The French Laundry has been closed for renovations since December (which unfortunately began with a Christmas Day break-in), but Bay Area foodies will still be able to get their fill of the esteemed restaurant’s fare. The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group will be opening a pop-up restaurant nearby at the Silverado Resort and Spa. The temporary eatery, appropriately named Ad Lib, will take over the property’s Royal Oak restaurant from January 21 until the reopening of The French Laundry.
Chefs hope to serve not only tourists to Napa Valley, but French Laundry regulars who might otherwise be upset by the restaurant’s estimated eight month closing. The move also allows owner Thomas Keller to hold onto chefs, employees and vendors during the hiatus. “Our relationships are invaluable—they are the heartbeat of our restaurant group,” Keller said in a statement. “It is vital that we remain committed to doing our part during the renovation.”
Ad Lib will be serving a casual take on American classics reimagined by Keller, executive chef Devin Knell, French Laundry chef de cuisine David Breeden and French Laundry sous chef Michael Wallace. Caesar salad and steak tartare, root vegetable pot pie, braised beef short rib Wellington, fruitwood smoked kielbasa, Black Angus chop steak, broiled Alaskan king crab legs and a seven-layer coconut cake are among the highlights of the new menu. “It is always inspiring to see our plans come to life and this simple concept of traditional, straightforward food is no exception to that,” said Keller.
Open for dinner five nights a week (Thursday through Monday), the pop-up will offer a full bar and a simple wine list of domestic and Old World labels. A private dining room will accommodate up to 14 guests at a time and complimentary valet parking will also be available. Main courses will be priced from $30-$60.