzu Vinaigrette Served with 2006 'Alteni di Brassica' from Gaja, Langhe  

Maine Sea Scallop 'Confit' Sliced Scallops with Beef Tendons, Fennel Bulbs, Cara Cara Orange and Osmanthus 'Vierge' Served with 2009 Chardonnay from Kongsgaard, Napa Valley  

Sweet Butter-Poached Maine Lobster Tail Meaty Butter-Poached Lobster Tail with Stinging Nettle Barbajuan made with a crunchy Olive Oil Dough, Nantes Carrot and creamy but bitter Parsley Root Veloute   

English Pea 'Agnolotti' Hobbs' Bacon, Castelmagno Nuage and Shaved Black Winter Truffles  

Salmon Creek Farm Pork 'Jowl'
Smokey and sweet Pork Jowl with Corn Pone, Savoy Cabbage, Noble Maple Syrup and 'Dijonnaise' Served with 2002 Pinot Noir from Kistler, Sonoma Coast    

'Steak and Eggs' Snake River Farms' juicy and tender 'Calotte de Boeuf Grillee', soft poached Quail Egg, Swiss Chard, crispy Onion Rings and 'Steak Sauce' Served with 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon 'Eisele Vineyard' from Araujo, Napa Valley    

Meyer Lemon Sorbet Soft Ricotta Pound Cake with Toasted 'Meringue' Marshmallow and creamy Lemon Curd Served with 2005 Vouvray 'Domaine du Clos Naudin' Demi-Sec from Philippe Foreau, Loire Valley  

'Pimm's Cup' Cool, icy Pimm's 'Granite', Ginger Ale, Garden Mint Osmanthus 'Foam' and refreshing Cucumber Sorbet Served with 1954 Barbeito Malvasia 'Reserva Velha' from Madeira    

Milk Chocolate and Peanut Butter 'Mousse' Rich Milk Chocolate Mousse with Gros Michael Banana, Oregon Huckleberries, Brioche Puree and Dehydrated Milk Chip with decorative blossoms Served with 1977 Graham's Vintage Port