F&W EXCLUSIVE: Thomas Keller Reveals the Menu for Ad Lib, Compares the French Laundry Redesign to the Louvre

Ad Lib's Parker House rolls Courtesy of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group
By Lawrence Marcus Posted January 16, 2015

The French Laundry is closed for renovations. But on Wednesday, its team will open the doors to their new project: Ad Lib, a pop-up at Silverado Resort and Spa.

The French Laundry is closed for renovations. But on Wednesday, its team will open the doors to their new project: Ad Lib, a pop-up at Silverado Resort and Spa (the PGA-level Napa club that was developed in the '60s and is now owned in part by golf legend Johnny Miller). F&W got an exclusive early look at the menu. "We wanted to respect the history of the property," Thomas Keller told us. To that end, you'll find Caesar salad that's prepared tableside, steak tartare and broiled crab legs, but executed by the same super-elite cooks trained to make iconic Keller dishes like salmon cornets and Oysters and Pearls. TFL fans will also recognize some familiar suppliers: lamb chops from Pennsylvania's vaunted Elysian Fields Farm and beef from Snake River Farms in Idaho. The team will be operating in just a small portion of the Silverado's kitchen, but Keller stresses that the quality of the cooking will be as high as always. "The standards at all of our restaurants are exactly the same," he said. "It's only the formats that are different."

See the full menu here.

Keller also revealed new detail on The French Laundry's redesign. The property will get two brand-new buildings (the kitchen and offices), and he hinted that the aesthetic might offer a hyper-contemporary contrast to The French Laundry's landmarked early-1900s main structure. "We started on this project with a vision of the Louvre," Keller says. "When I lived in Paris, the Louvre was this historic, iconic building that had an extraordinary history, but it was just that. And then I.M. Pei put in the Pyramid. It was a very contemporary juxtaposition between the old and the new. And so The French Laundry, to me, represents the Louvre in a way."

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