Review: Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Las Vegas, USA


Joël Robuchon was one of the world’s most celebrated chefs. His legacy included earning 32 Michelin Stars and being awarded the “Chef of the Century”. With a collection of Joël Robuchon and his more contemporary L’Atelier du Joël Robuchon restaurants located around the western world, his dining experience was on my list of experiences to enjoy for quite some time. Read on to see how my experience was dining at his Joël Robuchon Las Vegas restaurant.

This post is one chapter on our trip during the end of the pandemic to Las Vegas, United States of America. This trip was enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards and Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Joël Robuchon Restaurant Las Vegas, MGM Grand, Nevada, United States of America.

This post is about my experience dining at Joël Robuchon Las Vegas. For how much you’d expect to spend on dinner at Joël Robuchon, please see my other post What Does it Cost to Eat at Joël Robuchon?

On a recent trip to Las Vegas, and in honour of celebrating a major promotion at work, I took myself to Joël Robuchon Restaurant in celebration of life’s major events. My experience dining there was a near perfect dining experience filled with refined tastes, senses and execution.

Setting Out for Joël Robuchon Restaurant with a Celebratory Glass of Champagne

About Restaurant Joël Robuchon:

Joël Robuchon was a French chef and the most awarded French chef in history. During the course of his career, he had received the thirty two Michelin Stars over the course of his career, the most of any chef in the world. He was awarded the “Chef of the Century” by Guide Maillau in 1989.

The Joël Robuchon Las Vegas restaurant is located inside Le Maison at the MGM Grand Las Vegas Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The Joël Robuchon restaurant was rated 3 stars in the year 2009 by the Michelin Guide. The Joël Robuchon Las Vegas also has been awarded 5 stars by the Forbes Travel Guide, and has been ranked by Wine Spectator and Travel and Leisure to be among the finest restaurants the world. As if that wasn’t enough, it was ranked as one of the Top 5 best restaurants in the United States by Gourmet magazine.

There is a bit of a conversation going on that the Joël Robuchon restaurant has “lost” it’s Michelin stars. It’s worth noting that The Michelin Guide last visited Las Vegas in 2009, and hasn’t returned to Las Vegas since then. The unconfirmed reason is that the Las Vegas Michelin Guide did not sell many copies of the Las Vegas edition, and as a result, the raters haven’t returned.

The Michelin Star is typically only valid in the year that it is earned, so in some senses it’s a bit of a mirage to suggest that this is a Michelin starred restaurant. However, it is also a circumstance impacting every other Michelin starred restaurant in Las Vegas, so it’s not something that can be applied to this restaurant exactly.

The concept:

The Joël Robuchon Las Vegas restaurant represents the flagship Joël Robuchon restaurant in Las Vegas and within the United States. As in other countries like Singapore, there is the slightly cheaper Atelier by Joël Robuchon next door to the Jöel Robuchon restaurant that offers the dining experience at a more casual and approachable price point. The Joël Robuchon Las Vegas is the fine dining option between the two, offering a formal French fine dining experience.

The executive chef at Joël Robuchon Las Vegas is presently under Christophe De Lellis. De Lellis studied under Joël Robuchon as the “Chef of the Century” and became Executive Chef at Joël Robuchon at the age of twenty seven. He has been head chef of Restaurant Joël Robuchon Las Vegas, since 2007.

Booking a Dinner at Joël Robuchon:

My experience getting a reservation here was a bit bumpy which I suspect was timed along side the restaurant’s re-opening after the pandemic.

Unlike many fine dining restaurants where the demand for reservations exceeds the supply, I didn’t find any guidance available on the restaurants’ reservation websites. After looking through all of the forward facing websites for the restaurant, I was unable to get an electronic restaurant reservation through the hosting hotel’s website (operating under the SevenRooms reservation’s platform) with no availability showing at all. While the hotel was listed in the directory on Open Table Reservations platform, I wasn’t able to locate any availability there either.

An Easily Accessible Reservation
Image Courtesy of Open Table

I eventually called the MGM Grand hotel reservation telephone line at about sixty days in advance, and was able to get a reservation for “one” on my preferred date; a Thursday night. I later learned that the restaurant had been shuttered closed for the majority of the pandemic and that this had not been reflected on the restaurant’s website. The Joël Robuchon Restaurant reopened about three weeks before my visit.

The official dress code for Joël Robuchon is business formal. Given the heat of Las Vegas in August, I wore a suit with an open neck (no tie). This was pretty consistent with other diners, although I did happen to see one male party dining in non dress jeans later in the evening.

Where to Sit:

The Joël Robuchon dining space offers twelve tables in the main dining area, and five tables in a smaller adjacent green room that is designed to resemble a lush garden terrace. I’d estimate the capacity of the restaurant is about sixty persons, although the restaurant would likely prefer to keep the numbers lower than that.

I had read about past visitors being seated in the back terrace room that were less impressed with the experience. Upon making my phone reservation, I made a specific but polite request to be seated in the primary dining area in order to get the full restaurant visit experience.

Several days before arrival, I received an email request to confirm my attendance. I responded and asked again (in writing this time) to be seated in the primary dining room.

I received a somewhat obscure reply; “We will make note of the request and try our hardest to accommodate, but please be aware that we cannot guarantee any requests.” It was a bit of a strange answer to receive for a fine restaurant in the hospitality sector. However, I appreciated the ability to reconfirm the visit several days in advance. I’d find myself fully tied up with travelling, clearing off work commitments and other matters in the days leading up to my visit.


Arriving to Joël Robuchon:

The Joël Robuchon Restaurant used to offer diners a complimentary limousine transfer from your Las Vegas hotel to the restaurant on an “on request” basis. Previous reports had the limousine transfer arriving through the VIP areas of the “invite only” MGM Le Maison Grand complex that contains 29 of the resorts Villa’s that retail for between $5,000 to $15,000 per night.

Unfortunately when things are too good to be true, all good perks come to an end. In my case, the complimentary limousine transfer disappeared into the nearby Mojave Desert sunset. When I inquired about the limousine transfer, the restaurant reservations line transferred me over to the separate MGM Grand Hotel concierge who quoted me a price of $75 USD (gratuity inclusive) for a car transfer from my hotel.

I was staying nearby at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas by Autograph Collection hotel. As it was only 0.8 miles away from Joël Robuchon and a short fifteen minute walk, I ended up walking over to the restaurant instead of paying up for the limo transfer which would have been $150 USD round trip. My thoughts were that I would end up converting the limo budget into a wine budget.

The restaurant is marked on Google Maps next to the adjacent L’Atelier del el Joel Robouchon.

I arrived to the Joël Robuchon restaurant after walking through the MGM Grand Casino Floor. It was probably the least glamorous way to arrive to a fine dining restaurant, with the sounds of slot machines and gamblers out for a great evening.

Walking Through the MGM Grand on My Way to Joël Robuchon

The MGM Grand seems to be slipping a little bit from its past crown. The vibe walking to the restaurant felt a little run down. On my visit at 6 PM on a Thursday, there were lots of partiers and drunks staggering around the walkways. The scene of pop up liquor stores where you can purchase alcoholic drinks in the casino walkways and shots didn’t add to the aura or anticipation of a great evening ahead. It felt like a definite low rent touch for what was an introduction to a fine dining experience.

The restaurant is located in the back area of the casino in a “quieter” zone. The restaurant situated next to KA Theatre which was dark on Thursday. While MGM Grand has made an effort to limit the amount of card tables and gaming machines in this area, there are still a few slot machines lurking around the Joël Robuchon restaurant entrance.

The front doors of the restaurant are really impressive; a grand space behind curved glass doors that are reminiscent of entering the “art deco town house”. The space is marketed as “Le Maison” of the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Admittedly, aside from the storefront, it is really hard to differentiate this space from any other areas of the casino hotel.

The restaurant proudly displays its awards listed on complex looking menus outside. They also provided a general sample of some of the dishes available on order

The restaurant was set up to be inspired by an art deco town house nestled within the famous MGM Mansion. It’s also notable that the decor of the restaurant hasn’t changed materially in about 15 years and still looks pretty fresh today.


Inside Joël Robuchon:

I entered the restaurant through the magically large front glass doors. The two women hosting at reception knew I was coming and I was seated immediately without any waiting. Luckily, my request to seat in the main dining room was honoured.

I was led into the main dining area. I past by the small Joël Robuchon Bar area, which didn’t have anyone seated in it. The bar area was an elegant and immaculate space with black and red colours familiar to those like myself that had previously dined at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon.

The restaurant interior was decorated by Pierre – Yves Rochon, a leading international French designer. The entrance area is checked black and white marble, with the dining room all in beige, elegant purple and black. The ambiance and colours work well together for a soothing dining experience that still looks quite upscale despite not having changed in nearly a decade.

In terms of room configuration, the Joël Robuchon main room is split into two separate dining areas with booth / bench seating against the middle and facing outwards towards the walls. The Space is described as being in “Le Maison”, although this really means that it represents high ceilings of at least 30 feet.

There was also an adjacent green room which is designed to be like a lush outdoor terrace which was a thin row off the main dining area with enough space for two seats. It is accented by a full size green wall.

Seated at My Table Looking Into the Green Terrace

Rounding out the formality of the room, there was a fireplace in the rear centre of the main dining room. It was an inviting feature, but a little funny when you think of a roaring fireplace, inside a restaurant that’s in the middle of the Las Vegas Mojave Desert. It happened to be bright sunny and over 112 Fahrenheit or 43 Celsius outside on the date of my August visit. A strange location for a fireplace indeed!

As I was seated, my host adjusted the table and replaced it to the original position after I sat down. The mood was enhanced with light, vibrant and upscale piano music playing over restaurant speakers.

My Seat Looking into the Restaurant

My seat itself had a view of a staging table set up in the right hand side of the room. The table was essentially the serving station where food was expedited on a silver platter, and then delivered to tables. Every meal would pass through this spot, after being brought out from the kitchen on a large silver platter. The dishes would then be expedited to each table by an army of staff. By being seated here, I had a fantastic view of everything coming out of the kitchen. It was so over the top, one guest had a full roasted chicken brought out, and hand carved by staff in a two piece suit right at the table; preparing and plating it along with the bouquet-garni for their guests.

It’s not everyday you see a roasted chicken carved by hosts in a suit and tie

Rather uniquely, the Joël Robuchon Restaurant has black and white framed pictures of past guests scattered throughout the restaurant. This adds to a little feeling of restrained whimsy and the feeling of being in someone’s home. I happened to be seated next to Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones; something I would never have anticipated coming into the restaurant.

If you are interested in food, by seating with a view to the middle of the entrance of the green outdoor terrace, you’ll get a great view of all the food that gets plated and presented.

My last comment on the interior is that, based on earlier research, the interior decor appears to be the same as over the past several years and there haven’t been many changes or updates. Despite this, the restaurant still looks contemporary, fresh and inviting. It’s a truly elegant space worthy of recognition.


The Menus:

After being seated, I was introduced to my lead waiter who addressed me by name at almost every opportunity. I was offered still or sparkling water which was presented as Still Evian. I was also offered a cocktail and bar / wine list. However, knowing that there was a wine pairing tasting menu likely in my future, I decided to just go straight to the food menu.

The menu presentation itself is a little intimidating as an exercise, as there are dozens of combinations to go through. The flagship twelve course menu dégustation / tasting menu is presented first and foremost, followed by a second page offering three levels of wine pairings. The wine pairings are described as a “village”, “premier cru” and “grand cru” at exceedingly increasing price points. While it isn’t specifically communicated on the menu, this involved eight different wines over a twelve course meal.

While you’re not limited to the tasting menu, you can enjoy an express menu featuring a smaller amount of food. There are four different price points starting with a main course & dessert, an entrée & main & dessert, two entrées & one main & desert and lastly, two entrées & two mains and one dessert. After turning the page over, you’ll get the opportunity to review seven entrées and seven main courses, some of which have supplemental charges between $25 to $140 USD. If I was dining with my wife, I’d probably be approaching the higher end of this express menu table.

Lastly, there was also a vegetarian tasting menu available. This also featured twelve courses at a substantially lower price point; perfect for those with delicate tasting palettes.

After navigating through the intense menu, and since you only live once, I ended up ordering the grand tasting degustation menu with the lowest level “village” wine pairing. While the tasting menu is the most expensive combination, it offered no additional supplemental upcharges and came out to a better value given all the course inclusions.

As my order was taken, my waiter confirmed that there were no dietary and interestingly, no time restrictions to the dining experience. I asked for and was also provided a “follow along” menu, so that I could fully enjoy what I was eating. The menu was personalized with my surname at the top, but surprisingly had no wines listed; potentially because I hadn’t ordered the village, premier cru or grand cru wine levels.


The Meal:

Since I was dining on my own, I had the liberty of taking notes and taking as many photographs as I wanted without offending a possible dining partner. As a result, it’s “showtime” with all the flair that a world class restaurant can offer.

Butter Service from the Trolley:

The meal service starts with butter service from the trolley. This is a massive chunk of butter that was described as being flown in from the Loire Valley in France. It was probably the most astonishing and intriguing way to start a meal.

Presented with a flourish and as a giant vertical scoop off the round cylinder, it was served on a side place with a dash of sea salt, and an accompaniment of Olive Oil from Alicante, Spain. It was sure tasty.

I wanted to dive straight into butter, but had to wait for the elaborate and over the top bread trolley which followed after a few moments.

Bread Service from the Trolley:

Shortly thereafter, the bread serving was presented. Similar to the butter service, the bread service is presented on a trolley cart. The bread host presented and verbally described sixteen kinds of bread; all of which are prepared and baked daily in house for the evening’s service.

While there were forms of sweeter types of bread on offer, I went with more traditional offering of Mini Baguette, a Bacon Loaf that was surprisingly tasty and succulent, a cheese brioche country loaf and a regular country loaf. These were all served together on a side dish.

Strangely, the while the bread presented from the trolley, the bread host describes that the bread is warmed up after selection. He was back within literally 60 seconds. I didn’t notice much of a difference with the warming process, other than it was not “cold” or at room temperature. The bread trolley cart otherwise takes up a corner of the room. order although all breads are made from scratch.

Without much of a wait at all, the first course was on it’s way.

First Course: Le Caviar Impérial

The first official course was presented as Le Caviar Imperial. I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to enjoy caviar in a restaurant setting at The French Laundry restaurant in Yountville (Napa Valley), California, USA and countless times on an aircraft in Asiana First Class, Thai Airways First Class, Lufthansa First Class and Emirates First Class. Admittedly, it been rare for me to be able to enjoy caviar in a restaurant setting.

Joël Robuchon’s presentation of caviar had to be the most beautiful presentation of all of these collective experiences. It was described as Ossetra caviar served atop of lobster in a crustacean gelée dotted with cauliflower puree. The amount of attention in preparing this dish with a still hand must have been extraordinary.

The sommelier came over to present the first wine of the evening. Tonights’ serving was a Cramant Grand Cru, a champagne from Pierre Gimmonet. The champagne was designated as Special Club (also known as Club de Trésors de Champagne); the highest tier of classification that champagne growers can achieve. The Special Club is currently limited to 29 producers of french champagne.

The Caviar Imperial dish on the palette was complex. The caviar was served atop of lobster, which was a tender and delicate on the mouth. It had an almost sweet but tender like texture between the caviar pearls.

The surrounding orange crustacean gelée was quite fishy although not smelly to the senses. It was an intriguing dish with the lobster hidden underneath the caviar.


Second Course: La Tomate

The second course was presented as La Tomate. It was described and presented as tomato candies invigorated with gazpacho and virgin olive oil. It was presented as a duo of tomatoes on two plates.

I was encouraged to start with the serving course on the right involving the smaller tomato to be enjoyed with one bite.

The taste sensation on the palette was strong. The smaller tomato had been hollowed out and filled with gazpacho. As a result, the taste on your senses exploded on the mouth, leading to a very exciting taste as a result of the juice explosion. The finish was of an almost jelly like taste on your mouth with a delicate end.

The second tomato involved an emulsion with a hint of balsamic. Like many fine restaurants, the seeds were hollowed out of the tomato. The tomato taste itself was perfectly ripe. It was lightly firm, but not overly soft and decomposing.

This course was paired with Condrieu. The Condrieu appellation is 100% Viognier. It’s a special treat to have Condrieu at any time, since it is such as small and special appellation of only 202 hectares in France.

The flavour palette was sweet with acid. I’d have to say that the pairing between the two tomato dishes was excellent and refined. The taste sensation was spot on and not overpowering. This would be an overall theme throughout this dining experience, a robust pairing that complimented each others’ profiles in a fine and suggestive manner.

Third Course: Le Maïs

The third course was presented as Le Maïs (Corn). It was described as delicate corn cream with foie gras and gingerbread tuile.

Similar to the second course, it was presented as a double dish with the primary corn cream as the main event, with a delicate gingerbread as a second half. The gingerbread was also presented with a small towel for convenience’s sake.

The attention to detail was world class, with a single popcorn placed in the middle of the dish as part of the roots of the corn nature of this particular example. There were ribbons of parmesan reggiano in the dish, along with light foie gras.

Digging into the corn dish, it was enjoyable and it was easy to taste the organic nature of the ribbons. It was smooth and well paired with the wine.

The second corn gingerbread was dried together and presented on a bed of corn husks. It was lightly dried and crisp. I was encouraged to pick it up with hands. I expected it to fall apart but held together well and didn’t dis-integrate into a crumbly mess.

The third course was presented with a Chateau de Fieuzal Grand Vin de Graves from Pessac – Leognan. It was composed of 55 % Sauvignon blanc with the rest blended as Semillon. There was a touch of delicate old world oak on the palette, but it still tasted fresh.


Fourth Course: L’Oeuf de Poule

The fourth course was L’Oeuf de Poule (Chicken Egg) as a semi soft boiled egg, on a spinach purée with a Comté cheese sauce. On presentation, I was encouraged to mix and enjoy all the components together.

It was presented as a unique looking dish with the semi soft boiled egg removed from shell with an s strong resemblance to an eye peering upwards at you from the middle of the plate.

The wine presented with this dish was a Domaine de L’Enclos Premier cru Chablis from Vau de Vey appellation. The wine had a bit of a chalk taste from the terroir of the region.

Tucking into the dish, the wine was smooth tasting and fit well together with the egg and Comté cheese, again in a complimentary manner. On the dish, the Comté cheese sauce was not too strong. However the combination of tastes and textures made this among one of my favourite dishes of the meal.

As a lover of eggs, there was nothing but simple, elegant, goodness throughout this dish!

Fifth Course: La Laitue

The fifth course of tonights dining extravaganza was La Laitue; a lettuce velouté with scallion flan and ricotta tortellini.

This dish was served presented with the ricotta tortellini, then with the lettuce velouté poured over top of it.

This dish was one of the view that was not presented with a new wine, and I was left to enjoy with my left over Domaine d’Enclos Chablis Grand Cru from L’Oeuf de Poule course.

The velouté dish itself was neatly presented, along with a light amount of foam on top of it. While it was fresh tasting, it wasn’t overly memorable amongst the series of dishes I enjoyed.


Sixth Course: La Langoustine

The sixth course was presented as La Langoustine; Lobster and Caviar. It was prepared with a fennel infusion and caviar.

The dish was described as being served warm with a crisp tasting poach with lobster that was very soft. It was served with a delicate service of caviar on top of the lobster. It was served with a liquid infusion poured overtop. The presentation was impressive as a result of the gold coloured plate along with edible flowers. Visually, this was one of the more striking dishes of the bunch.

This course was served with Paul Bara Grand Rosé Brut champagne. The rosé champagne added a little depth to the flavour of the meal. The champagne paired well along with the rosé bubbles adding a little depth to the combination.

In terms of taste of the dish, the fennel was the crisp highlight of the dish. The fennel didn’t break apart of fall apart on the fork or in the mouth. The lobster was well cooked through; a little too well for my Pacific Northwest tastes. The liquid infusion was not oily and maintained it’s texture and viscosity.

Seventh Course: Le Flétan

The seventh’s course was Le Flétan, which was seared fluke, fine aromatics and bell pepper coulis. The truth be told, I had to look this up to see what it was at the start of the meal. When I learned it was a form of flounder, it became a little bit more clear on what to expect.

Tonight’s fluke originated from Japan. Despite being a somewhat ugly looking fish from the water, it was presented in a nice manner in a compact footprint on the dish.

The fluke was presented with La Perrière Nuits de St Georges Premier Cru White Burgundy wine. It was described as being 100% Pinot Blanc white. The pairing complimented the texture and intensity of the fish along with the acids from the wine in a balanced manner.

Despite ordering the “village” wine series, I was impressed with the quality of wines that were being served along with the meal. Given the number of premier cru labels, I even discretely checked with the sommelier by commenting that I was impressed with the wines in the “village series”. He gave a polite chuckle and indicated that the restaurant liked to have a little fun with it’s selections.

The fluke was cooked through and maintained it’s flavour. The crunchy and crisp tapenade on top added some delight to the fish and made it playful on the palette. The bell pepper coulis consisted of different types of bell peper mixed together to accent the flavours on the plate.

I did notice that the two fish dishes for this meal that consisted of the Sixth Course: La Langoustine (Lobster) and this Seventh’s Course: Le Flétan (Seared Fluke) did have the fish cooked fully through. Perhaps this is a personal taste, and representative of tastes of eating at hundreds of Japanese sushi restaurants and Oceanwise Seafood Restaurants through the Pacific Northwest of North America, I did find the fish dishes to be just over what I would have liked. Nearer to the water, it seems there is a little juiciness left in the fillet with the fish filets having a slight amount of moisture left in them. This isn’t necessarily specific to Joël Robuchon, but rather could be described as something that I’ve experienced at most inland restaurants where fish has been served.


Eight Course: La Canette

The eight course and main course was La Canette; a spit roasted duck with five spices and sour cherries. This was considered to be the main course of the meal.

Similar to all the others, brought into the dining room on a silver tray and expedited to the table under a glass topper. The duck was presented on a plate with a striking similarity to a clown face looking up at you; something that added positively to the engagement and interaction of the diner with the meal.

I couldn’t help but smile, as I was digging into this dish

The main course is served with Joël Robuchon’s mashed potatoes. Joël Robuchon’s mashed potatoes are one of his signature dishes and are an absolutely “melt in your mouth” experience.

The mashed potatoes are presented in a separate dish and scooped out onto a side plate for your enjoyment.

The spit roasted duck was served with a showy 2006 Chateau Montrose Saint Estèphe appellation Bordeaux red wine. The sommelier described it as being 62% Cabernet Sauvignon with most of the rest being Merlot. The wine stood up well to the mild spices of the duck and paired well with the meal.

The spit roasted duck was wonderfully proportioned. It was served with crispy skin, and sliced into two thin strips that allowed the spit roasting and spice flavour to be felt. The course was complimented by the sour cherries which were very ripe, but not over ripe.

The mashed potatoes were like butter on a plate. The potatoes had a very strong taste of butter in the potatoes and one could almost make a comment that you were tasting butter as the primary ingredient, instead of the potatoes themselves. The mashed potatoes were a melt in your mouth experience and I couldn’t leave any behind. I scraped that plate clean.

In a bit of an oddity, this particular course was served with a regular knife. I would have thought that a proper steak or sharper knife would have been offered; something I even get at my casual dining restaurants around the neighbourhood at home. Despite this, the cut of duck was exceptionally tender and it was only a minor wrestling assignment to slice it up into bit sized morsels.

After the eighth course, I asked my waiter if I could have a short 5 -7 minute break to enjoy the St Estèphe wine and digest the food a little bit. There were no concerns with this request and it wasn’t like I received the impression that the restaurant needed the table. The request was accommodated in the most graceful manner.

Ninth Course: La Fraise

The next series of pre-dessert courses were presented at the same time as separate dishes. It is a bit of cheating, since both courses are presented at the same time, but they are marketed as separate courses on the tasting menu.They were also presented without an accompanying wine.

The ninth course and first dessert course was called La Fraise; it was described as Harry berry compote with coconut tapioca and basil oil and lime.

The coconut tapioca with basil oil (pictured left). The tapioca pudding had crisp coconut shells. It’s not often you get the opportunity to taste crisp coconut shells and it brought me back to the crisp coconut candies I enjoyed at Le Château des Feuilles, Praslin Island, Seychelles. The dish was crisp and pleasant and almost a simple palette cleanser before the main dessert event.

Tenth Course: La Myrtille

The main dessert course was presented as La Myrtille. La Myrtille was filled with an inside of chocolate with edible flower and gold leaf on top.

The outside was delicate light chocolate with powerful berries inside. The contrast between the tastes and sensations were inspiring over the palette and made for an attractive dessert wanting to be eaten. It made quite an impact on the taste buds.


The Eleventh Course: Le Chocolat

The eleventh course and primary dessert course was presented as Le Chocolat; a cherry mouse with chocolate creme and Kirsch Chantilly like “Black Forest”.

The presentation of this dish, unlike all others, was on a charger platter on a busy crazy forest floor type plate. The dish itself was presented in what appeared to be a white pumpkin crockery.

When the lid was opened, a black forest styled mushroom was presented in a dish that visually took you back to childhood memories of a mythical forest. I had an immediate smile to my face based on this impression; it reminded me of all those childhood story books of mythical black forests and fairy tales.

The dish was served with a Le Haut – Lieu Domaine Huet Vouvray dessert wine. It was described as a late harvest 100% Chenin Blanc and poured into a long stem glass.

Scooping up the gooey mess into my mouth, it was a chocolate mess inside the mushroom with Coca-Cola and forest floors taste sensations on the palate, except sweet in nature.

Similar to the duck course, I asked for a fork to be served to assist in getting into the firm chocolate surrounding .The chocolate was surprisingly crisp on outside, Surprisingly so. It was a little challenging to eat without worrying about the dessert flying across the room as you attacked the crisp chocolate coating of the mushroom dish.

Twelfth Course: Le Chariot des Migrandises

The last course of the evening is Le Chariot des Migrandises. The old fashioned dessert cart is a pretty impressive way to finish the meal. Similar to the bread cart, each dessert is baked daily and freshly prepared for the evening service.

The dessert cart has 30 different types of freshly baked desserts. My fellow bread cart host patiently went over each dessert description one by one. I almost needed a scratch note pad to keep track of the ones I was interested in as there were so many. The cart contained many traditional French favourites including eclairs, two different types of macaroons and opera cake.

I ended up selecting a raspberry cake, a pina colada pastry, some wrapped caramels and two vanilla macaroons, including a takeaway one for MrsWT73 who wasn’t here to experience this. These were all presented by tongs on an elevated and elegant glass dessert platter.

In an old school touch, I also asked for a French press coffee with milk on side. I also asked to wait a few minutes to finish wine, a request that was granted without any issues.


Ending the Evening & Closing Thoughts:

The tasting degustation meal took about four hours and fifteen minutes to finish in a relaxed and evenly paced atmosphere.

At the end of the meal, I asked for and was presented the check. A Nevada 8.1% Restaurant Tax was added. There were notations on the check for “gratuity at your discretion” with pre-filled 18%, 19% and 20% markings. This answered the general question on whether a gratuity is included in the upscale pricing.

Since at the time, I was awash in American Express Membership Rewards points, I opted to put this meal onto my American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card, in order to earn 3 points per dollar spent on Marriott Bonvoy points for some future adventure.

Given the complexities in the menu, the various price points, and the mystique around what it costs to dine chez Joël Robuchon, I’ve authored a separate post on How Much it Actually Costs to Dine at Joël Robuchon.

A Takeaway Souvenir of Banana Bread:

Lastly, I was also presented with a takeaway gift of freshly baked Joël Robuchon Banana Bread, which I enjoyed in the coming days ahead. It’s always a nice bonus to have a little take home after any meal.

Souvenir Menu Discrepancies:

Along with the parting gift, I was also provided an envelope which contained my personalized tasting menu from the evening. In chatting with a couple seated next to me, they commented that they had a copy of their previous tasting menu framed and up in their house back home as a wonderful souvenir.

When I got back to my hotel room, and was completing some notes after reviewing the wonderful evening, I couldn’t happen but notice that the personalized menu had several errors.

I missed out, or perhaps the restaurant had run out of, Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année champagne (actually – a personal favourite); instead substituting the Pierre Gimmonet Cramant Grand Cru 2014 Special Club Champagne. I didn’t think this was an issue until I happened to also notice that the main course was also incorrectly listed as Beef Rib Eye with wasabi spinach and a medley of bell peppers (sounds tasty!). I had actually enjoyed an excellent and wonderful spit roasted duck with sour cherries.

I thought I was seeing a mirage, but indeed, from reconfirming the earlier menu, I did appear to get a different one with dishes likely left over from a different night.

While this didn’t interfere with the service execution, enjoyment of the meal, or getting delivered what you had ordered and were expecting, it my humble view, it was a bit of an oversight in a restaurant that strives for perfection, at a location that is competing among restaurants at the highest price point in the world. Although these are first world problems, it does defeat the intended purpose of a souvenir menu if the menu isn’t wholly accurate. Unfortunately, this menu one won’t be going framed on the wall unlike my other fellow diner’s souvenir. In fairness, I didn’t follow up with the restaurant after the fact not noted that it did take away from the experience just a little bit.

Nevertheless, the meal was a truly outstanding world class dining experience.

The Bottom Line: Joël Robuchon

It’s been about twenty years since I’d imagined dining at Joël Robuchon. As the “Chef of the Century” and a collective 32 Michelin stars to his name, the late Joël Robuchon has a chef’s pedigree that is unrivalled by any chef in the world.

Even re-opening after the pandemic, the experience at Joël Robuchon remains a world class dining experience. While the flavours lean more towards the traditional, the tastes aren’t “avant gardiste” or as modern as you might expect from many of the new world celebrity chefs that are coming onto this hyper competitive scene. This is particularly contrasted in Las Vegas, which is surrounded by innovative and cutting edge dining experiences.

Instead, diners at Joël Robuchon will be lead down a comfortable but engaging dining journey. It’s a journey that aims to tease, inspire and embrace the visitor in waves of escalating experiences. These come from the presentation of each cart, a flourish of imported European butter, a swish of sublime mashed potatoes and the presentation of courses that aims to take your memory back to other earlier life experiences in childhood or other parts of life. Add to this wine pairings with quality wines that aim to quietly compliment and not detract from the showiness, and you have a winning combination of excellence.

While there were a few exceptionally minor discretionary mis-steps; more appropriate cutlery that could have been provided with certain dishes, a bit of difficulties with the reservation accessibility, souvenir menus that didn’t align with service, any visit here will most certainly be a world class and life long memorable experience. I’m aiming to return with MrsWT73 one day.

Bring your American Express Platinum Card. . .

If you have visited Joël Robuchon or the L’Atelier du Joël Robuchon, did you find the experience to be flawlessly world class ?

4 Comments on “Review: Joël Robuchon Restaurant, Las Vegas, USA

  1. Great reading. Happy to find your site! Was it too much food overall? And I think the white pumpkin crockery is supposed to be a cacao bean??


    • In terms of the quantity of food, I suppose this is relative.

      My normal dining habits don’t involve sitting for 4 hours continuously eating. While it is a lot of food, you can time it a little bit. I took a break towards the end before the desert courses.

      I think you are right that the white pumpkin crockery is actually a cocoa bean.

      Thanks for reading.


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