The P-Dawg and I spent much of our anniversary week in Vegas eating. There are so many restaurants operated by world-renowned chefs there, that we only had the chance to sample a few. But among them was Joël Robuchon, one of the few Michelin three star rated restaurants in the U.S. It was a tad out of our comfort zone, but we had to try it.
A complementary limo picked us up for the five minute ride from Bellagio (our hotel) to Robuchon. We had just enough time to stuff our pockets with bottles of spring water and Tweet pictures of ourselves en route before arriving at the restaurant through a super secret gated entrance, where a woman in a floor length black gown greeted us like we were Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
She escorted us through a gorgeous courtyard and series of hallways into the restaurant, which was decorated in completely over the top sumptuous art deco. I am talking about shades of purple, gold, and blue, pictures in gilded mirrors, and enough velvet to upholster the Eiffel Tower. Our corner table provided an excellent view of the dining room, so I immediately took an inventory of our fellow gourmands to make sure I wasn’t under dressed. The handful of other couples there looked a lot like the P-Dawg and me, but there were two Russian mobsters wearing jeans and Prada t-shirts, which I thought was totalement inappropriate.
The French maitre d’ looked exactly like the soulless commando character on Lost and our server, also French, looked like the short haired chick from the Matrix. Neither of them had a sense of humor, so in case you are planning a trip to Robuchon in the near future and want to crack bad jokes referencing Jacques Cousteau or Pepe le Pew in rusty French, be forewarned.
P-Dawg ordered the “tasting menu,” which consisted of thirteen courses of the chef’s choice. I couldn’t bring myself to do this so I ordered from the prix fixe menu and I still got eight courses. (Each course is about the size of a small fist.)
If thirteen courses is not enough, there was also this bread cart they kept wheeling up to the table with probably one thousand varieties of bread on it. There was no end to the bread cart, not to mention the pillar o’hand churned butter which they also brought by on a regular basis.
I knew Emily Post would roll over in her grave (is she dead?) if I did it, but I took a secret iPhone photo of the bread cart anyway, for you. Later I noticed that other people were shamelessly photographing, Facebooking, and Tweeting their food, so I took out my real camera and started balls out documenting our meal. Klassy. Ten minutes after that, I finished my first glass of wine and forgot I had a camera. (Sorry.)
The food was to die for. I have never in my life tasted flavors and textures so perfectly combined, although at times I could have done without the Michael’s Crafts inspired art deco presentation. One of P-Dawg’s entrees was festooned with what appeared to be Mardi Gras beads and another had a quail egg in it, which he was not supposed to eat. I was going to bring it home in my purse, but I forgot.
Also of note is the fact that whenever I got up to use the ladies’ room (we were there for four hours), one of the waitstaff would
materialize like a ninja to pull the table away from my purple velvet upholstered bench. Almost as if they knew I was going to have to go before I did. After a while it got so that I’d try to sneak out as fast as I could just to thwart them, but I never did.
After the entrees, we were presented with a cheese cart very similar to the bread cart except without the ever-present stalks of wheat. Then we had dessert and after that they brought us an anniversary cake. Just when I was convinced there was no way I could eat another bite, out came the chocolate cart, from which we could select anything we wanted with no limit but our own willingness to look piggish. I picked four.
They sent us tottering home with a gift bag containing a vellum copy of the P-Dawg’s menu de degustation with his name printed on the top, a bound menu book, and a loaf of blueberry lemon pound bread. The lady in the black dress came back to escort us to a lounge off the courtyard where we waited like dilettantes for our limo to return.
I’m guessing I gained about ten pounds at Robuchon, but the plus side is that after eating there and at Thomas Keller’s Vegas restaurant, the P-Dawg has become a very inspired cook. I bought him Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home cookbook for his recent birthday and he’s been concocting ad hoc delicacies all week. In fact, I’m going to have to excuse myself now because my meal of pork roast with fruit and rum compote, roasted radishes and brussels sprouts, and peach cobbler a la mode awaits.
And I’m going to eat it with a glass of cheesecake, if you know what I mean.Subscribe to the blog. (It's free!)