Monday, October 6, 2008

L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

The following is an old review from December of 2005. The price of the Discovery menu has increased, but, according to all those I know who have gone since, this restaurant is still definitely worth the increased ticket price.

The Restaurant: L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon.
Location: MGM Grand across from the KA showroom.
Menu Decouverte (Discovery Menu) for 1 price: $95 plus drinks and tip.

The Skinny: Amazing. That one word easily sums up the entire experience of sitting at the bar at L'Atelier. In a location that abuts the super fancy, extremely high-end Joel Robuchon at the Mansion, this tiny, maybe forty seat workshop is not to be outdone by its big brother. The menu consists entirely of small portion choices, a sort of French inspired tapas bar, if you will. The best bang for your buck is definitely, as usual, the tasting menu, or in this case, the Discovery Menu. This ninety-five dollar choice is a bargain considering seven of the nine courses can be purchased a la carte for a total of $114. However, when dealing with cuisine of this magnitude, money should be no object. From the amuse-bouche (a vegetable fondant topped with an avocado cream) through the two featured desserts (Les Airelles: a chestnut confit topped with a cranberry milkshake; Le Chocolat: a chocolate pot de crème of sorts) the flavors and textures were all delightfully well balanced and spot on. The service was solid and not at all below expectation for an establishment of this caliber. There is a bonus for true foodies and culinarians: The seats at the bar allow full view of the kitchen and the masterful workings within. Of course, what would my review be without some mention of alcohol? I had a Mango Mojito, which was good, but not in my top three. I would recommend sticking with a glass of wine or two from their fine selection. One other warning, this experience is not recommended for anyone who cannot understand how textures and flavors can work together to create not something that just makes you say “That’s yummy”, but instead transcends and transports with its combinations.

Brian William Waddell is a foodie, beer geek, and author. His numerous blog posts range from food to politics. He also has a book of poetry, Fractured Prose, available here, and is ready to publish his second poetic endeavor.

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