L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon New York


Visited on 24.01.2020

Rating: two Michelin Macarons

Because there are already two reports about this restaurant 2018 and 2019 in German, I decided to write this report in English.

Following two very positive experiences with past visits, l’atelier was again on my list for 2020.

Meanwhile a lot has changed in the Joël Robuchon lineup in the US. They opened a new atelier in Miami, converted Le grill into Le club and most important, Chef Cook Christophe Bellanca became culinary director for the lineup. This raised in me the fear that he is probably no longer in the kitchen of the New York atelier due to his many other duties. Therefore, I was very glad to see him in the kitchen when I arrived at the counter. Since I arrived early, I had been waiting in the club where I was offered a glass of water and had a chat with Mr. McKenna the chef sommelier whom I knew from the last two visits.

This dinner I composed again from the à la Carte menu. With it, I had a glass of white wine 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, Ch. Roquefort, Bordeaux. I ordered “Le cuisses de grenouille” and “Le quail” from the tasting portions menu.

As always first came two amuses bouches.

Foie Gras crème with port wine reduction (the dark line between the crème and the foam) and parmesan foam (all warm)
Parsnip espuma, blood orange, yuzu shavings, ginger, Asian pear and fleur de sel.

One of the specialties of l’atelier is the home baked bread, which is among the best you can get in New York.

From left to right: salty puff pastry swirl, baguette, cheese brioche served with very tasty butter
Alaska king crab and caviar, citron jelly sphere, crustacean jelly, celery vanilla cream

This was fantastic: The mild lemon taste of the sphere combined very well with the sweet king crab, the caviar added sea and salty taste and the celery vanilla cream rounded all up. And not to forget about the crustacean jelly at the bottom…

Crispy frog leg croquette, macha velouté, black garlic aioli, blood orange, celery purée

This was a surprise from outer appearance when it arrived. One may have different images about frog legs in mind but without saying anything, you may order it for someone who never eats such when knowing about the ingredients. In this case, the frog meat was separated from the bones and incorporated into a croquette. It was very crispy and tasty.

Second surprise: Langoustine ravioli, black truffle, cabbage and foie gras sauce

This is one of the signature dishes from late Joël Robuchon, which he lists in the book “my Best”. It combines luxury ingredients like foie gras, truffle and langoustine and reveals umami taste par excellence – really a great course.

Black truffle ice cream and coffee scents

This was served as a palate neutralizer and tasted again very good.

Foie gras filled caramelized free-range quail breast, quail leg, salad, vinaigrette, potato purée

Very well prepared juicy meat with a caramelized skin came with the famous potato purée in a bowl served à part.

Mushroom consisting of: head coffee Chantilly, on it dried yoghurt pieces, stem from white chocolate filled with caramel mousse and cashew nuts, ground cocoa crumbles

For the time being the black forest dessert is no more but now you can order another “mushroom”: “Le cloche au café”. Coffee, white chocolate, caramel and dark chocolate fit very well and make of it a really great dessert with extravagant appearance. It was the right decision going for it.

And this is how it looks inside.
Friandises: raspberry cheese cake and chocolate bowl

While I was eating the dessert, I had a look into the book “my Best” of Joël Robuchon. I had seen that M. Bellanca presented it to a couple seating further right the counter before. Giving it back when I wanted to leave the counter my host told me that I should keep it – what a nice touch!

Afterwards I had a chat in the kitchen with M. Bellanca himself. He is a really nice, approachable guy. On my question what they will do if in 2 years foie gras is banned from New York’s restaurant tables he answered very relaxed that they will find something until then to replace it.

Again, this was a great evening with tasty dishes, beautiful presentation of the food and very nice people at the front desk, at the counter and in the kitchen. From my four restaurant visits in New York this time it was clearly the highlight.


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