March 9, 2011: Vegas Day #2! Dinner at Joel Robuchon!
Martin Gero knows his food, knows what he likes, and, more importantly, knows what I like when it comes to food – so his dining recommendations are to be given serious consideration. When Martin found out I’d be visiting Vegas, he insisted I visit two restaurants – the scenes of some of his most spectacular meals: Guy Savoy (booked for Thursday night) and Joel Robuchon.
Now I dined at Chateau Joel Robuchon in Ebisu a couple of years ago and, despite it being the final meal on an exhausting culinary excursion of Tokyo, it was a very memorable visit. Add to this the fact that I just finished re-watching Top Chef Vegas which, in one episode, featured the man himself, Joel Robuchon, Chef of the Century, as well as his lush, royal purple restaurant, and the prospect of following up on Martin’s suggestion became as obvious as truffle oil with squash risotto.
Joel Robuchon is located in the MGM Grand, a short hop, skip, and one loooong jump from where we’re staying at the Venetian – so we cabbed it and, unlike Monday’s dinner reservation, arrived well on time.
We were seated and offered the menus, but immediately informed the Maitre D we were decided. We’d be going with the Chef’s Winter Menu. At sixteen courses, it seemed a little daunting, but I was prepared. Mentally anyway. Unlike Marty G. who had readied himself by eating toast and water that day, I had yet to come down from the sugar high that two sundaes, a slice of chocolate pizza, and one large pistachio macaron had delivered.
As the waiter whisked away our menus, I began to regret that pisatchio macaron.
Well, fear not. I made it. Truthfully, I was full halfway through the meal but the dishes were so delicious, so exquisitely crafted and beautifully plated, that finishing wasn’t that difficult. Until it came time for the after dessert Dessert Cart.
But I get ahead of myself. Our meal at Joel Robuchon was spectacular, nothing short of epic. And it went something like this…
Then, it was time for the main event…
Not picture – Le Black Cod: Black cod in daikon buoillon with yuzu zest. Damn. For some reason, I missed snapping a pic of this dish and it’s a shame because it was one of the highlights of among an entire evening of highlights. The cod was sweet and smokey, its accompaniments again redolent of the very best of Japan cuisine.
Sixteen courses, several fresh breads, some house-churned butter, and a few glasses of wine later we were thoroughly sated. And then some. At which point they rolled out the Dessert Cart.
We capped off our meal with a tour of the kitchen where we watched the team in action, then met Executive Chef Claude Le Tohic and Pastry Chef Kamel Guechida.