Letter Of The Week

Dear Readers: ELV doesn’t know what to make of this letter (posted March 10 under the comments for L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon). On the one hand, the fellow seems to be a serious foodie. On the other, he’s describing an experience at L’Atelier that we have trouble believing: rude staff, inattentive management, and no cheese? So we at ELV leave it to you for your perusal and comments.

This is a letter that I have sent to L’Atelier du John(sic) Robuchon

Dear Sir,

I attended the above reservation at your restaurant. My partner and I, not to mention my colleague and his partner were most disappointed with the experience.

All in all, especially when the attitude of the staff member that initially attended to our seating arrangements and subsequently refused to allow us to occupy a table for 4 people that was clearly vacant we will not be recommending the restaurant to any of our colleagues.

The final straw, after being treated rudely by the front of house staff and refused seating as mentioned above, we were told that there was no cheese! No cheese in a top line French restaurant!?

By this stage we were all so frustrated and disappointed with the experience that we simply left after paying. I had in fact asked to speak to the Manager of the restaurant when the check arrived and we waited 15 minutes for the Manager to appear… to no avail.

The entire experience was most unsatisfactory, especially as we attended Gary Danko in San Francisco the very next week.. This was a fantastic dining experience and we were well treated by courteous and professional staff. Similar experience was noted at Delfina in the Mission district.

It is with regret that I write this letter to you. The night was somewhat ruined by the experience and we are not planning to return.


Seriously Peeved Paul

8 thoughts on “Letter Of The Week

  1. While I do believe Las Vegas service to be a few notches below most other major restaurant cities, I can’t imagine the Robuchon machine having such a huge cog that far off kilter. My experience at L’atelier (I sat at the bar, the best place to sit) was nothing short of perfect, service and all. Gary Danko is deserving of Pauls praise. It is one of my favorite restaurants in the world and probably my favorite for the money.

  2. Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience during your recent visit to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. I am very sorry to read about the several disappointments you experienced during your evening. I would like to have an opportunity to speak to you in person so I may express my sincere apologies. Could you please email me your telephone number so I may contact you?

    Thank you

    Emmanuel Cornet
    General Manager
    L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

  3. NO WAY!
    L’Atelier is one of the top 3 restaurants in town. ALWAYS amazing. Food superb and the way I mean superb is, not the main protein but the small bit if 2 leafs of micro greens on the plate are perfectly seasoned. That is detail my friend.

    Service is always great, ALWAYS! Staff is super friendly, knows thei stuff about the food and drink, and just make you remember who is the number one reason they are there, guests.

    Emmanuel is a wonderful manager! Outstanding attitude, charming and funny. His attention to detail is outstanding.

    I have eaten 3 times there and ALWAYS great. My last dinner was for my fiancé’s birthday and the nine course tasting was one of the top highlights of our dining experience. The food was great but the service was impeccable.

    I ate at Gary Danko 2 years ago and it was everything you want in a great restaurant. And yes a WONDERFUL cheese cart. No way L’Atelier was out of cheese.

    I try to say maybe they had an off night, but I have never heard of that there from anyone I know that has been there.

    Applauds to Emmanuel to offering to contact Paul. True class and a GREAT manager.

  4. Massive staff cutbacks at MGM and other hotels will make this kind of service the norm.

    Less service staff, less management, and corners are being cut by not ordering/offering things like cheese. The ship is taking on water, and all the rats(managers, chefs, executives) are scurrying around trying to save themselfs!

    You can only get away with the “do more with less” philosophy for so long. Then the remaining staff just gets tired of working twice as hard and the guests get tired of being let down.

  5. Major props to Emmanuel Cornet for being the stand-up guy (and one of the best managers) that we know he is.

    ELV thinks Paul may have been having an off night (as opposed to L’Atelier), and we respectfully disagree with GET USED TO IT — top notch places like L’Atelier don’t know how NOT to give great service. It’s in their DNA, regardless of corporate cutbacks.

  6. Hmm. me thinks something is amiss with Peeved Paul’s peeves. While mentioning a “reservation,” he doesn’t say if it was in fact for a table or at the more desirable counter at L’Atelier. And–when his party asked for but was “subsequently refused to allow us to occupy a table for 4 people that was clearly vacant,” something smells off here. Quite possibly the “vacant” table was awaiting other guests who had specifically reserved the table??

    I have to agree with ELV, I find it incredibly hard to believe that any staff member at L’Atelier would in any way do something to offend a customer. Few employees are even selected to work in such a temple, and those fortunate enough to garner one of the spots on the team certainly embody the premise of fine service.

    Recognition to Mr. Cornet-his gesture towards Peeved Paul is the epitome of gracious customer service. He’s extended the offer to PP to rectify the situation, now PP has to take him up on it.

  7. I to find something ‘funny’ about Peeved Paul’s letter. My husband and I have eaten here over 7 times. EVERY time we have been treated fantastically by all the staff, Steven, and Emmanuel. As another poster said, it’s not in their blood to provide bad service.

    One evening our first courses were taking a bit longer than usual. Emmanuel and Phillip Braun saw this (without us saying anything) and made sure they more than made up for it.

    We have been known to drive to Vegas from Fresno, go to dinner, and come home :)

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