#19 L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon
Long Island spiced duck breast with onion soubise, morels and fava beans $52
Four perfectly cooked slices of tender, flavorful duck breast, placed on a bed of creamy onion soubise, a sauce similar to Béchamel, with the addition of onion purée. Muddled with halved fava beans and seasoned with a harmonious blend of nutmeg, chili and fragrant cloves. Plated with an assortment of earthy, intense morels, which added deep truffle notes that complemented the deep gamy notes of the meat. Garnished with sprigs of arugula and served with a pot of luxurious, buttery mashed potato. An exquisite, if extremely expensive, take on the duck breast.
La bulle de sucre $19
An elegantly composed dessert that fused seasonal flavors with exotic fruits. An incredibly delicate golden sugar bubble (prepared by blowing air into soft sugar to create a spherical shape) filled with a light and sweet elderflower cream and pineapple shreds. Buried in the center was a cold, refreshing pineapple thyme sorbet and a hit of lemon jam. Underneath all this was a sugary yet tart orange and pineapple marmalade. Garnished with an edible flower and a small serving of vanilla emulsion. Whimsically imaginative.
From my brief experience it’s clear that the food at L’Atelier De Joël Robuchon is excellent. From the first amuse (a combination of diced, marinated tomato and herbed aubergine), I was particularly pleased with the imaginative, unusual and impressively orchestrated flavor combinations. My pre-dessert, for instance, was a combination of lime foam, prickly pear gelee and Calpico sorbet (a Japanese dairy soda), garnished with a touch of lime dust.
However, while the cuisine is particularly accomplished, the prices are very high, to my mind, unjustifiably so. After three courses, you’ll be paying more than the cost of a dinner at Corton, for example. A meal here is certainly a treat but whether it’s worth it is up to you.
57 E. 57th St.