Our first serious dinner last night. L’Atelier Etoile de Joel Robuchon. In the food world his name is right at the top. Like many French chefs he has opened more casual facilities to bring his cuisine to a broader audience.
We walked from the hotel, and when we arrived on the Champs Élysées, we headed due west into the setting sun, it was nine pm, towards l’arch de Triomphe. We had the address and were told it was inside the Publicis drugstore!,,, not a place one would expect to find great cuisine. We cautiously walked through, following signs and came to a stair case that led us to our destination.
Black and red and some what modern. Pretty much everyone sits at a three sided counter where you watch the kitchen perform. We were seated immediately.
A glass of champagne to begin. I had never seen the oversized champagne glasses they used. Love them!
Our server Maree, accent aigu on the first e, spoke english well. You are sitting with in inches of your neighbors so it is easy to spy on their plates. The Amuse – wow a stubby shot glass of a Parmesan mousse – three layers of extraordinary flavor. I gotten better at enjoying and not always wondering how it was made, as I ave absolutely no idea!
Lots of small plates – so over consumption can be controlled. We shared four plates. A wonderful Dorade, white fish, sliced carpaccio style with only the best olive oil, fresh lemon some salt and flecks of a mildly hot pepper. Quite a generous portion.
Langoustine en Ravioli- paper thin with a mostly classic french lobster sauce. A small taste of very good caviar garnished.
Next a ravioli made with veal feet, and served with the smallest Girolle, Chanterelle in USA. I love wild mushrooms and they were exceptional. A fillet of Rouget sautéed with a little eggplant underneath.
Dinners are accompanied by chef Robuchon’s famous butter enriched potatoes. I had forgotten about that recipe…OMG! Yes that good. (Might try it for Allison).
They brought a complimentary dessert, a laying of coconut cream, mango and passion fruit.
Wynne had the soufflé in honor of her dad. I had the tarte Tatin, curious about how he would handle, les pommes…Both were excellent.
Fresh from the oven Madeleines arrived in their cooking tin. Full sized, not the minis, are available at Cafe Boulud in NYC.
Wynne was presented a bag of goodies to take home. Madeleines for breakfast, longue du chat and house made candies.
A fabulous experience, and wonderfully attentive and helpful service!
I loved observing the kitchen. We could watch a chef who was responsible for lots of last minute preparation, selecting the largest Porcini mushrooms I have ever seen. Peeling and preparing fresh small artichokes. And so much more. A wonderful dining experience, made even better by the attentive staff!