In the world of Las Vegas dining, there’s Joël Robuchon, and then there’s everything else. The famed French chef’s American flagship has racked up just about every conceivable accolade — five stars from Forbes Travel Guide, five diamonds from AAA, Wine Spectator’s Grand Award — and it also boasted three Michelin Stars until Michelin suspended Las Vegas reviews in 2010 (and it was ranked number nine in The Daily Meal’s 2017 ranking of the 101 Best Restaurants in America). So when we were presented with the opportunity to dine there during a recent visit to Las Vegas, it was one we jumped at.
The restaurant is nestled into a quiet corner of the MGM Grand’s casino floor, right next door to its more casual sister restaurant, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The exterior looks like that of a luxury townhouse, and this theme continues inside the heavy glass doors. After being greeted in the marble foyer, you’re encouraged to have a cocktail or glass of Champagne at a small bar to the left, and then you’re escorted to your table in the luxurious and intimate 11-table dining room (with five more on a "garden terrace"), which has a color scheme of purple, beige, and black. And then the adventure begins.
We were treated to a 12-course meal, slightly abridged from his 18-course prix-fixe menu format, which was rolled out to much fanfare two years ago and changes seasonally. Instead of each course coming out individually, which would lead to an excessively long meal, they’re brought out in several different “services” of two to three individual dishes. There aren’t enough words to describe a meal like this, so photos will have to do it justice.
From start to finish, our meal at Joël Robuchon, under the auspices of chef Christophe de Lellis, was refined, polished, and perfectly executed. It was almost like having a front-row seat at an edible symphony, if that makes any sense. The front-of-house team worked in tandem to make sure that everything went off without a hitch. Every component of every dish was given appropriate thought, and the plating and presentation turned each of those dishes into a work of art. Adventure awaited around every turn, and each dish had an element of surprise and whimsy. Being able to experience a three-Michelin star haute French meal is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it’s not one I’ll be forgetting any time soon. Read on for a full play-by-play.