After closing in March 2020 when the state shuttered nonessential businesses including restaurants and casinos to prevent the spread of COVID-19, two of the city’s most beloved French restaurants get ready to reopen. Joël Robuchon returns July 1 at the MGM Grand and the more casual workshop L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon reopens on July 15.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon gives diners a front-row seat when they pull up a seat at the bar overlooking the kitchen to watch the artistry of the chefs. Robuchon’s more casual approach to dining offers tapas, a tasting menu, and wines from around the world. Patrons can even order Robuchon’s vision of a burger and snag a taste of his famous mashed potatoes.
Jonathan Doukhan, executive chef of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, says his team spent the past year and change coming up with new dishes that transform “commonly used ingredients into dishes never-before-seen at a Robuchon restaurant or elsewhere. The menu is both recognizable and approachable for newcomers, as well as a stimulating challenge for gourmands.” The Le Saint Pierre features John Dory à la plancha on a “sambol” of tomato, confits lime zest, and cilantro puree; Le Grenouillle comes with caramelized frog legs on creamy spelt risotto; and La Framboise brings a white chocolate sphere with fresh raspberry and yuzu ice cream.
Diners may sit next to Chuck Norris, one of the celebrity pics that line the opulently decorated space at the grand Joël Robuchon that feels like a cross between the inside of a Faberge egg and the boudoir of Marie Antoinette. The exquisitely crafted fare from Robuchon returns, including the 15-course degustation menu. It’s French grandiosity meets Asian refinement. Truffled langoustine ravioli in a foie gras sauce, a semi-soft boiled egg on a spinach puree, and Maine lobster in a thinly sliced turnip join roving cheese, bread, and mignardises carts. Do sit in the opulent lounge up front for a glass of Champagne.
Christophe de Lellis, executive chef of Joël Robuchon, says his team worked on a menu of beloved dishes for the return, such as Le Caviar Imperial with Osetra caviar served atop king crab in a crustacean gelée dotted with cauliflower puree; La Langoustine with truffled langoustine ravioli served with simmered cabbage and foie gras sauce; and La Rosa, a gelee of Dassai “39” sake topped with white chocolate rose and orange coulis.
Both restaurants were part of the Eater 38 when they were open.
Robuchon died in August 2018 at age 73 due to complications of cancer. Robuchon earned the title Chef of the Century from Gault Millau in 1987.
• All Coverage of Joël Robuchon [ELV]