October 25, 2021

Even passing on the optional $995 wine pairing, this was far and away the most expensive meal of my life. Even Damon Baehrel doesn't come close. Joel Robuchon is a destination - an event. People get engaged here or drop insane amounts of money not just for the food, but for the entire experience.

This restaurant is French pretentiousness at its finest. A snooty vibe emanates from the physical space, every staff member and the food on the plate. Every whim is catered to with a "It will be distinct pleasure" and "What an excellent choice you have made". My sommelier (Troy) was outstanding in every way. I lost count of how many times he nasally declared "Very good sir..." and exited with a pronounced bow and backward shuffle. He did the same as he gestured me towards the restrooms. It was humorous and utterly delightful at the same time.

The food is outstanding, if you can get past the hideous amount of calories you are consuming with each bite. The sheer quantity of butter in every dish is astounding and horrifying and delicious. But the dishes also show technique, from the absurd detail in their signature caviar and crab dish (you'd roll your eyes if it wasn't so damn impressive) to a rich, supple and delicious pumpkin soup, beautiful hand-made pasta, perfectly cooked and seasoned duck and of course, their signature mashed potatoes.

But the baking steals the show. The breads are astounding - especially the bacon and mustard seed bread. (I asked twice to be sure I heard him correctly when he said that!) The desserts simply can't be topped. The amount of labor that goes into producing this meal and all of its accoutrements is a marvel and provides the strong sense that the astronomical price is warranted.

The wines were also excellent (even with my lowest-cost pairing) - unique, delicious and very well paired to each dish.

This is a once in a lifetime place to come. Bucket list for sure. 4 hours of over the top French decadence combined with service that makes you feel like royalty. You may need to mortgage your house to come here, but you certainly won't regret doing so.

The view from my table
They provide you with butter, imported from France, carved off that large block and freshly salted. Olive oil from Spain as well.
The result. Very French-tasting butter (more "milk" taste in there)
The bread cart. They walk you through each type and then you order any/all that you want.
Their signature dish (visually). Ossetra caviar on top of king crab in a crustacean gelee dotted with cauliflower puree. The precision to create this dish is sheer, literal insanity. But it's freaking delicious. I secretly love that mine was missing one of the green dots. :)
Shaved white truffles and potatoes with olive oil, topped with carpaccio of foie gras
Main lobster in thinly sliced turnip with sweet and sour dressing.
Duo of beetroot and apple, young shoots of herbs served with green mustard sorbet. This was a standout. Green mustard sorbet?? Who knew?
Delicate cream of pumpkin soup with white truffles. I've never had any soup this good. Wow.
Parisian gnocchi, roasted squash and crispy sage.
Frog leg Kadaif fritter with black garlic and Espelette pepper. You grabbed it by the small bone and ate this in one bite. Pretty yummy, super crunchy and incredible technique.
Seared scallop in mussel broth and Gremolata
Langoustine ravioli seasoned with tarragon in a shellfish broth. The clearly handmade pasta was superb.
Carmelized black cod in Malabar pepper sauce with bok choy. Superbly prepared, but the sauce was a bit salty for me.
Spit-roasted duck with Acacia honey and coriander, seared fig and foie gras. That duck was amazing.
Confit duck leg, apples in a lettuce wrap.
Joel Robuchon's signature "best in the world" mashed potatoes. Surprisingly starchy but very delicious. I can understand their reputation.
Buttermilk chantilly, lemon confit, sponge verbena
Blood orange sorbet, vanilla cremeux, raspberry gelee
Maple budino, pecan praline, ghana chocolate cremeux, vanilla caramel. I wish I hadn't hit an enormous wall because I couldn't nearly finish this (or any dessert) and this was really delicious.
As if you haven't had enough, they wheel the dessert cart over, again explaining each and every item to you.
My selections: eclairs, pistachio macaron (which was incredible), a few other treats
A parting gift...
...which includes an entire lemon pound cake.
Note the personalized menu

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Replying to Steven Smith