L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is the workshop of the Chef of the Century Joel Robuchon in the MGM Grand Las Vegas. The open kitchen allows diners to see artful modern French cuisine made right before their eyes. It is located next to Joel Robuchon, the chef's top-of-the-line restaurant.
While French restaurants often offer limited options for vegetarian diners, there is a complete vegetarian menu and degustation available nightly at L'Atelier. Vegan diners were out of luck on the menu - dishes were almost always made with cheese and/or eggs - but the talented kitchen is capable of turning out great items for just anybody with advance notice.
The open kitchen concept has been utilized by other chefs to great success - visit The Catbird Seat in Nashville to see the approach absolutely shine. The dining room itself is a show with chefs performing acts of culinary precision in a way that puts every diner at the kitchen table.
The beverage program at L'Atelier shows the same rigorous care as the kitchen. The cocktails were divine, and the wine list was filled with gems. The second wine of Chateau Musar (Jeune), a Lebanese red blend, was a steal by the glass.
The amuse bouche was a vegetable fondant topped with avocado cream. Sweet tomato was fattened up by the whipped avocado, and it displayed a rich palate of green herbs.
The soft boiled egg in a vegetarian spinach veloute with a parmesan tuile makes great use of texture. The sauce is thick, the egg is soft, almost hidden in the dish, and the cheese crisp adds a nice crunch that unifies the dish.
The basil tomato spaghetti is rooted in Italy, but the olives give the dish a slight Mediterranean spin. While the pasta was excellent, it paled in comparison to the similar dish at Scarpetta.
The gelato was artfully presented. It was a fitting conclusion to a great meal.
L'Atelier isn't cheap, but it is a great introduction to one of the world's luminary chefs. The Michelin-starred restaurant is a destination worth finding in the Las Vegas desert.