The great thing about dining alone is that you can use and abuse your butter like a Fremont Street hooker. You can defile it, slap it, curse it, slurp it, finger it, whatever, for as little or long as you like…and NOBODY’S GONNA SAY A GODDAMN WORD TO YOU!
Yep, that naughty little thing is BEGGING for all of the above. Likes it, actually. You know how those French girls are.
The strumpets from Bordier are particularly skilled in fulfilling your fantasies. ELV should know, he has furtively pursued their fleshy pleasures many a time. But always, it seems, under the judgmental, constrictive gaze of polite company — people with nary a clue what lust lurks in our heart…and the mere veneer of civility we use to disguise it.
Yeah, we like to eat butter directly out of the dish, by the finger or forkful, especially when the beurre is as beautiful as it is at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Got a problem with that?
The only thing that keeps us from indulging our carnal cravings more consistently is the cost, and the difficulty of getting to it (in the always annoying MGM Grand). Put L’Atelier closer to our humble abode and we’d be there quicker than a call girl to a crack pipe.
As it is, we get to LADJR about once a year these days, and are happy to report the cooking is as splendiferous as ever. Which means you can expect the same old same old unparalleled excellence from this kitchen, ten years into its run.
And whether it’s your first trip or your twenty-second (we counted), the drop-your-fork-deliciousness of the joint more than makes up for its inconvenience.
Dining alone allowed us to deface the butter plate immediately (see above) without the Food Gal’s usual “Honey, don’t! People will see you!” nonsense, and concentrate on the unimaginably intense sapidity (ELV loves the word sapidity) issuing forth from every slurp.
The menu here can be a bit daunting, however. There are small bites here and prix fixes there, and prix fixes made of small bites and entrees and apps (as in “appetizers”) that don’t fall in either category.
So do what ELV — the man, the myth, the un-modulated, unmediated, unrepentant Francophile — does: close your eyes and point.
No matter what shows up, be it grilled seasonal vegetables:
…or La Morue (flaky cod with poached eggplant in dashi broth):
…or the best ris de veau (sweetbreads) in the universe:
…you will feel like you’re tasting these things for the first time.
As we’ve said for 25 years: French food is all about the extraction and intensification of flavors, and no one extracts and intensifies better than Mon. Robuchon and his brigade de cuisine.
Oh yeah, and the butter ain’t bad either.
ELV’s dîner seul came to around $140, including several complimentary amuses and three glasses of wine.
L’ATELIER DE JOEL ROBUCHON
In the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109-4319