The room was designed to look like it could be a luxury Parisian penthouse owned by Robuchon, so some personal touches (like photos of his celebrity friends) are scattered throughout the room. There’s also a fireplace and an “outdoor” area with a green wall that resembles a garden terrace. It’s a relatively small room, but tables are well-spaced.
The first thing guests see is the bread cart, which is rolled up to your table. Several varieties of baguettes are available (including one that’s studded with bacon and black pepper), as well as brioche buns, croissants, and cheese bread; it’s all baked on-premises.
The meal starts with a bang: Le Caviar Imperial, one of Robuchon’s signature dishes. First, a layer of gelée made with crustacean stock is allowed to firm up on the plate, and a disc of king crab is added to the middle and topped with osetra caviar. It’s surrounded by dots of cauliflower purée.
The first trio of appetizers consisted of (left to right): tomato “candy” with lemon olive oil, Maine lobster in a cone of thinly-sliced turnip with sweet and sour sauce, and a salad of artichoke and foie gras with Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.
A semi-soft boiled egg on a bed of spinach purée with Comté cheese sauce.
White asparagus with black garlic, shiso, and Espelette pepper.
Fillet of John Dory on a bed of squid ink risotto, topped with tempura-fried shiso leaves.
A whole roasted duck topped with acacia honey and coriander, presented tableside before being carved and plated.
The finished dish: slices of duck breast with rounds of glazed turnips and foie gras. Robuchon’s signature pommes purée — a recipe he perfected in the ‘80s that includes a whole lot of butter and has been hailed as the best mashed potatoes on the planet — was spooned on the side.
This is actually three desserts in one: In the center is a citrus shave ice topped with hibiscus syrup; on the left is raspberry-cherry blossom compote with Chantilly (whipped) cream coated in matcha powder; and on the right is tiramisu coated in Earl Grey powder. Pastry chef Salvatore Martone constructed the leaf-shaped molds by hand.
Up next came a glass jar filled with what can only be described as an edible landscape. Among its components were smooth hazelnut milk chocolate crémeux (similar to a pudding), coffee Chantilly cream, and praline ice cream. I wish the photo was better, as it was an absolute joy (and adventure) to eat.
Another cart arrived to bookend the meal; this one filled with mignardises, tiny pastries and sweets. These included more than 40 types of eclairs, tarts, chocolates, petits-fours, and macarons, and I’d never wished for extra stomach space more than when these were rolled to the table.
On the left is the restaurant’s 29-year-old executive chef, Christophe De Lellis, who spent several years as sous chef at the restaurant after graduating first in his class at Paris’ École Supérieure de Cuisine Française. (He replaced longtime executive chef Claude Le-Tohic last year). On the right is the executive pastry chef, Salvatore Martone, who joined the team in 2008 and has helmed the pastry department since May 2013.