Wednesday, July 8, 2015

L' ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON (LAS VEGAS, NV)

L' Atelier de Joel Robuchon
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
3799 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
http://www.mgmgrand.com/restaurants/atelier-joel-robuchon-french-restaurant.aspx
Tel: 702.891.7358
$$$$ ($50+)
Cuisine: French
Fri, 07/03/2015, 8:00pm reservation
    (4 Piglets)




Las Vegas has a plethora of restaurants. If you're craving something, anything, you'll be sure to find it here in this city. This is the city that never sleeps and strives to fulfill everyone's hungry appetite. As you stroll along all the amazing cuisines that Las Vegas has to offer, you can bet that your stomach will growl in anger to be fed. 

It just so happened that my growl was leaning towards French cuisine. To my luck, Las Vegas is home to one of the most world renowned French chefs Joel Robuchon. Set in MGM Grand, the chef has both a restaurant that bares his name awarded three Michelin stars and another L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, awarded with one Michelin star. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is a concept that Robuchon developed to bring food in front of the guests, replacing the traditional French colors of gold and white to black and red. 


All the awards!


The interior
Open kitchen with bar seating

The menu is multitudinous with set menus or if you much prefer, a la carte. My friend and I chose the seasonal discovery menu, an 8-course menu for $188. 

Place setting
Complimentary bread basket. The one on the right was my favorite....super buttery like a croissant!
Delicious European butter to go with the bread basket
L'AMUSE-BOUCHE: Foie gras parfait with port wine reduction and parmesan emulsion. This was a delightfully savory and rich first bite. The foie gras was subtle and it transcended through the parmesan emulsion. This is probably one of the best amuse bouche I've had in a very long time. A perfect way to start off the meal


COURSE 1: LE CAVIAR: Green asparagus wrapped in smoked salmon, Osetra caviar and wasabi cream. I normally am not the biggest fan of wasabi as I feel it sometimes overpowers a dish, but in this case, it was well-balanced. The smoked salmon paired well with the perfectly cooked asparagus. The caviar offered the saltiness that brought the whole dish together. This was a good course. 
COURSE 2: LA CREVETTE: Tiger shrimp cakes with passion fruit reduction and curry. The cakes were crispy, with tender shrimp that was cooked well. The hint of curry offered flavors that meshed agreeably with  the sweetness of the passion fruit reduction. 
COURSE 3: LES TOMATES: Campari tomatoes with a comte cheese mousseline. This one was a large course. It was actually quite filling, especially with the cheese. The cheese wasn't overpowering and the tomatoes were sweet and ripe. It was a good dish overall. 
COURSE 4: LE FOIE GRAS: Foie gras herb tortellini served in a bouillon with white soy sauce.  As soon as I saw the word foie gras, my eyes lit up. I was expecting a big block of foie gras to be sitting on my plate. And as soon as I received this, I have to admit, I was quite disappointed.  I'm not saying it wasn't good, but it wasn't my favorite. The foie gras was very subtle. The dish was basically a mushroom broth soup that was bumped up a notch by incorporating tortellini filled with foie gras. It definitely was very Asian inspired. 
COURSE 5: L'EGLEFIN: Zucchini, layered atop haddock in a light coriander and citrus garnish. The dish is beautiful. As soon as I received it, however, I was bit overwhelmed by the fishy smell that permeated from the dish.  Luckily, the taste wasn't as strong as the smell and the more I ate, the more I was a fan. My only complaint was that it was quite difficult to cut up the fish and was almost reminiscent of cutting through steak with the grain. 


COURSE 6: OPTION 1: LA CAILLE: Carmelized free range quail stuffed with foie gras served with mashed potatoes. This was a good dish and one of their signature dishes. The mashed potatoes were super creamy. The quail was good but the amount of foie gras that was stuffed in the quail was very minute. In terms of flavor, the dish was tasty.


COURSE 6: OPTION 2: LA HAMPE: French style hanger steak with roasted shallot and shishito peppers.  This was probably my favorite of the two options. The meat was extremely tender and moist. The mashed potatoes was super creamy like the other dish. All the flavors were spot on and delicious.


MY FAVORITE DISH. COURSE 7: LES MYRTILLES: Lemongrass Chantilly, blueberry compote and yogurt sorbet. This was my favorite dessert of the night. After a long meal, it was nice to have a light and refreshing dessert. The yogurt sorbet was crisp and smooth, the Chantilly was delicious, the blueberry compote was sweet and tart and the meringues were airy and light.


COURSE 8: LES FRUITS ROUGES: Orange cream, flourless chocolate sponge, pickled cherries, and Strawberry sorbet. This was a richer, creamier dessert. The chocolate sponge was light and the pickled cherries added tartness to the dish. The strawberry sorbet wasn't overly sweet. It was a good dish but I preferred the textures in the previous dessert than this one.




Overall, the meal and service at L'Atelier was fantastic. I didn't love every single course, but majority were delicious. Joel Robuchon and his team have created a sophisticated meal without being overly pretentious. I appreciate the open kitchen, allowing guests to see the hard work that goes into making each course. The portions were actually quite substantial, which was surprising. Word of advice: The restaurant can get quite busy, so reservations are recommended.




Notable dishes: Amuse Bouche and Les Myrtilles

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