Joel Robuchon's Dramatic Dining Room Concept Is Born
Joel Robuchon has the World record in Michelin stars; with more stars than any other chef, for his Worldwide empire, L' Atelier De Joel Robuchon. In total his city based restaurants around the World have received a grand total of 35 Michelin stars. Where drama, theatre and cabaret combine, his signature red and black theme, has been translated across Europe and the Far East, were he has built up a name as a recognised luxury brand commodity with a World of wine, cellars, books and videos built aound him.
I was lucky enough to get a taste of his newest addition, in the tourist district of the Champs Elysees, where he has set up camp in the ex -cigar cellar, that is the basement of the Publicis drug store. Whilst the surrounding buildings in the 8eme characterise the romance of French rennaisance architecture, the interior dramatism from the vintage, and retro aspects is similar to the excitement of a stage set for the curtain call, with all the murmuring and showmanship surrounding it.
You are instantly met by an expansive sweeping staircase, that takes you down to the dimly lit, theatrical interior where there is a dining room, as well as the trademark counter experience. Here, he has taken the counter dining for which he became famed for, to another level, so there are actually tables you can sit yourself comfortably at, instead of perching on tall bar stools.
The expertly, crafted dishes echo works of art and reflect perfectly paired ingredients with the most decadent cuts of meat and fish. For tasters prime wagyu burgers topped with lascivious slithers of foie gras are delicately presented and ooze with texture and refined taste. There is a large choice of luscious concoctions of black cod steamed for 2 days, and I opted for the combination with a dark daikon broth; a rich slightly spicey taste, that contrasted well with the tart, grapefruit tasting yuzu zest. The King Crab salad has huge chunks of sweet crabmeat, teamed with avocado and burrata, but its' the chunks of aromatic truffles infused into it that are significent enough to enhance and not overpower the sweet fleshy flavour of the crab. Sauces, ingredients and pairings are as lavish and exquisite as the setting and you can really go to town with it.
With the more expensive 'haute cuisine' dishes the portion sizes are kept to minimal, but come as luxuriously packaged as a designer dress. The menu can't be more of a take on Japanese influence with French flavours, and the more expensive the option, the less there is to it; however the menu more than makes up for it with an extensive choice of over 60 dishes to choose from.
The dramatism and mood makes it a World unto itself, and to make the most of it, definitely to be entertained as a dinner venue.
L'Atelier De Joel Robuchon
133 Avenue De Champs Elysees