L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

By grace.g.yang · December 8, 2010
Under: Desserts,Dinner,French,Michelin 2010 Guide,Michelin 2011 Guide,Midtown East,My Life,Prix-fixe,seafood

Since Cliff and I had an extra night of dining, I made reservations for L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in the Four Seasons Hotel, one of my last restaurants to cross off the New York Michelin list. The restaurant is one large room with an open kitchen as its centerpiece; I requested seats at the kitchen counter so we could watch the chefs in action:

lbj kitchen

The menu is quite large and you can order a la carte or do the full tasting. Since I’ve been really maxing out my dining out in the last month of the year, we opted for the a la carte option. After we ordered, our server brought along a bread basket:

ljb bread

Focaccia with onions, French bread, and a French roll. The focaccia was very bland and the French and regular French roll were a little too tough (especially since I just finished a visit to the dentist earlier in the day).

We started with an amouse bouche – the foie gras royale:

lbj foie gras royale

The foie gras royale was a foie gras mousse with a port reduction and a Parmesan cheese foam on top. It was an interesting combination because of the port reduction and I really liked it – a great way to redeem themselves from the less than delicious bread basket.

For my appetizer, I ordered the Crispy Langoustine Papillote with Basil Pesto:

lbj crispy langostine

And Cliff ordered the Pressed Duck Foie Gras with plums and toasted bread:

lbj foie gras

The foie gras was decadent, smooth, and very creamy. I loved the plums that were soaked in wine and also liked the toast points (although unlike per se and The French Laundry, they didn’t bring us more toast points so I had to use our regular bread to finish the dish). The langoustine was very lightly breaded and very crispy, although the basil pesto flavor was very muted and the langoustine was improperly seasoned.

Next, we shared the Beef And Foie Gras Burgers with Caramelised Bell Peppers:

lbj foie gras burger

The burger:

lbj foie gras burger 2

The burger was pretty hyped up because it’s topped with a sliver of foie gras, but quite frankly, I didn’t taste any of the foie gras (if anything, it was more greasy than a normal burger). Also, the bun was definitely too greasy (broiche is definitely not my bun of choice when it comes to burgers). The fries weren’t that special and tasted a bit like freezer fries and they also had a grown up version of ketchup that I thought wasn’t sweet enough (what can I say, I love Heinz ketchup).

For my main course, I ordered the Sautéed Amadai In A Yuzu Broth with lotus roots:

lbj fish

The skin was separated from the actual fish and I literally couldn’t stop staring at it because it looked so incredibly scaly; the server had to stop by and cajole me to try the skin (I was going to try it, I swear, I was just really hypnotized by the look of the skin). The fish was quite hearty and had a firm texture and the yuzu broth was really the highlight of the dish – even the server thought so!

Cliff ordered the lobster:

lbj lobster

We shared both dishes but Cliff liked the lobster more and I enjoyed the amadai more; I thought the lobster was a tad overcooked and nothing special.

Before our desserts arrived, we had a palate cleanser – lychee sorbet with poppy seeds:

lbj lychee

We saved room for dessert because we definitely wanted to order La Sphère de Sucre:

lbj sphere

The sphere was filled with a very light mousse, fresh blueberries, and sorbet:

lbj sphere 2

It was super fun to break (watch the video here) and also one of the best desserts I’ve had at a Michelin-starred restaurants; it was beautiful, not too sweet, and definitely the most creative dessert I’ve had this year.

We finished with some house made candies:

lbj candy

Cliff and I both enjoyed the meal and I really liked eating at the chef’s counter so we could watch everyone in the kitchen and also converse with the people dining next to us. I thought it was an intimate but lively restaurant and definitely want to return.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon on Urbanspoon

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