years ago, G, hubs and i wandered over to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in midtown during its first opening week. they hadn’t as yet gotten their act together, and the evening ended up being a bit of a disappointment. (i’m told by foodie friend M that the NYC branch has since ironed out the opening jitters and ranks among his favorite eateries in the City).
now in the last few years, it seems as if every food tv show doing a special paris food scene segment includes a visit to the original L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon on rue de montalembert. when hubs and i found ourselves in paris over our december holiday, we decided to give L’Atelier another try. happy christmas to us!
the restaurant itself is dressed in black with red and chrome highlights here and there. it is quite dark inside but the lighting is strategically placed to make the food really glisten and sparkle. the vast majority of seats are positioned around the show kitchen, allowing one to survey the cadre of chefs at work. there are a few seats that face the street instead, which are less preferable.
the nine-course degustation runs €150 euros; individual dishes are around €20-40 euros. the restaurant also offers degustation portioned a la carte dishes around €15-30. wines start at around €60 and up. we ordered a bold red from the gigondas region, which we had visited over the summer.
i recall the overall experience being spectacular, and living up to its reputation in every way. that said, as i’m going thru the photos documenting the meal, i’m having a hard time identifying what exactly i ate. i’m going to post them here, so you can judge them for yourself. i think next time, i’ll have to bring a notebook or something so that i can make notes on the meal. . .
le foie gras. i’m not usually a fan of foie, but this was my favorite dish of the evening. a piece of perfectly caramelized duck foie served with stewed beans. i don’t think i’ve ever really had foie so delicious before! it melts in your mouth. . .
for the last savoury course, we were given a choice of beef, lamb or quail. i ordered the quail. fortunately, other members of my party ordered the beef and lamb, so i got to get photos of each.
we were presented with two desserts. the first (not pictured) was a passion fruit gelee with rhum granita and coconut cream. i thought it flavors were clear and interesting, altho i’m not a fan of coconut cream. i found the second dessert, a sort of deconstructed tarte tatin to be humorous and delicious!
our dinner companions opted to trade-in the two desserts for a single one off of the a la carte menu. one ordered a souffle and the other ordered a chocolate mousse, which i thought was superb!
in short, it was a good meal. well no, a really really really really good meal!
5 rue de montalembert
Lunch: 11:30am to 3:30pm
Dinner: 6:30pm to midnight
Open year round, except 12/24