L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand
Joel Robuchon is no stranger to the French culinary world. The man himself has garnered a total of 24 Michelin stars combined across his restaurants worldwide. Though awarded the title Chef of the Century back in 1989 and also the title France's Best Craftsman in 1979, he still commands a very respectable culinary empire in the present. Our fantastic experience at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in London almost dictated us for a return, only to a different location none other than Las Vegas. If the French word l'atelier (English: workshop) is any indication, this places offers the opportunity for diners to get a glimpse of the kitchen magic while allowing a more interactive dining experience. This is Joel Robuchon's way of combining both quality foods with a casual trendy environment.
Consistent with the theme of L'Atelier in other locations, this place features counter top seating where diners face the kitchen throughout the entire meal. Seating here is primarily at the counter top although do they have about four regular tables. Why would you want to sit at the regular table? You would be missing out. Be sure to sit at the counter top. It is part of the essential L'Atelier experience.
With Joel Robuchon's restaurant empire all over the world and the impossibility of him being physically present at the restaurant every night, he does an excellent job in making sure there is consistency in the food quality across his restaurants. Who says you can't have gourmet French cuisine in a relaxed (and yet trendy) setting? At L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, they make it happen.
The amuse bouche for that night was avocado chunks, avocado cream, and grapefruit segments sitting on grapefruit gel. This creative combination resulted in a light flavor that was nowhere intense but subtle enough to not overshadow what was to come.
The seared duck foie gras with almond-stuffed cherries was one of my clear favorites of the night. Slicing through the piece of foie gras with my knife was an indication to how soft and moist the foie gras would be when I ate it.
The well-constructed salad with king crab, asparagus, and avocado was delicate and light enough in order to leave space for courses that were heavier and more intensely flavored.
The steak tartare was good although it was not my favorite of the night. The meat was probably chopped the finest I have had in a steak tartare and I would have liked it to be just a little bit less finely chopped and also to go easy on the mustard. I really liked the old fashioned crinkled cut french fries that came on the side and the classic twist it gave to the dish.
The chilled and thinly sliced veal was impressively delicate and probably the most tender piece of veal we have had. The thin layer of tuna sauce over the veal was carefully prepared that it did not take away from the pure flavor of the veal.
Our experience with eating suckling pig primarily from Greek restaurants in Chicago usually come with too strong of a porky taste. The suckling pig course at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, however, puts to rest that this meat can be deliciously prepared without leaving a heavy trace of porkyness to it. The suckling pig was very well flavored and the meat was tender that we would have been fine even without a knife.
The house signature Joel Robuchon potato puree was easily one of the silkiest and smoothest we have had.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is one of the finer restaurants in Las Vegas and with its casual trendy and comfortable setting, it is not difficult to see why it ranks among the favorite of many people. Watching your dinner prepared in front of you in the workshop created from the mind of the Chef of the Century is really quite unique and worth experiencing.
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at MGM Grand
3799 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
2010 AAA Four Diamond Award
2009 1-Michelin Star
2009 AAA Four Diamond Award
2008 1-Michelin Star
2008 AAA Four Diamond Award
2007 AAA Four Diamond Award
Chef of the Century by Gault Millau