There are two separate menus at Joël Robuchon: 6-course and 16-course, not including wine and other beverages. There are also four special tasting menus with various combinations of soups, appetizers, main courses, cheeses and desserts.
Attire is business casual with jackets required for men.
When the "chef of the century" asks you to dine in his namesake restaurant, it's not really a matter of if, it's a matter of when. The only three-Michelin star restaurant in Las Vegas, JoŽl Robuchon exceeds expectations and provides a truly unique culinary and sensory experience.
Walk into the main foyer through curved, glass-paned double doors and instantly feel the glow of opulence. Dark, rich woods, black and white tile floors and muted purple wallpaper with scrolling pattern line the entryway. To the left, a small but ample lounge area is perfect for a cocktail or glass of Champagne. In this room, there are vibrant red walls and matching draperies mixed with gold accents along the bottom half of the bar and brass lighting fixture. Directly across from the bar is a private dining room that seats about 10.
Straight down the hallway is the main dining room, full of plush dark aubergine-colored velvet banquettes and overstuffed pillows in shades of lavender and violet. One grand crystal chandelier serves as the focal point of the room and a few pieces of modern art hang throughout. The dark carpet winds along the floor with a scrolling design and the fireplace warms the room with a pleasant glow. Off to the side is a garden room, filled from floor to ceiling with greenery, which serves as a semi-private dining area.††
When dining at Robuchon, the commitment to service doesn't go unnoticed. The staff waltzes around the room in a sequence of exceptionally choreographed service routines.
One of the things you'll notice are the large silver serving trays atop small, dark wood, high varnish china cabinets. When a server walks out with a new tray of food, they won't put it down--they'll wait--and wait. If there is an old tray on the cabinet, the server won't ask one of his colleagues to remove the old tray or try and pull the switcheroo himself. Instead, they will stand next to the cabinet until one of their colleagues recognizes they are there and promptly removes the old tray. It is details like these that set Robuchon apart.
The menu changes seasonally, but when I dined, one of my favorite dishes was the "la langoustine," a langoustine ravioli served with a light broth.
There were two soups available, so my friend and I each had one. The first was a gorgeously smooth yet airy chestnut veloutť, with hints of both sweet and savory. The second was a cabbage soup with pungent ginger flavor that contained melt-in-your-mouth foie gras ravioli and meaty shavings of black truffle.
Entrťes include a tender braised veal cheek dish, filet of sole with zucchini flower and yuzu and "Les Spaghettis"--not your average spaghetti, this house-made pasta is served with poached egg that melts into the spaghetti to give it a rich, creamy texture and is topped with black truffle.†
For an extra special treat, order a cup of tea. Faster than you can say "Darjeeling," a trolley filled with potted fresh herbs appear next to your table. A white gloved server carefully picks the leaves he is going to use and cuts them from the plant to make your tea.
There are three other carts you need to know about:
The bread cart has about a dozen varieties of bread nightly. The fluffy milk bread and rosemary brioche are divine and the only thing better than this cart is the selection of extra virgin olive oil and massive block of butter from which they carve a tiny scroll, top it with sea salt and serve with your bread.
The cheese cart offers an exceptional selection of French cheeses from firm to triple crŤme and everything in between. A few highlights include the Mimolette, a firm cow's milk cheese from Lille, France, famous for its bright pumpkin-orange color. Saint Marcellin, also a cow's milk cheese, is creamy and buttery in texture and in flavor.
The mignardise cart comes at the end of your meal--just when you don't think you have any more room, you find Pastry Chef Kamel Guechida's delectable delights. Suddenly, you've got your second wind and you're going after passion fruit marshmallows, dark chocolate truffles and Tahitian vanilla-bean caramels. That is, of course, after you have your dessert course.
JoŽl Roubuchon transforms dinner into the ultimate fine-dining sensory experience. A word of caution: be prepared to stay awhile to enjoy your meal.
-- Review by Nikki Neu