This guest post comes from Mary Jo Manzanares, Travel & Culture Channel Editor and blogger at Flyaway Cafe.
I wnet to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, while waiting to attendd a performance of Ka (a Cirque du Soleil performance).
Since I had about an hour to spare before meeting a friend to see the performance, and because I was looking for a quiet place to have a drink – away from the craziness, noise, and frenetic energy of the casino – and so I chose L’ Atelier du Joel Robuchon.
Walking to the door, I advised the maitre d’ that I wanted a quiet place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine. He escorted me through the main dining area, which consists of a large open kitchen in the center of the room surrounded by a counter where diners are seated, to a small bar at the back of the restaurant. It was a perfect location, away from the frenetic energy of the food preparation and the noise of gregarious diners. And I appreciated that I wasn’t stuck in some corner where I’d be ignored, as so often can happen with a woman dining (or drinking).
With the help of the wine steward I selected a nice glass of red wine, full-bodied enough to stand on its own and not needing a food pairing to bring out its best flavor. The wine steward was helpful, inquiring about my taste preferences, and made two suggestions, allowing me to choose.
When served, the wine was opened in front of me, a nice touch that guaranteed me that the wine was fresh. It was delicious, and I could settle back and enjoy some relaxation time before meeting up with friends. The service was excellent, with my waiter checking back to see if I needed anything more without hovering or making me feel uncomfortable for just want to enjoy a good glass of red. Bread and crackers were offered, although I declined.
I did have a chance to browse through the dinner menu, and it contained some delicious sounding items, including small tasting-sized portions and a complete multi-course tasting menu. I spent a little extra time looking at the dessert menu (my favorite course), and was nearly tempted by La Framboise (fresh raspberry surprise inside white chocolate sphere, yuzu ice cream).
This is not a restaurant for the budget conscious. A glass of good wine is going to run you around $25, and from a quick look at the menu, I’d guess that a nice meal and a cocktail is going to run you around $100+ per person. Wine will increase that tab substantially. Of course, since Joel Robuchon was named “Chef of the Century” that price may be a fair one. People who’ve eaten there rave about it!
The stop off was exactly what I wanted, a half hour of quiet time, away from the crowds of people, before continuing on with an evening full of plans.
Would I go back? Absolutely! And I’m looking to try the tasting menu next time.
L’ Atelier is open for dinner only, Sunday – Thursday 5:30 – 10:30 pm; Friday & Saturday 5 –11:30 pm.
Photo credit: Personal collection