Joel Robuchon Restaurant MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Joël Robuchon Restaurant Joël Robuchon Restaurant

Joël Robuchon Restaurant

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (Tropicana Ave.)
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Cuisine: French
Chef Joël Robuchon had achieved the highest level of culinary excellence with this Las Vegas destination.
Openings: Dinner Thurs.-Mon.


Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Las Vegas, NV

Joël Robuchon Restaurant Restaurant Review:


About chef Joël Robuchon: Entering Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is always intimidating: First, because it is a beautiful restaurant; second, and most importantly, you are entering a temple of truly haute gastronomy. It is founded on the long culinary history and impressive talents of "Monsieur Robuchon," named "Cook of the Century" in 1990 by GaultMillau/Gayot, after being "Chef of the Year" in 1985, just three years after opening his first restaurant, Jamin, in Paris. In 1996, at what seemed to be the top of his career, the 51-year-old über-chef announced his retirement. But, luckily for our taste buds, he was back in 2003 with his first "L'Atelier" in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

About the restaurant: In 2005, architect Pierre-Yves Rochon was put to the task to create a backdrop for the master in Las Vegas. On the left, you will find a très luxurious bar where a collection of Cognacs and Armagnacs is displayed. Then, a gleaming foyer opens on the main room, softly illuminated by a Baccarat tear-drop crystal chandelier hanging from a high ceiling, and decorated with Lalique vases. On the side of the foyer, there is a private dining room mimicking a patio. Rochon found his inspiration in the Art Deco era, using black, purple and crimson hues to create a refined and cozy atmosphere centered around a monumental black fireplace. Be sure to approach the mantelpiece and admire the Art Deco-style statue representing two lions, a humorous allusion to the famous MGM Studios symbol.

About the kitchen team: Chef Robuchon had created a very solid team to run his restaurants in around a dozen different countries. Many of the chefs started working with him at a young age and were infused by the Robuchon culture, style and cuisine, which are in a permanent evolution --- you can never rest on your laurels. Las Vegas executive chef Christophe De Lellis is the perfect case study illustration. At the age of 21, fresh from culinary school in his native France, he went directly to Las Vegas to work with Robuchon as a sous chef. By the age of 27, he was running the kitchen in Sin City. That should tell you all you need to know about his talent.

About the food: Every meal service starts with butter served tableside. Bordier, which is the most reputable from Brittany, France, is sprinkled with fleur de sel and placed alongside olive oil from Spain. They will accompany one (or more) of the 17 house-made breads. The amuse-bouche the evening we went was a quinoa croquette. The "Caviar Impérial" appropriately bears its name considering its presentation: cauliflower purée dots topped with smaller parsley dots on crustacean gelée, surrounding a circle of caviar hiding king crab meat. It's a Robuchon classic but always impressive. De Lellis recommends the next service to be eaten in the following order: tomato candies, violet artichoke with foie gras and Parmesan shavings, and then the Maine lobster wrapped in a thinly sliced turnip with a sweet and sour dressing. White asparagus is cooked two ways, grilled and poached in milk, bringing a very different finish to each piece. John Dory rests on a bed of squid ink risotto where crispness and flavor are brought by a tempura of shiso leaf. If it's available, La Canette is a must-have. Roasted with linden leaves, and given a glaze of coriander grains with honey, the duck is carved tableside with art and delicacy, served with a reduction of orange, coriander grains, pepper and ginger.

Likes: The grand experience. Some of the plates are designed by De Lellis to create a more dramatic presentation.
Dislikes: Considering that there is an affordable menu priced at $127, none.

About the desserts: Sweets make an entrance with a trio of meringue "clouds" accented with pineapple, caramel and passion fruit. The next dessert, Le Papillon Chocolat Azélia, leaves you panting and you will have a hard time breaking the purple sugar butterfly and the scene it is flying over. The full description of the mignardise cart takes three and a half minutes. The herbal tea cart is covered with fresh plants that are cut and infused in front of you.

About the menus: The full Menu Dégustation, priced at $445, offers 13 courses, four desserts and mignardises. (We like that the dishes are fully described.) There are also four shorter menus ranging from $127 to $250.

About the wine: The long wine list contains more than 2,500 labels with many good finds from small American and French producers, making many bottles approachable. As well, top global selections highlight Burgundy and Bordeaux offerings.

Conclusion: Stated simply, an evening here is unforgettable. Make no mistake: Joël Robuchon was one of the few who have made contemporary gastronomy what it is today. The highest rating we give is 19 out of 20, which has been the rating bestowed to the restaurant since it opened. If only we could grant a higher one…

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