(Off topic) A review of the French Laundry by Admiral Specialist First Lieutenant General Master Sergeant First Class Agent Orange Double O Delta SEAL Marksman Jeff and his team of Special Ops earth worms.

The day Catherine and I drove up to Napa from SF for our second visit to the French Laundry began like most days: I was up early, while Catherine slept in, blissfully unaware of all the packing and general tidying up I was doing before we would depart around noon. Finishing my tasks as the sun rose over The Bay, I then contacted my support team, which would be performing recon and force protection for our trip north.

The team is top secret, but what I can reveal is that it consists of Special Ops earth worms, a sniper, a satellite and a few ICBMs (only for extreme situations).

At 11:30, Catherine finally arose, showered, and strolled to the car, confident that I had planned and prepared everything to perfection. We headed out over the Golden Gate and as we sped through San Rafael, I used my toe-enabled shoe phone to send an SMS to the earth worms, requesting that they advance on the soil surrounding French Laundry’s kitchen and perform toxin and radiation analysis. Within minutes – they have vehicular technology – I received their report, which was projected onto my HUD equipped glasses. All clear. Using my shoe phone again, I SMSed the sniper and my ICBM facility requesting that they confirm their readiness. Again, my HUD told me what I needed to know: everything was in place and on high alert.

We checked in to the hotel and cooled down in the pool (which I first scanned using my satellite for cleanliness and safety) for an hour or so before heading over to the Laundry. On being seated, I immediately read through the wine list and upon seeing the prices, I SMSed my sniper and requested that he target the waiter. Confident that I had the right response should the waiter’s selection prove to be of insufficient “value”, I ordered an exorbitantly over-priced rosé champagne, but on tasting it, I asked my sniper to stand down. The champagne was exquisite.

As Catherine and I debated what to order food-wise, I sent my team of earth worms into the French Laundry’s garden to assess the quality of the soil and vegetables and authorized them to tap the satellite’s sensors should they need to. The restaurant shook slightly as the earth worms powered up their nuclear reactor driven vehicle and tunneled their way from the back of the restaurant to the front, where the garden is located. Catherine barely noticed the vibrations, as she languidly sipped her champagne and requested that I explain the various menu items, which I did with grace and accuracy. Receiving the all-clear from the earth worms, I suggested to Catherine that she should order the vegetarian menu, while I would order the regular menu. As the food started arriving, the mixed menu plan proved a good one as we were able to taste far more dishes than we would have had we both ordered the same meat-based menu.For pictures of the dishes, please ask, but I would wager to guess that the data-packed realism of my satellite infrared images would be lost on you.

The food was quite good, but when we ran out of champagne just before our final courses, I was forced to study the insultingly over-priced wine list once again and to radio my sniper to be ready. I then asked the waiter for a pinot that would feature the fruit of a new world wine for Catherine with the earthiness of an old world wine for me, something dry and subtle, like the soil of a summer battlefield before the fighting has begun. He brought the wine and just before I sipped it, I leaned back slightly, so as to avoid the splatter that was sure to occur as my sniper did his duty. Again, though, I had to SMS my sniper to lower his weapon, for the wine was spot on (as it should have been considering the price).

On looking back over the meal, the highlights were Catherine's earth worm-approved fava beans and my eel, although the veal heart was also bloody good (ho, ho, ho). My scallop dish and beef dishes were perfect, but, to be honest, perfectly dull. I thought for a moment about having my satellite vaporize the the FL's nearby sister operation, Bouchon, for a small bit of retaliation for the boring beef and scallop grub, but thought better of it, once I considered the risk to my team of earth worms.

We finished up, then headed back to the hotel, where Catherine drifted off to slumber, while I packed our suitcase and readied everything for a smooth departure come morning.