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Aftertaste of larceny at fabled French Laundry

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A Christmas Day break-in at the fabled Napa Valley eatery The French Laundry drained it of a small fortune in very fine wines, its chef said on Wednesday.

[LOS ANGELES] A Christmas Day break-in at the fabled Napa Valley eatery The French Laundry drained it of a small fortune in very fine wines, its chef said on Wednesday.

The 40-50 bottles pinched from the restaurant in Yountville, California - mostly of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC) and cult American wines Screaming Eagle - were worth more than US$50,000, the restaurant said on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Times, however, put the total figure lost at potentially over US$300,000.

"On Christmas day @-TFL- was the victim of a robbery. Specific wines of specific value were stolen: DRC & Screaming Eagle," chef Thomas Keller said on Twitter.

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Keller, one of the top chefs in the United States, helms the establishment - one of the few US restaurants to receive Michelin's coveted three-star rating - as well as East Coast outpost Per Se in New York.

"We have complete trust in the authorities leading the investigation & welcome any information our community may have," Mr Keller added.

We are confident that if/when any stolen bottles appear in public they will immediately raise red flags." Napa Police Lieutenant Oscar Ortiz said the variable value of the heist depends on whether the wholesale or retail prices are tallied.

The restaurant, which just marked its 20th anniversary, is one of 13 restaurants in the United States to earn the Michelin top gastronomic honor.

AFP

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