Visited April 2022
Rating: none yet
The opening of another Atelier Robuchon, and that in Geneva, has been a rumor in the press for years. After it was announced that this actually happened in September 2021, the restaurant made it on my list of planned visits. Now, on the occasion of another appointment in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the opportunity to actually do so arose.
The restaurant has not yet been rated by Michelin, as it has only been open for a short time and the publication of the 2022 Guide Michelin Switzerland has been postponed until fall. Executive chef here is Olivier Jean, who moved from Atelier Taipei. The Atelier there held two Michelin Macarons under him.
The 22-seat counter here is arranged as a strip in front of the kitchen. Four additional tables for groups are also present in the restaurant, which has a separate entrance in “The Woodward” hotel building complex. Through the divider between the serving aisle and the kitchen, one can somewhat observe the activities in the kitchen: For example, arranging on plates from the squeeze bottle, cutting out round brioche slices, breading artichoke quarters with cornstarch, stowing leftovers in storage boxes, and finally, complete cleaning the mostly black kitchen surfaces.
For once, I did not choose my menu from à la carte dishes for lunch today. Reason: the vegetarian menu offered two courses that I would have chosen anyway and, new this weekend, fresh morels, which is one of my favorites as a basic ingredient.
Driving and another appointment in the evening limited the wine enjoyment in terms of quantity, so I had a glass of 2019 Petite Arvine Les Seyes white wine, Cave des Amandieres from Fully, Valais, Switzerland. With the main course, I had a half glass of 2018 Syrah red wine, Christophe Abbet from Martigny, Valais, Switzerland.
This hors d’oevre was served with the vegetarian menu only. Other guests received the classic, foie gras crème with port wine reduction and parmesan foam. The amuse was served lukewarm and featured a lot of umami due to the mushroom flavor – a good start.
Unsalted and salted butter came with it. The brioche buns are better in New York. These here were too dry.
This is a dish I’ve been wanting to eat for a while, and had actually picked it for a planned visit to Atelier Montreal, which had fallen victim to Corona. Now I have eaten it here. On the plate is a tartare of beetroot, Gala and Granny Smith apples covered in mixed herbs, unfortunately including coriander, and a mustard ice cream. Next to it there are dabs of gels and creams as there are, beet, avocado, orange?mayonannaise, olive oil. The tartar is interesting by the interplay earthy (beetroot), sour (Granny S.) and sweet (Gala) and slightly spicy by the addition of piment d’Espelette and mustard. The mustard ice cream is mild and goes well with it.
In the center of the plate is a fried egg on a kind of pancake of crispy fried rice. Then to the side are the stars of this dish, fresh fried morels. Slices of shaved Gruyere cheese, arugula and a foam complete the dish.
I loved the taste of this one. This dish lands in second place out of all the dishes I have ever eaten at Ateliers. Unbeaten remains the cod I had at Christophe Bellanca in New York.
The baby artichoke quarters were thinly breaded and deep-fried. The ricotta gnocchi were very fine, silky smooth, almost velvety. I think I have eaten what is there called Parisian gnocchi before, in New York in a truffle dish. The velouté went well with it. What bothered me, however, was the bitterness of the arugula crème specks, which did not quite fit the flavor picture of artichokes, gnocchi and velouté.
As main course was served the grain farro cooked on low heat mixed with pieces of carrot impeccable bite and refined with goat cheese, which added freshness and some acidity. A broth with chives, decoration with various slices of beet and dots of crème fraîche completed this course. The course was very filling. It was served with the famous Robuchon potatoe puree, which I liked better this time than those, I had in ateliers before. It may be that this was due to the combination with the other components.
Crumble and a compote of pineapple and passion fruit at the bottom of the glass and on top coconut sorbet were covered by coconut foam with lime zest. This pré-dessert was as good as a small dessert with a combination of exotic fruits can be.
When this plate is served, at first you see only the sugar sphere and a pattern of quince jelly. Then inside the sphere, at the bottom, there were two disks, one of roasted hazelnut pieces, then a kind of sablé of pastry, on top praline cream, hazelnut pieces and a kind of caramel cream. The dessert was for me a substitute for LA FORÊT NOIRE, which is the standard dessert on the vegetarian menu. I had already eaten this in another Atelier and my request to try something different was gladly granted.
A visit to an Atelier Joel Robuchon is always worth the trip. I liked the vegetarian menu. The morel dish was the highlight. All other courses were good to very good with little things here and there that I personally did not 100% like. Piment d’Espelette for example should not be used in almost all the dishes :-). If the opportunity presents itself again, I will go back to try more dishes from the large database of Joel Robuchon recipes. Too bad that such relaxed dining is not possible in Germany.
Website: L’Atelier Robuchon Genéve
Former visits at Ateliers: