How to get in without a reservation at The French Laundry
It's entirely possible, and I've got proof!
My friends Liz and John were The French Laundry again yesterday -they are going for the record of having the most meals there, I think- and they told me this story. At the lunch, after about the 10th course, John was taking his usual break in the front garden when he spotted a ragged and forlorn looking lost dog wandering near the front door. Dear John picked up the poor dog and went to find Jen, the hostess, to see about finding the dog's rightful owner. Laura, the GM, decided that John should take the dog to a safe place, which in this case was the office, while Jen made phone calls to find the dog's home.
John went back to finish his lunch, and a few courses later, Lizzie took her break and decided to go check on the welfare of the mangy dog. She found the dog happily fed in the office, Thomas -yes, Thomas Keller- had cooked dinner for him. Not just any dinner even, he made a steak dinner for the poor animal, a culotte steak, done beautifully rare and sliced perfectly. The ragged thing got a French Laundry meal cooked by Thomas himself, without a reservation and a 2-month wait like the rest of us. Lucky dawg.
The moral of the story is it's sometimes good to be a dog, I suppose. If I showed up there ragged, lost, and underfed at the French Laundry's front door, would I get a steak cooked by Thomas Keller you think? Oh, wait, lost, ragged, and underfed? I might have done that already. :-P