Hubby and I were determined to try a Michelin star restaurant, and after much careful research I decided on L’Atelier. First of all, they are French cuisine which is one of my favorites. Although I don’t have much to compare to, I know French cuisine is all about the quality and finest ingredients used in their dishes. French cuisine always reminds me of the book “French Women Don’t Get Fat” too! Hehe. Second of all, the rave reviews. Not just on Urbanspoon, but from friends and their friends. One of J’s friend actually went to Joël Robuchon and raved quite highly about it. I would’ve loved to go there as well but… it’s a bit out of my budget. Maybe next time we’re in Vegas 🙂 Lastly, I was determined to try their tasting menu. There are no shortages of tasting, prix fixe or early bird menus but to find one that is a must try was… well, let’s just say I had my heart set on the Seasonal Discovery one!
We arrived quite early for our reservation. When I was making reservations on OpenTable only a 5:30pm slot was available but the restaurant was not full. I think they were just expecting a lot of walk-ins, and there were! I have to say even though they are a one-star Michelin restaurant, they are not the least bit pretentious and the staff are just all wonderful. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, comfortable, clean… just lovely. We were seated at the counter where we saw all the action going on in the kitchen. We enjoyed watching all the Chefs at work and also enjoyed conversing with the staff. We had different servers throughout the night and they were all friendly and chatty!
Love the Fall theme. I wonder if the decorations get changed with the season changes?
I of course went with what I came here for, while hubby said he wasn’t sure if he wanted to do 9 courses so we went with one of the prix fixe menus.
Seasonal Discovery Menu – $159 for 9 courses
Fresh baked in house. I remember J’s friend raving about the bread cart at Joël Robuchon so I was very excited for this. Definitely some of the best bread I’ve ever tasted – soft, flaky, buttery. Hmmmm! Served with soft, creamy butter. We were actually offered more bread when we were done but there was no way we can eat more after all those courses!
Foie gras parfait with port wine reduction and parmesan emulsion
First course and I was already in love. The parfait was so flavorful and tasty that… I was literally licking the shot glass clean. Ok, I didn’t really do that – I did scrape out as much as I could with what was remaining with my spoon. Oh I wanted more. Like a lot more. The foie gras flavor was so rich and creamy and just done perfectly without being too much. Very delicate and not very liver-y.
Hamachi served as ravioli with sea urchin in lemon vinaigrette
Here we have slices of hamachi sashimi enveloping a blob of fresh, creamy sea urchin topped with black caviar. Sushi lovers… this is a real treat. Everything was fresh and sweet tasting and the lemon vinaigrette just added a dash of tangy flavor to it.
Look at that beautiful golden color on the uni!
Le Crabe Royal
Roasted king crab, served over a spiced eggplant soup
Perfectly cooked king crab resting on a creamy eggplant puree. I love the savouriness of this dish and it’s the first time I’ve seen eggplant being paired with crab. Well, it worked out beautifully!
Le Foie Gras de Canard
Seared duck foie gras with sweet and sour figs, black pepper
Ultimate sinful delight. To have an entire piece of perfectly seared foie gras to myself was just… this was just simply delectable, buttery, smooth, melt in your mouth deliciousness. I shared a small piece of hubby and he enjoyed it immensely as well. The fig reduction was slightly sweet and sour and provided a favorable contrast to the savoury foie.
Matsutake served in a bouillon with gingered leeks, quail egg
A very clean tasting broth with a variety of mushrooms. I love how flavorful this soup is without being overwhelming – I still haven’t gotten over my adverse reaction to regular mushrooms.
Glorious egg shot!
John Dory over artichoke hearts served “en barigoule”
I’ve never had John Dory before so I was very excited to try this. Creamy, buttery, flaky white fish cooked in a flavorful, creamy sauce. The texture is great while the flavors are a bit mild for me so it’s important to have a good sauce accompanying it.
Caramelized free range quail served with mashed potatoes
French style hanger steak with roasted shallot and shishito pepper
It was a no brainer that I was going with their signature dish – quail stuffed with foie gras. Perfectly seared quail glazed with a sweet and salty sauce, and then look at this…
Foie gras stuffed quail. Yeah baby! This was such a rich tasting dish and especially paired with that creamy whipped potatoes… a little goes a long way. The quail was perfectly tender and flavorful and paired so well with the foie gras… I don’t think I can eat quail on its own again without thinking there should be foie gras in the center.
Les Baies Rouges
Mixed berries, vanilla cream, chiffon cake and raspberry sorbet
First dessert. Semi-sweet light vanilla cream paired with tart berries and tart sorbet, garnished with edible flowers. This was a very creamy yet refreshing dessert and I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if I wasn’t so full.
Chocolate fondant with dulce cream and cherry sherbet
Second dessert. I like this one more between the two although I was still too full to truly enjoy it. The base had the texture of a firm panna cotta and it was nicely sweet. The sorbet was also sweet with a bit of tartness to it… it may sounds strange but I felt like I was eating an ice cream cake with this dessert!
A fine, rich cup of decaffeinated cappuccino. I didn’t even thought of asking them what coffee beans they use!
Prix Fixe Menu – $109 for 5 courses plus supplements if applicable
These are the entrees that hubby chose for his prix fixe menu.
Smoked eel, foie gras, fingerling potato salad and horseradish ($10 supplement)
Sauteed Calamari, Mediterranean vegetable medley in a crustaceous vinaigrette
The calamari was perfectly tender and the vinaigrette isn’t like anything I’ve tasted before. It’s so unique that I can’t even tell you what it could be, except I wouldn’t mind having my calamari cooked this way more often!
Les Pates Fraiches
Spiced Maine lobster over orecchiette ($10 supplement)
The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and it was basking in the most delicious lobster flavored sauce. We still had dinner bread left over so I kept mopping up the sauce with that… so good. The manager (I assume to be) came by and grinned. He’s like, I promise not to take the plate away until you’re done! Hahaha…
Le Cochon de Lait
Suckling pig confit, sauteed cabbage with ginger (optional $30 supplement for white truffle)
The famous whipped potato. One spoonful and hubby said wow, this is insanely delicious! Yes honey, do you know how much butter is in that thing? Like an insane amount! He’s like no way, and I’m like trust me, I know (I read the recipe where The Pioneer Woman made her mashed potatoes… holy smoke). Our server came by, heard our discussion, grinned and said, yes, there’s a lot of butter in it, but I can’t tell you anything else as it’s a trade secret. Lol. Then he said, it’s actually half potato and half butter. French butter imported from France, nonetheless. Quite frankly, the puree tastes like butter with the texture of potato. That’s how rich it tastes!
Red berry coulis with light caramel mousse and lychee sorbet
What a fabulous meal. We were stuffed to the brim so good thing we were walking back to our hotel! We were absolutely satisfied from everything we tasted and I didn’t find it too pricey considering what was served. Service was professional, friendly and courteous – we all felt very taken care of and everything was just so organized. There is no way I will skip this restaurant the next time I’m in Vegas and yes, I will also try the actual Joël Robuchon (three Michelin stars!) when given the chance. I just don’t think I have the stomach for 16 courses for now!