Yountville 2013! Michelin Stars Rain Down Again!
Like these hot air balloons landing in Yountville California, the Michelin Guide has, once again, rained stars down on Yountville’s restaurants!
Congratulations, Yountville! Once again, this idyllic town in Napa Valley has the most concentrated collection of Michelin stars in the world!
In the latest edition of the highly anticipated MICHELIN Guide San Francisco Bay Area & Wine Country 2013, 42 restaurants have been awarded Michelin stars. Both restaurants that achieved three Michelin stars in 2012 — The French Laundry and The Restaurant at Meadowood — maintained this honor. Three Michelin stars is considered the utmost international recognition in the culinary world, and is reserved for those restaurants that serve “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.”
5 Stars, 5 Blocks!
That’s right, this year there are 5 coveted Michelin Stars in just 5 blocks of Yountville – and you get the gorgeous scenery as a bonus! You see, Yountville is SURROUNDED by vineyards, because you are in the heart of wine country….
Welcome to paradise!
Behold Yountville, California!
Nestled in the heart of California’s premiere wine country, this small town of 3,000 is a gateway to the vineyards of Napa Valley…
The town of Yountville exudes charm, while also providing terrific hotels, tasting rooms and restaurants to visitors year round….all within a town that is bucolic and serene…
Yes, I sound like a member of the Chamber of Commerce, but it is our favorite getaway – a beautiful town to explore and enjoy…
Yountville has a number of great places to eat: Michael Chiarello’s Bottega, or Bob Hurley’s self-titled “Hurley’s” – and of course the terrific Bistro Jeanty…
With so many terrific restaurants like Bottega, Bistro Jeanty and Hurley’s in Yountville – you can never go wrong with food, and they are all worth checking out – but the “King of Yountville” is Chef Thomas Keller…
THE FRENCH LAUNDRY – 3 Michelin Stars!
It is unassuming yet elegant – and it is one of the greatest restaurants in the world – The French Laundry.
Here is one reason why: the exquisite Snake River Farms “Calotte de Boeuf Grillee” – which we were served on our last visit – the most intense and flavorful beef I have ever had – and of course, gorgeously presented by an expert yet friendly staff.
Thomas Keller is America’s greatest Chef, a master of food who has 2 three-Michelin-starred restaurants – “The French Laundry” in Yountville, and “Per Se” in New York City – plus his french bistro Bouchon, the Bouchon Bakery, and his casual restaurant Ad Hoc. Every day in Yountville you will see this: the line of people waiting to get freshly baked bread at the bakery…
Chef Keller has won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, notably the Best California Chef in 1996, and the Best Chef in America in 1997. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his accomplishments.
In 2005, he was awarded the three star rating in the inaugural Michelin Guide for New York for his restaurant Per Se, and in 2006, he was awarded three stars in the inaugural Michelin Guide to the Bay Area for The French Laundry. One reason he is so acclaimed is because he is so dedicated. Here is a shot of him – just another day for him in Yountville, walking from The French Laundry to his restaurant at the other end of town, Ad Hoc.
He is the only American chef to have been awarded simultaneous three star Michelin ratings for two different restaurants.
“It’s All About Finesse” –
That is what Chef Keller wrote on Alex’s menu the last time we ate at The French Laundry – he was still there working when we toured the kitchen on a Wednesday night at 11:15pm.
The building that houses The French Laundry dates back to 1900, and is in the National Register of Historic Places.
One of the nice touches about the restaurant is when you dine at the Laundry, you receive a clothes pin to take home…a fun little gift that also adds a touch of whimsy to the meal…
Yes, it is a 3+ hour event when you eat at The Laundry, but you have fun – they keep it light as they serve you the greatest food you’ve ever had…
Oysters & Pearls
Among the iconic dishes served are Oysters & Pearls, a silky custard topped by two tiny poached oysters and a dollop of caviar, oysters & pearls.
Poached Lobster Mitts!
Or check out the poached lobster mitts above – a beautiful, classical dish that uses Keller’s sous vide method of cooking…
Before you go in to eat, check out the French Laundry gardens, located right across the street and open to the public. What you will be eating is growing right here…Oh, and say hello to the chickens as well:
The food at every Keller restaurant is unique, yet follows the same exacting standards as the Laundry – like this egg custard served in an egg shell…
And now, if you dare, you can make it yourself!
The French Laundry Cookbook! – by Thomas Keller with Susie Heller and Michael Ruhlman
In “The French Laundry Cookbook”, Chef Keller articulates his passion for food – and offers home cooks a way to duplicate the level of perfection that makes him one of the best chefs in the world.
This cookbook provides 150 recipes exactly as they are used at Keller’s restaurant. It is also his culinary manifesto, in which he shares the unique creative processes that led him to invent Peas and Carrots–a succulent pillow of a lobster paired with pea shoots and creamy ginger-carrot sauce–and other high-wire culinary acts.
This is the gold standard of cookbooks – the most beautiful food in the world explained with terrific insight and perspective…Here are Keller and Ruhlman together…
“Cooking is not about convenience, and it’s not about shortcuts. Take your time. Move slowly and deliberately, and with great attention,” writes Keller, “the great challenge [of cooking] is… to derive deep satisfaction from the mundane.”
Bouchon Bistro – 1 Michelin Star!
Chef Keller’s Yountville bistro, Bouchon, also was awarded a Michelin star – great bistro food in a relaxed but highly professional environment. Along with a fresh raw bar, you can get classic like French Onion soup and roast chicken. Bouchon is so popular that there is an offshoot is Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. Bouchon also has a cookbook:
Keller believes that the real art of cooking lies in elevating to excellence the simplest ingredients; that bistro cooking embodies at once a culinary ethos of generosity, economy, and simplicity; that the techniques at its foundation are profound, and the recipes at its heart have a powerful ability to nourish and please.
The restaurant is just two blocks south of The French Laundry, and the bakery is right next door.
If you can’t get into TFL, these are great dining experiences as well…
This is bistro food. Plus, don’t forget the fresh Bouchon Bakery bread – go to the window at the bakery and watch them as they bake!
This is how the restaurant describes itself: Opened in November 2005 in Yountville, in the heart of the Napa Valley, Redd is the first venture from acclaimed Northern California chef Richard Reddington, formerly of Masa’s and Jardiniere in San Francisco, and Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley.
Reddington offers an updated interpretation of wine country cuisine with influences from Asia, Europe, and Mexico in a relaxed yet elegant environment.
Redd reflects the passions of a serious chef who, after spending 15 years in some of the best kitchens in the United States and Europe, has found the perfect balance of serious food and unpretentious environment.
Chef Reddington says, ‘With Redd, I’ve created the type of restaurant that I like to spend time at — an inviting place that serves creative food and thoughtfully chosen wines in an elegant, contemporary space.’
For the second year in a row, Michelin has bestowed a star on Chef Reddington’s terrific food – congratulations!
And please check out Yountville, once of the most beautiful towns in the world!