Meadowood Restaurant WSJ+ Event vs Single Thread vs The French Laundry?

Last week, I attended a Wall Street Journal + (WSJ+) dinner at the restaurant at Meadowood.  I was curious as to how this meal would compare to the other three Michelin star restaurants in the area, namely, Single Thread and The French Laundry.

Note that its been a couple of years since I went to the French Laundry, and the meal I had at Meadowood was part of an event, so I do not know how indicative it is of the restaurant’s regular tasting menu.

I also stayed at the resort which I will review in a later post.

The evening started with a walk through the dining room, and a viewing of the kitchen, some drinks, and canapes (salad roll, white asparagus, beignet chesnut miso and oysters).  I did not take pics of the canapes.  We also got to take photos with the chef – Chris Kostow.

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All wine pairings and drinks were included.  The WSJ+ charged $750 pp for the event.  The first course was Escabeche of Garden Broccoli Clams.  The vegetables were extremely fresh and the clams had a lot of excellent ocean flavor.

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Next was an absolutely luxurious caviar tendon cultured butter sabayon.  Everything was under the sabayon.

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The next dish I thought was brilliant even though I do not like abalone.  It was a cabbage abalone roll.

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For the fish course, Local Sole cover corp smoked collar rillette.

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….and the last savory course was a beef (I’m pretty sure it was Wagyu) smoked in dried onion tops.

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Before Sauce
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After Sauce

For the cheese course, black truffle veined blue cheese beeswax pear and some bread.

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Next up, the desserts.  I felt the desserts were lacking and they could of provided more.

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The evening finished with a Q&A session with the chef followed by more drinks.  To take home, they gave us a cookbook from the chef, some beeswax caramels and some bourbon tea.

So which of the three did I enjoy most?  Well, because its been a few years since I went to the French Laundry, I will not comment.  I do remember it being the most formal of the three, and the service there was conducted like an orchestra.  Everything in sync.

On Single Thread vs Meadowood here is my opinion:

Presentation of food.  I would have to give to Single Thread.

“Entertainment” factor of the food I would also have to go with Single Thread.

Technical complexity of the meal – Single Thread

Service – Meadowood

Taste – This is a tough one, but overall, I liked my meal at Meadowood more.

Value – This is a tough one also.  I felt like the meal at Meadowood could of used a couple more savory and sweet dishes.  I would probably go with Single Thread on this one.

Overall – If you have the opportunity to go to both I would say do so.  They are quite different in their flavors and techniques.   However, in the end, I think taste and service are the two most important parts of a meal so if I had to choose one, I would go to Meadowood. 9.5/10

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