Nestled in the historic little town of Fenton is The French Laundry, a restaurant with lots of personality. Walking in, you feel as if you’ve been transported to a quaint, cozy French bakery and cafe. Features include breakfast, lunch and seasonal dinner menus, beer and cocktails of the month, incredible homemade sweet treats, breads, and Michigan made canned goodies.
The seasonal menu at The French Laundry is very comforting on a chilly fall day. Breakfast consists of many of the standards but with a twist. Farewell Rudy, Hello Rhodella is a combination of chuck roasted hash with potatoes, vegetables and topped with tomato gravy and two eggs. The lunch menu is made up of mainly sandwiches with a few other options. Sandwiches are categorized as Would be Prom Queens (popular sandwiches), Gobble it Up (turkey sandwiches), Herbivorous (no meat), Low-Fat High-Flavor, The Variety Show and All that Clucks (chicken sandwiches). Each sandwich has a distinct name — Rabbit Food Roll Up, I Don’t Need no Cell Phone, Chicks Dig Scrawny Pale Guys– and reading the menu will give you a few laughs.
The seasonal appetizers and entrees on the dinner menu, all created by Executive Chef Jody Brunori, also appeal to all tastes. Delicious appetizers are offered, such as Braised Pork Empanadas, Creamy Mushroom Risotto and the Plough Man’s Platter with house-made pickled vegetables, assortment of cheeses, breads and butter. Some entrees are coffee-crusted bone-in beef tenderloin, barbecue braised short rib Shepard’s pie and sage and pine nut pesto-crusted rack of lamb for the meat lovers. Some vegetarian entrees are quinoa and lentil stuffed roasted pepper and winter squash lasagna. Our server, Rebecca, said, “the winter squash lasagna is the best thing on our menu.” I was sold, and it was amazing! Also, to my surprise and excitement, almost half of the menu was gluten free, which is difficult to come across at most restaurants.
Coming in at a close second to the delicious food are the mouth tingling drinks. A nighttime drink of the month, Blood and Sand (scotch, orange, and cherry mixture) may sound scary, but it did not disappoint. Local Michigan brews are the only beers offered on draft, in addition to an extensive bottled beer and wine list.
Another feature, the bakery, has counters lined with fresh baked breads, pastries, cakes, and pies. Alongside the sweets are Michigan made products for sale such as olive oils, preservatives, relish, mustard, jam and salsa. Also, check out The French Laundry website for information on events and more specials! ~Danielle Gordon, Regional Director