Las Vegas has a ton of celebrity chefs and restaurants. Ever since our meal at the French Laundry, we’ve been wanting to try more Michelin rated restaurants in town. Because we had some foodie friends coming to visit, it was our perfect opportunity to make our rounds.
Joel Robuchon is known as the “Chef of the Century” and has two restaurants on the strip. His flagship restaurant, named after himself, is a recipient of a three-star Michelin rating, and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is a one-star Michelin restaurant with a more casual atmosphere. We have friends who have been to both, who told us the food itself is comparable. The only real difference is the atmosphere. Since we’ve been on a tight budget and wanted to try some other restaurants too, we decided to go to L’Atelier and save Joel Robuchon for a future date. :)
As you enter the restaurant, you get a glimpse of the open kitchen where the chefs are hard at work putting together each dish. There is plenty of bar seating available so you can watch them prepare your meal. We decided to go with a table so that we could catch up.
The menu gives you a few different choices. You can go with their Discovery Prix Fixe ($168), which gives you 9 courses and a couple different options for supplements, or you can choose from one of their create your own menu options. You can get a pre theatre meal ($49) in case you’re headed to see a show, or choose from two Menu sizes ($81-109) for a larger meal (5-6 course). I decided to try the Discovery Prix Fixe while Jacob got Menu A so that he could help me with mine. Our friends both got Menu B, and we pretty much shared all our dishes.
L’amuse-Bouche (foie gras parfait with port wine reduction and parmesan emulsion) on left; bread made in house at their bakery on right.
Les Endives (endive meli melo with foie gras shavings) on left.
Les Crevettes (shrimp carpaccio with yuzu vinaigrette with caviar supplement).
La Daurade Royale (king snapper ceviche on top of fresh creamy cilantro avocado) on left; Les Calamars (marinated calamari with baby vegetables in coriander white wine broth) on right.
L’œuf de Poule (soft fried egg with smoked salmon and baby winter salad) on left; Le Foie Gras (seared foie gras served with kabocha pumpkin gnocchi and chestnut confit) on right.
Le Celeri-Rave (celeriac remoulade with fresh wasabi mayonnaise and black truffle).
La Saint-Jacques (sea scallop cooked in teh shell with chive oil on an artichoke jus) on left; Le Foie Gras (foie gras herb tortellini served in a bouillon with white soy sauce) on right.
Le Saumon (salmon on a bed of spring vegetables with ginger baby spinach).
Les Pates (spiced maine lobster over orecchiete pasta) on left; Le Saumon (fresh salmon confit atop collard green and juniper berries with kale emulsion) on right.
Les Bœuf (glazed beef cheeks “burgundy style” wrapped in cannelloni, cumin carrots).
Le Bœuf (short ribs cooked in a red wine with glaze vegetables); Le Cochin de Lait (suckling pig confit, sauteed cabbage with ginger and black truffle) on right.
Les Fruits Tropicaux (litchi mousse on a thin blackcurrant tuile, caribbean sorbet).
Birthday chocolate cake on left!; Le Chocolat (spiced “cremeux” on sage crumbles with ginger ice cream).
Le Victoria (pineapple sorbet with cheesecake cream and jasmine gelee).
Le tartes on left; Le cafe / expresso on right.
Overall the food was solid. I’m always impressed by the precision in preparation for French cuisine. His famous and signature Pommes Pureee (mashed potatoes) was underwhelming and there wasn’t anything that really stood out about the other dishes except the shrimp carpaccio. Maybe we expected too much from the chef of the century.
Between the different orders, I would recommend building your own menu with Menu B. We typically like trying the Prix Fixe as that should highlight the best of the best dishes, but in hindsight Menu A or B was the way to go.
*UPDATE* Overall, I would give L’Atelier a 4 out of 5. Originally, I gave it a 3 because friends told us the food was just as good as Joel Robuchon, which made me expect 3 michelin star food. For having only 1 michelin star, I need to adjust my expectations accordingly, and it’s one of the better meals we’ve had. There was nothing to complain about but also nothing to rave about. The best part of the meal was enjoying the company of friends and having an excuse to dress up.