It’s a steal because the bread and cheese cart selections alone are worth at least half that, and the accommodating staff let’s you chow down on those as much as you want. (FYI: you do pay a $15 surcharge for the cheese cart, but that’s an even bigger bargain if you’re a certified Franco-philic fromage forager like yours truly.
The veal cheeks are so good, deeply-imbued with veal-ness and surrounded by a subtle Thai/herb/green curry broth, and downright unctuousness, that you’ll wave them off after only a few bites (to save room for the cheese cart, of course, and because you’ve just had the equivalent of six courses of bread). Ignore the fact that they’re a tad on the salty side (face it: all, French chefs oversalt their food, but none of them will have you gulping H20 like a Chinese banquet), and applaud Executive Chef Claude Le Tohic for being able to pack so much punch into such a modest-sized dish.
You’ll find no flaws in the mackerel in a traditional mustard sauce, or in the layers of lobster gelee, Dungeness crab and fennel cream underneath the bright oscetra pearls. It’s a serious concoction that gives Guy Savoy’s oysters en gelee a serious run for your seafood dollars.
Flawless as well was the gently poached Australian spiny lobster in a sake broth — once again, just faintly perfumed with said sake so as not to interrupt the essence of the fish, and poached mackerel that was a revelation in how a traditional mustard sauce can work with an oily fish — neither overwhelming the other.
This is fine wine drinking food no doubt. Each dish is calibrated with that in mind, and it’s a downright sin to not work your way through a meal, sipping as you go. That being said, the $78 of Premier Cru Chablis (Fourchaume ’04), went splendidly with all the courses. And it appears the higher-ups at the MGM-Mirage Corp. are (finally) re-thinking the astronomical wine prices they’ve been getting away with for the past few years. A cursory inspection of the list found dozens of good bottles under $100 when two years ago we had trouble finding one.
You expect the food to be flawless at Joel Robuchon, but usually you’re paying upwards of two hundy a head for all that perfection. At ninety bucks a pop, in this setting, with this level of obsequiousness (everyone gets supplicatory servicing here, not just the mega-famous ELV and his staff), it might be the best deal on the planet.
To summarize (and compare a previous post): at Prime you pay over $150/head for good steaks, properly cooked vegetables, and decent apps; while at Joel Robuchon you pay $90 for some of the most finely-wrought, inventive, and hyper-delicious food in the world. YOU MAKE THE CALL!
When ELV says his meal was a steal, he means it. He didn’t pay for his $89 supper (it was comped), but did leave a $50 tip.
MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109