Home » VT News » Joël Robuchon : The Experience

Joël Robuchon : The Experience

By MikeE on Monday, 5th April 2010 1:28pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 14


VT reader JohnD and I along with another friend had the pleasure of dining at MGM Grand's flagship restaurant, Joël Robuchon, last Monday night. As one of only eight Michelin Three Star restaurants in the United States, numerous reviews can be found on the food, but the experience itself leaves just as lasting of an impression. A table at Joël Robuchon for the night is a dining experience far beyond the very best restaurants in Las Vegas and possibly even the world. This review will mainly focus on that experience.

After meeting the driver of our complimentary limousine at the Encore Tower Suites entrance at 6pm for our 6:30 reservation, we were promptly taken to MGM Grand. From within the confines of the limo, unknowing diners may wonder why they're slowly pulling into a strange back alley and not MGM's main port cochere. It is only moments later that you notice the massive iron gates opening in front of you as you make your way in. MGM's main entrance would only make for a terrible first impression - your Robuchon experience begins within the confines of the high roller haven that is The Mansion.

Our driver took us through and into the main atrium where he informed us to wait for our hostess to arrive. I prayed that she'd be late. Take whatever stereotypical cliché you have of what heaven might be like - flowers, fountains, and the sound of trickling water at every step - multiply it exponentially, and you'll have an idea of what The Mansion is. The aroma of natural flowers immediately strikes you with various fragrances overwhelming the olfactory senses at every corner, disproving any thought that they might be fake Aromasys scents being pumped in.

Our gorgeous hostess greeted us and walked us through where once outside The Mansion and its casino, we entered MGM Grand's main confines and her stride picked up to a comical pace. We couldn't blame her.

As we stepped into the restaurant and the massive doors shut behind us, it was akin to stepping into a Rolls Royce Phantom in the middle of Time Square – the sudden silence seemed just as loud as the hubbub only moments before. The restaurant is small with a bold décor of purples, golds, and greens mixed with some otherwise odd choices. A framed black and white picture of Alan F. Thicke stood over my shoulder behind my seat while another photo of David Copperfield stared directly at me from across the room.

I only glanced at the menu for a moment with an almost evil smile knowing full well that we had all agreed upon the sinfully gluttonous 16-course Degustation menu beforehand. If it's your first time at Robuchon, don't settle for anything less.

Robuchon Menu

The bread cart was rolled out with well over 20 different varieties to choose from. After your waiter spends several minutes guiding you through the choices available on the top shelf, I dare you to not chuckle as he reverts your attention to the just-as-impressive bottom shelf. It is nothing short of ridiculous.

I made choices of four different varieties keeping the portions small in order to prevent filling up. While covering sixteen exquisite courses and not sounding repetitive is beyond my talents as a writer, some plates stood out more than others. Among my favorites included Le Veau, a sautéed veal chop absolutely bursting with unexpected flavors and Le Soja, a risotto augmented with lemon zest and almonds creating a delightful, crispy texture to the dish.

The meal finished with three courses dedicated to dessert, the last course of which was a cart with a selection of sweets just as impressive as the bread cart that began our meal. Amazingly, the meals are timed and arranged to perfection. By course eight or nine, we were all wondering how we could possibly go on, and yet, by the end, I felt completely satisfied and not overly full; it was the perfect amount of food. As a special treat, we were then given a tour of the kitchen where no less than 16 staff worked tirelessly preparing the meals. Along with several waiters (a team of three dedicated to each table), hostesses, bartenders, bussers, and a sommelier, the staff far outnumbers the diners, even during the busiest of times.

A final gift of the menu was given along with our check. Two glasses of champagne, one glass of wine, and three bottles of sparkling water produced a grand total of $1394.49.

Robuchon Menu

We were escorted back through The Mansion, into the limo, and back to Encore - the four-hour experience was most definitely worth every penny. Would I do it again? Yes, but not the full sixteen courses. That is almost a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be savored and the novelty is lost by the next visit. Nevertheless, I intend to return to sample the smaller prix fixe menus, and even more enticingly, to relive the incredible experience that diners not staying at MGM receive.



Comments & Discussion:

that sounds amazing.

Wow! One day I intend to spoil myself with that meal.

Holy Cow! $10 for a glass of water!
$35 for a glass of Champagne!
$35 for a glass of wine!

Great report, but I guess I'm getting more conservative in my old age.
I'm glad they brought you in through The Mansion instead of the main entrance. It is sort of jarring to step outside Joel Robuchon into the casino.
Two courses of sea urchins?
Anyway, I'm jealous.

Mike, one more comment. Your check says, "Joel Robuchon at The Mansions". Mansions???? I know, I'm being picky.

"three bottles of sparkling water" (badoit) = $10 each

im curious what happens if they give you limo and you order like 1 thing a la carte. do they tell you to get your own ride home? :D

Nice work Mike, I'm glad your meal was as amazing as mine!

All I have to say is... :)

Thank you all for the kind comments.

Detroit, I too caught the "Mansions" misprint. Then again, they've completely dropped the "...at The Mansion" portion of their name and now go only by Joël Robuchon.

After doing a few of these dinners at the various high-end french restaurants in Vegas (JR, Alex, Andre, Alize, Picasso), I now put a 3 hour time limit on the meal. My back just can't sit in one place any longer than that. Also, you need to start the meal somewhat fresh (no all afternoon drinking/gambling/walking/sunning) which really takes away from many of my favorite pastimes. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime must, but not for every trip.

parchedearth, there arent many menus that are THAT long.

16 - joel robuchon
11 - guy savoy / latelier

joel robuchon and guy savoy have a la carte now. i hear alex does it upon request. twist also launched with a la carte, and considering the style of the tasting, will probably keep it, even if joel and robuchon drop it when business improves.

i meant joel and guy of course. typos for all!

Thanks for the review! I just can't wait to do the luncheon at L'Atelier next month at Vegas Uncorked, but I REALLY can't wait to book a table here and try one of these menus. I know I'll sound a little lame@ss, but I must ask... Do they offer vegetarian tasting menu(s)?

Atdleft,L'Atelier was excellent the one time I dined there, but there's something out of whack about eating at a counter. I'd rather eat at the bar at LeCirque, Bradley Ogden, Boulud or SW than at L'Atelier.

vegetarian >


http://www.bellagio.com/restaurants/michael-mina.aspx (michelin 1*)
5 course $85 (1 with egg)

? course $89

Comments Are Closed

Subscribe via RSS

Recent Comments:

michigan2010 posted: "MGM equals cookie cutter casino. No to reason to step foot in Bellagio again. Just hope they don't screw up..."
» Sayonara Bellagio Table Game Canopies...
saharalv posted: "I wish the editors were the entire electoral college in 2016...."
» Introducing the Trippies Class of...
fatbastard posted: "So many people letting a billionaire live rent free in their heads. Funny. Too bad it also detracts from the..."
» Introducing the Trippies Class of...
wpsteel66 posted: "Total bummer…talk about taking the class and uniqueness away from the Bellagio…another smart move on CEO Jim and making all..."
» Sayonara Bellagio Table Game Canopies...
damania posted: "Is there a podcast?..."
» Introducing the Trippies Class of...

» More Comments