During the epically long denial process that constituted The French Laundry's preparation for renovations, one circulating rumor was that Thomas Keller might revive his three-Michelin-starred icon as a pop-up at Napa's luxe Silverado Resort & Spa while the kitchen underwent its makeover. That turned out to be halfway true: Keller is going to pop up at the Silverado, but it'll be a less formal affair than TFL. Keller revealed to Inside Scoop that the new pop-up, launching next week, will be named Ad Lib, and will focus on "simple, approachable" American fare, more similar to what Keller and his team serve at Ad Hoc.
TFL sous Michael Wallace will be the chef de cuisine at Ad Lib, whose menu was also consulted on by the Laundry's chef de cuisine, David Breeden, and the group's chef de cuisine, Devin Knell. And while the food won't be as fancy as TFL's, the service will be of the same caliber, as it's meant to keep the French Laundry staff (and the restaurant's purveyors) employed and engaged while the lengthy renovation process extends into the spring and possibly even summer.
Ad Lib will operate five nights a week (Thursday-Monday) in the Silverado's Royal Oak restaurant, and since the space has a country-club vibe, it'll serve as something of an ode to country-club cooking, with takes on classics of the past like shrimp cocktail, steak tartare, chopped salad, Parker House rolls, and ribeye bordelaise. You can reserve online right now (night one is next Thursday, January 21), or call (707) 754-4148. Those tables are likely to be hotly contested, as Ad Lib is only intended to last about a month, or until TFL's shipping-container kitchen arrives and the restaurant can get back to business as usual in its untouched dining room. But given Keller's massive popularity, don't be surprised if the Silverado and Napa locals do anything in their power to try to maintain the arrangement.