This is The French Laundry (http://www.thomaskeller.com/yountville-california/french-laundry/restaurant) , a place I have heard and read about ever since it began. Foodies I know speak of it, with a reverence usually reserved for saints. My parents loved this place. As soon as I saw the turn off for Yountville, off of the Silverado Trail in glorious wine country, I veered right and made the pilgrimage to the mecca of gastronomic delight.
I know it is incredibly hedonistic, but i have always aspired to having a meal at The French Laundry, even it is just to see what all the fuss is about. It is exhorbitantly and expensively out of my reach at the moment, but some day soon, I will realize this goal.
I was a little surprised at the scale of the town, even though I had read all the details in several different publications. It just all looked so normal. There were no glowing apparitions of Thomas Keller appearing off of the balcony, which disappointed me a little.
Since it was past lunch time, instead of drooling and making a nuisance of myself in front of the restaurant, I made my way down to the Yountville Deli, a few blocks down. The sun was shining as tourists lined up at Bouchon Bakery, waiting for their chance to pore over the macaron choices in the case.
The Yountville Deli (http://yountvilledeli.com) is attached to the Oakville Grocery. I had a very nice turkey and cheese sandwich, with a nice pesto sauce, but I am afraid my taste buds were expecting something a bit more exciting. I had meant to order roast beef, instead of roast turkey, but I was in a devotee's fog from being so close to my culinary dream.
The artwork below sits on a corner in Yountville, and is titled "Abundance," which, along with "Grace" seems to be a recurring theme on this trip.
I laugh every time it happens, but I keep finding pennies. And then this in a high school parking lot in Napa, where I pulled in.
Loved this display of public art in Yountville.