Eating to Live on the Outside: The French Laundry

Okay, before I begin, let me point out that I’m not much of a world traveler or a restaurant connessieur for that matter. So when my friend suggested The French Laundry for this week’s Eating to Live on the Outside, I paused, and shot him a look like a dog watching television—head-cocked to the side, wide-eyed, and confused. That’s a restaurant? I asked. He assured me it was. I guess the stains on my shirt will have to wait.

The French Laundry boasts a bountiful menu—mostly of dishes I can’t pronounce—loaded with exotic entrees and fancy ingredients. Naturally, I can’t really picture myself eating at a place like this—my collar’s too blue. If I walked in they’d probably mistake me for the help. Okay, but for the purposes of this post let’s pretend I’m a Hollywood mogul with a young starlet at my side—nice! So, um, pardon me monsieur, but I am ready to order.

The first thing to grab my attention was the Salad of Sacramento. As we’ve learned from previous installments salad is usually a safe-haven for Eat to Livers. In this case, it’s a safe-haven for the guy who really doesn’t comprehend the rest of the menu. The Salad of Sacramento is prepared with delta green asparagus, spring garlic, sweet peppers, arugula, and yellow pepper “gastrique.” Ah yes, gastrique—what the heck is gastrique? According to Wikipedia gastrique is a thick sauce produced by a reduction of vinegar or wine, sugar and, usually, fruit. Well, given the amount of veggies here—i.e. phytonutrients—I’m okay with making the sugar my concession. Cool, I’m feeling Frenchier already!

This next item jumped up at me because Dr. Fuhrman lists beets as one of his ten super foods. The Slow-Roasted Heirloom Beets are prepared with grilled and shaved fennel bulb, cara cara orange “confit”, and “Vinaigrette a L’Estragon.” And how! Yup, I have no idea what confit is, and virtually brain-dead regarding Vinaigrette a L’Estragon—although it sounds cool. Help Wikipedia, help me! Confit, in this case anyway, is fruit infused with a sugar core. Estragon is the French word for tarragon. Once again I’m willing to make this sugary concession. Since beets are so good for you, I’m not about to let a little sugar rain on my parade—or should I say, pleuvoir sur ma parade. Hey I’m getting good at this. Just call me Gerry “L'Abattoir” Pugliese.

Now pour le final dish that caught my eye—did I just speak French again? Sacre bleu! I’ve never heard of Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms before, but I really like mushrooms and I’m willing to taste test almost anything, so what the heck! The mushrooms come with French Laundry garden heirloom carrots, Tokyo turnips, spring garlic, and “Jus de Legumes Rotis.” Which from my best estimation is juice from Rotis beans, but I could be wrong. Since this dish is entirely veggies, there’s got to be some phytonutrients in there. I’d ask the wait-staff for confirmation on the Rotis juice because as it stands right now I don’t see myself having to make any concessions—which is definitely a good thing! You won’t find that Denny’s.

So despite stumbling through the menu, I think The French Laundry is a great choice. They offer plenty of veggie-based dishes that would leave any Eat to Liver feeling pretty good about themselves. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why they were voted fourth on The World’s 50 Best Resturants of 2006.

And as always, nous voulons vos réactions! Nous dire que vous pourriez avoir fait différemment. Payer la note le menu français de la Lessive et savons comment que vous Mange pour Habiter sur l'Extérieur? Partir un commentaire ou nous envoie un e-mail à
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