The French Laundry's First Major Renovation Is Complete

Thomas Keller's Napa Valley restaurant, which has remained unchanged throughout the chef's 23 year tenure, officially has a new look.

The French Laundry
Michael Grimm

The French Laundry, Thomas Keller's three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Yountville, California, recently completed a major design overhaul. Here are the results.

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Keller opened the restaurant in 1994 in a building that dates to the early 1900s. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm
Design firm Snøhetta spent time observing Keller and his team in the kitchen.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm

"With the Louvre Pyramid as my inspiration, we wanted to find a way to juxtapose the historic and the modern while maintaining the high quality cuisine and service our guests have come to expect from The French Laundry," Keller said. "The new design is an innovative and functioning space that will allow us to continue to evolve as a restaurant and develop new standards."

A new kitchen annex houses a butchery and wine cellar that can hold 15,000 bottles.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm
The new, 2,000-square-foot kitchen was designed with chefs in mind.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm

Snøhetta’s concept, which offers 25 percent more working space than the previous kitchen, "not only optimizes efficiency but also fosters a meaningful environment for the chefs who work there, setting a stage for cuisine that ignites the senses," according to press materials.

Light was important to the architects.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm

"The quality of light and the open, comfortable feeling of the new kitchen helps transform a high-pressure Michelin-starred restaurant kitchen into a lively and authentic creative space," says Snøhetta founding partner Craig Dykers. "The new kitchen does not feel institutional, nor is it domestic. It is a mix of both kinds of spaces, creating a new kind of room for the evolving contemplation and the artistic innovation of a meal."

Chefs can see all the stations throughout the kitchen.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm
For guests, the dining experience starts at this signature blue front door.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm

It was not touched during the renovation.

Kallos Turin renovated the landmarked dining room.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm
Guests can dine outdoors.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm
The renovation took four years.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm

The multiple wood types and colors in the original interior spaces were sanded and stained to a single rich walnut tone.

Guests can peek into the kitchen before they head inside.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm
There's an outdoor courtyard.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm
To visit, you'll need to plan ahead.
The French Laundry
Michael Grimm

Reservations are available , but they book up about two months in advance.

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