Joël Robuchon in Vegas

Famed Parisian Chef, Joël Robuchon Lets it Ride in Vegas

Since opening his successful L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon restaurants in both Paris and Toyko, world-renowned chef Joël Robuchon seems to have been struck by Lady Luck herself, and stateside foodies are reaping the benefits. This past September marked a milestone for the MGM Grand in Las Vegas: Not only has it acquired one of the world’s most sought-after chefs, but the casino got him on a handshake deal. As the story goes, when MGM Grand President Gamel Aziz dined at Robuchon’s L’Atelier in Paris, he convinced the chef on the spot to set his sights on Las Vegas. Now Robuchon has two restaurants on Aziz’s property: L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, his more casual eatery, and Joël Robuchon at the Mansion, which is the ultimate place to experience haute cuisine. 

 Famed Parisian Chef Joël Robuchon
L’Atelier draws you in with its rich, red hues, which bounce off the stainless steel in the bustling open kitchen. From the seats at the bar, guests can even watch Chef de Cuisine Steve Benjamin and his staff prepare meals with clockwork precision, enthusiasm and pride. The menu is classic Robuchon, including such contemporary French favorites as free-range quail stuffed with foie gras, which is served with truffled mashed potatoes. On offer is everything from small tasting portions ($9-60) to a 10-course tasting menu ($85). Save room for dessert, as Robuchon’s long-time pastry chef, Patrick Mehu, dazzles with creations—think Tequila lime sorbet with strawberry gazpacho and sugar cactus garnish—that scream Las Vegas.     

Right next door to L’Atelier is Joël Robuchon at the Mansion. (The Mansion is a little-known secret at the MGM Grand. It’s MGM’s hotel-within-a-hotel, where high-rollers and celebrities alike stay and play; for privacy’s sake, it also boasts its own private entrance to the restaurant.) Joël Robuchon at the Mansion is pure luxury, outfitted with rich, purple velvet couches and black fabrics.  At this intimate, 54-seat restaurant (which includes a private dining room for 10 and a garden dining area), you’ll feel as though the ringing slot machines are thousands of miles away. 

 Joël Robuchon at the Mansion

At the Mansion, the menu is classic French, featuring such dishes as Brittany lobster coccette with girolles and asparagus, available à la carte ($120).  If you can spare the time away from the tables, go for the 5- or 16-course dégustation menus ($135 and $295, respectively). MGM Wine Director Jamie Smith and Antoinie Hernandez, Robuchon’s long-time sommelier, have designed both restaurants’ wine lists with selections that perfectly complement the fare. The lists are heavy on bottlings from France, Italy and California, including Yves Cuilleron’s 2003 Les Chaillets Condrieu

If there were such a thing as a sure bet, here are two ways to place one. You’ll always come out a winner at one of Robuchon’s restaurants as he and his staff strive to bring you the best dining experience you’ve ever had.

Published on December 29, 2005

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