L'atelier de Joel Robuchon - Las Vegas
Ahhhh. My first post from an iPad. Please ignore the typos.
So recently I was in Vegas for work and my sweet chef hubby met me there for my birthday. He wanted to take me somewhere special and surprise me with an epic meal. You know I do love epic! His choice was was initially Joel Rubichon's namesake 3-star at MGM. Later, he changed it to l'atelier because he wanted me to be able to see into the kitchen. He knows I love a good show and being able to see kitchen precision would be a thrill.
L'atelier is stylish, and upon arrival I was glad to have reached chic. We sat at the bar and I was assured that the gluten issue was under control. That was good because there is no gluten-free menu. Monday, our waiter and sommelier, proceeded to bring me gluten-free bread. One bite and I knew it was Against the Grain. Unlike Thomas Keller, apparently l'atelier doesn't offer gf bread. Chef hubby went to Whole Foods and procured a loaf so I wouldn't have to go without. Apparently there was a bit of an issue bringing it in but upon speaking with management, everything was smoothed out and I was thrilled at the hub's thoughtfulness.
So now for a critique on food. I'm going with upper average at best in the swanky gourmet category. Everything was beautiful and plated with precision tweezers (seriously) but with one exception a little lacking in taste. Chef started with foie gras and caviar lentils. The Moroccan spices helped bring up this dish a notch from average to lovely (but not overly remarkable) and I enjoyed soaking my bread in the broth. I had the king crab salad with a Sancerre. The recommended wine was a bit acidic for the vinaigrette, which also overpowered the nuance of the crab. For entrees, chef had ribeye. It was not cooked to the appropriate temperature and almost was sent back. Monday saved it with an appropriate wine choice. Still, at a place like this a meal shouldn't have to be saved. I had sea bass, with which the Sancerre was beautiful. By far the best dish we had and actually the best sea bass I've ever had. The lemon grass was complementary and not over powering. The flavors were superb. The only critique was that the skin wasn't crispy. Since they couldn't dust it with flour or food starch though this was to be expected.
The end result is this - l'atelier isn't very gluten-free friendly. And with an association to a 3-star world class chef, marketed as "chef of the century", it missed the mark in many places. Great for a date, but go for the experience more than the food itself.