I have this crazy girlfriend with whom I've eaten some important meals. When I turned 21, we ate dinner together with a group of our girlfriends in Tours, France, at a seafood restaurant on the Rue Nationale.I went to visit her in California after my first term of law school and we ate here. Because I'm a weirdo, I always thought of this billboard from The Great Gatsby when I saw the restaurant's owner.
Is this why nobody wants to be friends with me?
A few years after that meal, we got together again in the Old West and ate here. This is when I became a grown-up. We have also had some not-so-glamorous meals together, mainly consisting of Mexican food, steaks at 3am, and Flap Jack skillet breakfasts.
Although she now leads an east-coast life, this little lady is a Michigander at heart, and a Fentonite (Fentonian?) specifically. I've had my eye on The French Laundry in her hometown for some time and while she was home over the holidays I offered to come to her neck of the woods to eat everything in site and hear about her recent world tour.
"World tour" is not an exaggeration. She went all over the place, including a week-long stint at a yoga retreat in Sri Lanka. I am green. I despise the phrase "bucket list," but throw that on mine.
The French Laundry is shocking. I, frankly, expected it to be a dump. Come on- it's in Fenton, in the middle of nowhere, and nobody knows nothing about food over there! How wrong I was. Fenton is a charming little town and the restaurant is beautiful. The waitress was incredible. She was throwing recommendations around right and left, she knew the menu backwards and forwards. She suggested the scotch eggs as an appetizer, which I had had stuck in my mind since the first time I laid eyes on the menu. Scotch eggs, while they sound weird, are DELICIOUS. If you think you don't like them, then get away from the table and leave the rest of them for me.
I started with a sliced tomato salad, mainly because I was so excited that it didn't have cheese in it. I hate cheese. I know, string me up. The vinaigrette was perfect. My entree was the New York strip, which was ok. I usually have a filet when red meat is an option and was trying to branch out here, but a strip isn't my favorite cut of meat. Stupidly, I have tested this hypothesis all too frequently in the last few weeks. (Is a NY strip supposed to have that strip of fat on it? Is that where the name comes from? Help me.)
Next time, I will get the coffee-crusted tenderloin. I'm a sucker for horseradish. For dessert, we got a half serving of the bread pudding and a creme brulee. Maybe I've been utterly spoiled by the bread pudding at the Soup Spoon, but this stuff was seriously lacking. It was dry and unappetizing. I didn't eat more than two bites.
Ok, I ate five bites, but that was in the name of scientific research.
The creme brulee was creme brulee. Not much more to say about that. But the company was what made the meal sweet. Cheers, Anna.