EATING LAS VEGAS – The 50 Essential Restaurants – Number Three


Whenever yours truly gets discouraged at the state of the Las Vegas dining scene—with its surfeit of steakhouses, cynical, celebrity chef food factories, and bad Italian—it gruntles him to know that a seat at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is still a tough ticket. If you score a table at one of the 32 seats at the sleek and sexy bar, prepare to be dazzled by food as interesting and intense as anything in America or France.

For this you can say merci beaucoup to Executive Chef Steve Benjamin—who opened the joint in 2004 and oversees the kitchen crew dedicated to carrying out M. Robuchon’s obsessive perfectionist brilliance.

Be advised, the tariff can mount quickly if you order off the small tasting menu and gets stratospheric if you are tempted by l’entrecôte (Wagyu rib eye—$72 and worth every penny), but Joël and Steve take pity on mere mortals by offering $78 and $105 menus.

From your first bite of melting beef cheek with onion mustard sauce, or (believe it or not) L’Atelier-style spaghetti, your eyes will be rolling back in your head. To top it all off, you won’t find more impressive desserts anywhere in the world.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: L’Atelier is the best restaurant in town that mere mortals can afford.

Max Jacobson: “Les anchois (Spanish anchovies), artistically plated with sliced eggplant confit, has to be the best anchovy dish in the world.”

Favorite Dishes: Free-Range Quail With Foie Gras; Steak Tartare With Old-Fashioned French Fries; Truffled langoustine ravioli; Italian-Style Spaghetti; Seasonal French-Vegetable Salad. Hangar steak with frites; Mini-burgers with foie gras; Les anchois; Basically the whole friggin’ menu.


MGM Grand Hotel and Casino