The French Laundry kicked off its big renovation with a Christmas Day theft worthy of the Grinch, in which $300K of pricey wine was lifted from its cellars by a burglar with excellent taste in wine, if not excellent morals. But the story has a happy ending: the Napa Valley Register reports that Thomas Keller and comrades have recovered the bulk of the stolen wine, which had somehow made its way to North Carolina in the process.
As of yet, no arrests have been made in the case, but Napa detectives were apparently able to trace the thieves to Greensboro, where they recovered an unspecified majority of the 76 missing wines. The stolen bottles included numerous Domaine de la Romaine-Conti vintages worth up to $15K each, as well as a handful of Screaming Eagle cabernets and five bottles of Dom Perignon. With many details in the case yet to be wrapped up, officials are staying mum for now on who's involved and when they might be apprehended, but in the meantime, the bottles are being jetted back to California for the French Laundry's reopening (with shipping-container kitchens) in March. Until they return, Keller will have new pop-up Ad Lib, which opened this week, to keep him busy.