L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon - Las Vegas, NV

Dinner - Friday, July 12, 2013

Our friend gastrobits wanted to celebrate his impending move to the East Coast with a meal at one of Robuchon's restaurants in Vegas - we were happy to indulge him. Not in the mood for pomp and circumstance, we eschewed the formal dining room and opted instead for the studio.

In the Vegas spirit, a night of revelry ensued. Champagne glasses were clinked, toasts made, (excellent) bread was broken, wines guzzled, and sauces slurped from bowls (with nods of approval from our server) - and at the end of it all, we managed to walk out under our own power. And the food? It did not disappoint - the L'Ateliers are nothing if not consistent.

"L'Amuse Bouche"
Foie gras parfait, port wine reduction, parmesan emulsion
"Le Crabe"
Alaskan King crab, beef gelée, cilantro-pea cream, piment d'Espelette
Dish of the night - just exquisitely balanced. The weighty gelée worked amazingly well with the lighter components, its umami flavours matching up against the sweetness in the rest of the dish.

"La Saint-Jacques"
Maine Diver scallop, haricots verts, shimeji salad, wasabi vinegar
"La Cebette"
White onion tart, lardons, quail egg, asparagus
An excellent rendition of tarte flambée, with a notably textbook-crispy pastry. I certainly would've enjoyed a few more.

"Le Foie Gras"
Seared foie gras, spring onion coulis, pickled shallots, Chardonnay vinegar
"Le Saint Pierre"
Seared John Dory, olives, tomato-saffron bouillon
The tomato-saffron bouillon was terrific, providing a great base to accent the dense fish flesh. Briny olives and some sprigs of (surprisingly) potent micro-cilantro were also used with good measure.

"La Caille"
Caramelized quail stuffed with foie gras, mashed potatoes, herb salad
A classic dish - the famous Robuchon pommes purée paired with perfectly cooked quail (the bone-in leg, and a breast stuffed with foie gras). The meat is gamey, the decadent sauce sweet and salty. A crisp herb salad cuts through all the fat. Conceptually simple, executed like clockwork in every L'Atelier around the globe - unequivocally delicious.

"La Mangue"
Mango mousse, toasted coconut ice cream, almond cake, passionfruit coulis
"Le Chocolat"
Warm chocolate cake, crème de menthe sorbet, chocolate mint crunch
As it has always been, the food here seems to exists outside the boundaries of time and place - a reflection of Las Vegas, and indeed of Joël Robuchon himself. Certainly not one of our usual haunts, but nevertheless the meal proved eminently worthy of contemplation.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: (702) 891-7358