L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon’s French cuisine is excellence surpassed
By Brock Radke
Photos By Beverly Poppe
Can you plan romance? Creating the perfect moment is no easy task, even if your canvas is the vibrant neon backdrop of Las Vegas. My advice? Take less chances. Give your Valentine’s Day every possible opportunity to become memorable. Start with the dinner reservation. Choose a destination where every plate will be perfect, every bite sublime. Select a restaurant where you can customize the experience, so you can indulge in whatever feels right at the moment. The kitchen must present the ultimate in culinary achievement, but the setting should provide ultimate comfort and erase any thought of stuffy formality. Can you plan this perfect restaurant? You don’t have to.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is at once dramatic and subdued, a brilliant representation of the exquisite French cuisine of “Chef of the Century” Joël Robuchon in a sleek, approachable atmosphere. This is some of the best Vegas has to offer, the finest food and service in a fine-casual setting, including unique counter service that allows you to watch your meal being prepared.
The L’Atelier experience is whatever you want it to be. Dine early and design your own three-course meal for an amazing price, or choose the Seasonal Discovery menu complete with wine pairings and prepare to be amazed by 10 courses of the most delicious, highest quality ingredients reimagined and sculpted into edible art. Or find bliss somewhere in between, picking and choosing from an expansive selection of small tasting portions designed to allow maximum sampling.
As it truly is a “workshop,” things are always changing at L’Atelier. But there’s always an amuse bouche to accompany your opening glass of champagne. Mine was a parfait of foie gras with port wine reduction and Parmesan cheese foam, an alluring taste of what would follow. A seasonal salad favorite contains moist, sweet chunks of king crab with baby lettuce, tomato, fresh mozzarella, creamy avocado and shaved hearts of palm. Follow this simple, sweet treasure with a mind-altering scallop carpaccio topped with rich sea urchin, an amazing voyage of flavors and textures with each tiny bite.
More seafood showpieces include tuna belly confit on vegetable gelée, crispy langoustine fritter with basil pesto and seared lobster on wild mushroom macaroni. Each dish will have you wondering how so much euphoria can fit into such small morsels. An amazingly flaky white onion tart is topped with smoky bacon, a quail egg “mirror” and green asparagus, a decadent and savory nosh.
Among the most popular main dishes at L’Atelier are foie gras-stuffed free-range quail with rich truffle mashed potatoes, and the whimsical “Le Burger,” two tiny beef, foie gras and caramelized bell pepper “sliders” stacked on a mini-brioche bun, just one example of the restaurant’s impeccable breads.
It’s Valentine’s Day, and while it’s difficult to choose something to share from L’Atelier’s menu of desserts, the perfect choice is obvious. “La Framboise” is a fresh raspberry surprise with a tart yuzu ice cream hidden inside a lovely white chocolate sphere. Warm chocolate is poured onto the sphere, melting it gently and revealing the surprise inside. And like that—voilà!—romance, planned to perfection.
5:30-10:30 p.m. daily. 702.891.7358