My last night here meant this was my last tasting menu in this city. Like all my restaurant visits during out of town trips, each one was rigorously researched and planned. I’m not leaving without trying out the tasting menu, and the famous mashed potatoes, at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas is one of the eight restaurants with the same name around the world. They are famous for its stylized French haute cuisine created by the only Chef of the Century, Joel Robuchon. Unlike most snobby French restaurants, L’Atelier has a casual atmosphere and even a bar style setting where diners have a full view of the kitchen as their meal are getting made.
L’Amuse Bouche – Foie gras parfait, port wine reduction, parmesan emulsion. This concoction of pure gastronomic wizardry, it was foie gras in liquid form, with a hint of parmesan flavoring in the foam. I really don’t mind having a shot of this every morning…
Le Crabe – Alaskan King crab, beef gelée, cilantro-pea cream, piment d’Espelette. This was another winning dish. The fresh king crab and and the salty beef gelee was enveloped by the sweet, smooth pea cream. I just couldn’t have enough of those cream!
La Saint Jacques – Maine diver sea scallop, haricots verts and shimeji salad on a bed of sushi rice.
La Cebette – White onion tart with smoked bacon, quail egg “mirror” and green asparagus. The best looking course in the menu, I could immediately detect the smoky flavor from the bacon. The sweet onions, salty bacon, and the cooked to perfection asparagus rested on a bed of crispy pastry, it was tied together by the well poached quail egg.
Le Foie Gras – Seared Duck Foie Gras with Sweet and Sour Wild Berries. The biggest piece foie gras in a single serving I’ve ever seen, it was executed simply with the foie’s smoothness and richness being cut down by the sour and sweet berries. Its flavor was not as bold compared to the previous foie gras courses I’ve had on this trip, but it was quite light, which came in handy as there were a few more courses coming…
Le Saint Pierre – Seared John Dory, olives, tomato-saffron bouillon. The delicious tomato saffron bouillon with bold flavoring faced off with well seared John Dory. The olives and cilantro were notable in balancing the relatively firm fish well.
La Caille – Caramelized quail stuffed with foie gras, mashed potatoes, herb salad. A Robuchon signature dish, the bone-in quail was sweet and tender with the decadent sauce moistening the bird. The presence of foie gras was minimal and I could just detect just a hint of it. On the other hand, the famously fine, creamy texturing in the mashed potatoes earned itself the legendary status – food bucket list item checked off!
?? – I don’t remember what this was…
Le Chocolat – Warm chocolate cake, crème de menthe sorbet, chocolate mint crunch.
This was my first trip to a L’Atelier restaurant and it didn’t disappoint. The dishes were creative and clever without going pass pretentious. I also found the chic, modern ambient quite likable. The menu also offered an a la carte menu consisting of “small tasting portions”, so you can create your own menu as you see fit, which I’m about to do in Asia…