Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to get reservations at Napa Valley's French Laundry

After my earlier story on Yountville's Michelin-starred restaurants (see below), I heard a few more insider tips on booking a table at one of the Napa Valley's (and California’s) most famous and honored restaurants. The nice folks at Yountville's The French Laundry, shown at right (photo by Deborah Jones) sent me a follow-up note. Kristine Keefer, of the French Laundry’s team, offers some help on booking a table at this famous (and famously busy) landmark.

First, know that they only book two months out. “We do release several tables to to help guests from overseas and other time zones to make a reservation without having to wait for 10 AM pacific time to do so,” Keefer notes. 

She adds that, if a caller does not get in initially, you should have your name added to the waitlist and leave the best number to reach you while traveling. “We get cancellations all the time—from cancelled flights to changes in plans,” she says, “and this way, if we get a last minute cancellation, our reservationists will be able to reach you immediately.”

Finally, Keefer recommends checking cancellations/availabilities WITHIN the two-month window and to call and make these inquiries later in the day when the phone lines are lighter. “That way, our reservationists will be able to spend more time with you to search for available tables,” she says.

Thanks, Kristine. You’ve given us all hope!

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