April 16, 2015
This was the first time we have ever celebrated Mitch’s birthday in Paris, so I decided to take him to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon for dinner. With 2 Michelin Stars we were excited – well at least I was, it was a surprise for him. We have eaten at his L’Atelier in Las Vegas twice and found it to be not just a culinary delight, but a visual adventure as well since the entire kitchen is exposed with the guests seated at a bar that surrounds it allowing you to watch as each meal is meticulously prepared. Our meal in Las Vegas was such an extraordinary event that we decided to go back the next night and sit in a different location so we could watch another part of the kitchen. One of the most intriguing aspects for us was the fact that no one in the kitchen moved faster than a slow walk or spoke louder than sotto voce. We were mesmerized by it all.
The Paris L’Atelier is located in Saint Germain and is larger than its Las Vegas sister. It has two bars for seating that mirror each other at opposite ends of the restaurant. There is additional table seating behind both bars increasing the number of guests by two fold. Our reservation was for the 6:30 seating (they offer two) which, by Paris standards is really lunch. We were seated at the bar with a perfect view of the kitchen and executive chef Alex Manes – one of the youngest chefs to be awarded a Michelin Star. We opted for the Tasting Menu which included ten courses. Rather than take you through each course, I have included photos of each below in the order they were served. Overall it was an amazing meal and we loved meeting Chef Manes when he came over to say hello. When we told him we had been to L’Atelier in Las Vegas he bought us a glass of champagne. He was very kind.
There are differences in the two restaurants. Paris does not capture the same ballet type movement in the kitchen as they do in Las Vegas. Probably because it is a much larger restaurant and they seat everyone at the same time which puts more stress on the kitchen. But regardless, it is worth every Euro cent – and there were a lot of those – to experience such culinary genius. Every course was a masterpiece in both taste and presentation. And watching the kitchen staff at work under the watchful eye of Chef Manes was a delight. If you do go, you can make a reservation directly on their website. Here is a link. Also, I would opt for the 6:30 seating since the later seating must wait for the 6:30 seating guests to leave. We were there for almost four hours and there were many people waiting to be seated by the time we left. But if you don’t mind waiting go for it. Bon Appetit.