Restaurant, Travel, Tourism, French Laundry Yountville Calif Restaurant, Singlethread

Restaurant, Travel

On California’s Delicious (and Dull) Luxury Dining Circuit

Our critic @tejalrao checks out the appeal of a holy trinity of Napa-area restaurants


Our critic tejalrao checks out the appeal of a holy trinity of Napa-area restaurants

The French Laundry, the Restaurant at Meadowood and SingleThread have much in common: amazing precision, sky-high prices and a sedating sort of predictability.

At times, overwhelmed by the opulence, I felt like a character in a sci-fi movie who had sneaked onto a spaceship for the 1 percent, now orbiting a burning planet.

The servers brought the gold-rimmed dish sets out and placed them down in unison. After lifting the egg tops and revealing the macaroni, they rained down a messy shower of black truffles, half on the food and half on the table, filling the air with perfume.

At the end of a meal, caught up in conversation with friends, I forgot about my espresso. A few minutes went by and maybe the coffee cooled, and the toffee-colored crema dissipated. Without asking or making a show of it, a server brought out a hot one to replace it. The staff exuded confidence and warmth, and their attentiveness was thorough

Christopher Kostow has been the restaurant’s chef since 2008.

The restaurant had the vibe of a modernist country club — not only elite, but slightly wary of new members.

SingleThread opened in 2016, and is now one of three restaurants in the area with three Michelin stars.

The restaurant served a few glasses from local wineries as part of a wine pairing, including a mellow, herbaceous 1998 cabernet sauvignon from

When diners arrive at their tables at SingleThread, each one is set like a wedding banquet for magical woodland creatures — a feast of miniature dishes arranged on a long slab of moss and flowers and slate, served in shells or small pieces of pottery. There are slivers of fish, ripe fruit, custards and jellies.

nearby. Two hours into your meal, you’re likely to notice him at another table, cheerfully performing the same routine.

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