Visiting L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Joël Robuchon, a French chef and restaurateur, sadly passed away in August 2018. He was the highest ranked chef in the world with 32 Michelin stars shared among his numerous restaurants worldwide. He was passionate about perfectionism in his cuisine and was quoted for saying that a perfect meal did not exist as one could always do better. We had the pleasure to visit his French gourmet restaurant in Las Vegas, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand, and it is safe to say that it was the pinnacle of our gastronomical experience.
L’Atelier is a very modern and sophisticated restaurant decorated in the art-deco style. It is a counter-style restaurant, meaning that guests can watch chefs prepare their food, so there is a long counter facing the kitchen along the right side of the restaurant.
French gastronomy at its best
Before the beginning of our meals, we had the opportunity to choose bread from the bread trolley, and we opted for country bread, which came warm and perfectly crusty. If you want you can get French Échiré butter, which is “shaved” from a large block on the spot and salted. Fresh bread is baked daily, and the kitchen has as many as seven bakers.
Our first course, L’Amuse-Bouche is a warm, creamy, rich, foie gras parfait, with port reduction and parmesan foam. It came in a shot glass with a tiny spoon to scoop through all these layers. Simply perfect!
Then we had Les Huȋtres, consisting of three poached baby Kusshi oysters with butter and caviar. They come served on the half shelf perched on top of a wall of salt, accompanied by a lemon slice to accentuate the taste. This combination of meaty oysters, lemon, butter, and delicate spices was exquisite and left us craving more.
Maine lobster for the main course
Le Homard du Maine or Maine lobster was cooked in olive oil and then served with green asparagus, macaroni, and tomato-Cognac sauce. We found out that the chef changed this dish seasonally, so there is always an element of surprise as to what accompanies the lobster. Sometimes it’s tagliatelle pasta, watermelon radish with caviar, or “delicate aromatics and shellfish oil.”
It goes without saying that we had to try the restaurant’s signature le foie gras. Ravioli filled with foie gras are served with mushrooms and gingered leeks in a white soy broth. The soup was seasoned to perfection with Espelette pepper, mint, basil, ginger, and Thai basil. It reminded us of a classic Asian broth because of the white soy and ginger, but it was much more sophisticated.
Our final course was “Le Burger” which was, to no surprise, amazing. It consists of a beef patty, topped with caramelized pepper, foie gras, and fresh herbs, and comes with zigzag French fries, perfectly salted. It was probably the most tender and juiciest burger we had ever tried.
Nothing can surpass the French desserts
It was very difficult to choose our desserts because, while looking at the menu, we wanted to try them all. We finally opted for La Peche, a peach confit with sorbet and apricot milkshake, and Le Chocolat, a warm chocolate cake with chocolate mint crunch and sorbet made from crème de menthe. They were phenomenal and perfect to end our meals with.