First things first, Rest In Peace Uncle Robuchon.. Fa Real. Right, I know it doesn’t rhyme with J-Cole’s lyrics, but seriously, one of the best Chef’s known to man passed away August 2018. He received accolades such as Chef of The Century and still holds the highest number of Michelin Stars among any chef in the world. There are plenty of words to say regarding Robuchon’s accomplishments and what I’ve read about him, but I believe for this review we should get down to business.
L’Atelier De Joel Robuchon, a 2-Michelin Star restaurant in New York, is one of the most luxurious restaurants I’ve been in. From its beautiful wine cellar as you walk in, to the attention to detail lighting, and its huge ceilings, this restaurant is one of pure elegance and creativity. I love how the restaurant menu is set up for the consumer to choose. Some restaurants of this caliber are set with a pre-fixed menu, but they give you the option to do that or a-la carte. If you can get a menu at the bar, I’d suggest you sit there. But not with a child, because I’d question your parenting skills.
During my visit, I was able to indulge in six savory and one sweet dish for the night. I’ll start off with the lighter dishes which consisted of a Foie Gras Custard with Cauliflower Spicy Oil and Scallop Carpaccio. The Foie Gras Custard dish was sent out as a start up before the actual dishes you ordered came. The Foie Gras was light, flavorful, and a bit salty, but not overwhelming because the Cauliflower had such a great creamy, earthy flavor you could hardly tell. Both dishes were presented beautifully, and had a great taste to go with it. The Scallop Carpaccio was another interesting dish. It consisted of thinly cut raw scallop topped with Sea urchin and Radishes. This dish had a vinaigrette flavor to it, with a hint of spiciness from the jalapeno and a refreshing after taste from the fresh radishes. This dish could be passed off as sort of an elegant seafood salad, and is a dish I’d order consistently.
The next two dishes went hand in hand with each other. Quail and Sweetbreads were my next dishes. The Quail was stuffed with Foie Gras and accompanied with a Potato Puree. Quail is such a delicate bird that sometimes, it’s challenging to find any meat. I appreciated this dish so much because the Quail was packed with meat and a hint of fattiness from the stuffed Foie Gras. If you combined it with the silky smooth texture of the Potato Puree, you’d have yourself a home run. The only thing I wish is that there was more to go around, but I had to remind myself, more dishes were coming. The next dish were the Sweetbreads. It consisted of Capers, Preserved Lemon, and Caramelized Cauliflower. Sweetbreads aren’t particularly my flavor because they often taste like cooked playdough (not that I know what playdough taste like) but it can be masked pretty well with other ingredients that come with it. I didn’t expect much from this dish, because I knew what I was getting myself into, but I still took a chance. It had a bit of musty flavor to it, but the saltiness of the capers and aroma of the cauliflower helped take the focus off of the Sweetbread for a few seconds. Sweetbread usually consist of organ meat from Lamb or Veal, so if you haven’t tried it, now would be the perfect time.
The next three dishes of the evening consisted of Venison & Foie Gras, Gnocchi, and Cod. It seems to be Foie Gras was the choice of the night, but I’ll take that. This dish was presented beautifully, as it had three pieces of medium rare Venison tucked in between two pieces of Foie Gras and topped with Black Truffle. The sauce was an Aigre-Douce which was a version of a sweet and sour sauce. I believe it balanced out the bitterness of the Venison and Foie Gras but was still a bit sweet from the cherry tomatoes that served as a garnish on the side. If you enjoy fattiness then make sure this dish is ordered, otherwise you’re missing out on a well-balanced entree. The next dish was my starch. The Gnocchi consisted of Parmesean Chips, Black Truffle and Celeriac. My favorite part of this dish was the Celeriac. It gave sort of a spring onion taste to it, and had the perfect flavor mixed in with the Lemon-Butter sauce which sat on the bottom of the Gnocchi. The Gnocchi was cooked perfectly as it was pillowy and tender. Ususally Gnocchi can be dry and dense with a chewy texture, but if cooked properly, it’ll send your taste buds to heaven. The last entree was the Cod. A light dish to end the evening that was topped with Caviar and sat on the top of Champagne Butter sauce and Poached Leeks. This is a dish that you could literally place on your tongue and forget to chew. That’s how decadent it is. The fish was flakey, buttery, and moist. The Caviar did it’s part by adding the saltiness to go with the onion flavor of the leeks, but the star was the fish. Perfectly cooked, perfectly seasoned, and over-all well balanced.
The final dish was a dessert so pretty that I contemplated eating. The La Foret Noire. It consisted of Chocolate Mousse, Kirsh Macerated Cherries, and Chantilly. The flavors were pretty interesting as the Chocolate Mousse was a bit too creamy for my liking, and the cherries were too sweet. This was one of the times where I should’ve chose something else, but overall it was still a good experience.
Overall, this restaurant is a go-to if you can afford it. It can be pretty pricey and you may get more of a bang for your buck elsewhere. The service is outstanding and the overall experience is wonderful, so you won’t miss that aspect. If you don’t order enough dishes you may leave hungry, but your wallet will leave empty.