The French Laundry

Overall Rating: 6.800

Address: 6640 Washington St.
Cross Street(s): Creek St.
City, State ZIP: Yountville, CA 94599
Neighborhood: N/A
Phone: 707.944.2380
Hours: M-Th 5:30pm-9:15pm; F-Su 11am-1pm & 5:30pm-9:15pm
Type of Establishment: Restaurant
Cafe Rating:
Barista: 7
Savvy: 7
Ambiance: 7
Presentation: 9
Consistency: N/A
Espresso Machine: Schaerer
Coffee Rating:
Aroma: 6
Body: 6
Brightness: 6
Crema: 6
Flavor: 6
Taster's Correction: +0.5
Size: L
Primary Taste: Warming
Coffee Beans: Equator Estate Coffees
Cup Manufacturer: Raynaud
Price: N/A
Last Update: 12/12/2006
First Reviewed: 12/12/2006
Notes: N/A


An espresso review for a restaurant where the cheapest item on the dinner menu is $210 may seem a bit irrelevant, but it is important for what it represents: a gold standard for food and wine. The question: given such immense expectations, how do they deliver on their espresso?

Two floors of dining in a stone house. The wait staff are serious, professional, and rather stiff. Chef Thomas Keller is a longtime fan of Equator coffee, but the superautomatic Schaerer was a bit of a surprise; the staff seem blissfully ignorant of what it takes to make a decent espresso. They serve espresso with a somewhat frothy medium brown crema that's not very thick, but it coats the cup well. It has a decent body and a more interesting and complex flavor than drip coffee. But otherwise, its modest flavor of mild spice and some herbal pungency does not distinguish it much. There isn't a robust aroma, a bold depth of flavor, or even a delicate sweetness to the cup that I would expect from a restaurant of its caliber.

I expect more than the same coffee service you can get with a $9 turkey club from Sellers Markets.