Wow.                                Let those three letters sink in.

Sante!

Sante!

I just finished dinner at Joel Robuchon’s Atelier in Las Vegas. I must commence by saying that I hate Vegas. It’s  not for me. I don’t enjoy the cigarette puffing drunken masses, with their glazed eyes glued to the slots. But I come every year (second year now) to better myself.

Better myself you might ask? At my Crap Game? No. I come for the RE/MAX R4 Convention, to learn how to provide excellent service to my clients; to surpass their expectations.

Much to my delight, while feasting on all things Real Estate, I stumbled upon M. Robouchon’s Atelier. I coudn’t quite justify a solo dinner for one, duration 4 hours at a cost of over $100 per 60 minutes (without wine and without my husband), so I settled, settled  for L’Atelier.

I apologize to myself and to all who revere M. Robouchon. The only “settling” I did, was for a millisecond in my seat, at the bar, in between fellow gastro gluttons.

Where to start. Without overly boasting, ok I’ll boast, I can count amongst my pals some of the worlds most celebrated Chefs. I know many personally and do prevail upon them and their kind personal assistants for aid when travelling, when dining.

I am a lover of food, cuisine, the bounty of Mother Nature prepared by gifted artist in the kitchen. I have been treated to many a 3 Star Michelin dinner and sometimes didn’t fully understand or appreciate to the fullest the bounty laid before me.

But tonight, tonight was different. Tonight I wasn’t prepared to have my senses lovingly assaulted by flavor, texture and aroma. I didn’t posses the confidence that this Vegas crowd could support such refined cuisine. Boy was I wrong!

One of my dear friends, Alain Ducasse has Mix here in Vegas. We dined there last year and they put on a vast array of  dishes for us. The venue was stunning, the service almost good, but as sad as it makes me, I was disappointed. I wasnt’ moved. I didn’t “wow”. I didn’t groan with the glee of ecstatically jumping taste buds. I was grateful for the attention, for the lack of a bill, but I didn’t leave on a food high note.

But tonight was different. It caught me off guard. Ducasse is a disciple of Joel Robuchon. I can see why.

This mini meal (remember I was solo) consisted of 3 courses plus an amuse bouche. Each was better than the next, or maybe just as fabulous.

I started with the Anchoives Marinees with confit of eggplant and roasted red peppers.

IMG_3612

I followed with the Sea Bass on a bed of leeks with a wisp of a ravioli surrounded by an oncteuse sauce that defies not only gravity but also surpasses celestial godliness.

Seabass with Leeks

Next I struggled. I wanted to be mundane and have chocolate, or maybe the hazelnut whatever it was. My smarts led me to ask my charming waiter his favorite dessert. So I jumped into the Raspberry splendor on my plate.

Raspberry Delight

It was sexual. I have to admit that it was. I’m not ashamed either. The waiter poured something on top of this red orb and it opened like a delicate flower, revealing..well. I better stop there, but remember I’m only talking about food here, no subtext, just food.

I guess in my haste I neglected to mention the amuse bouche, a frothy little number of fois gras and parmesan.

fois gras amuse bouche

The bread deserves its own accolades, but we are talking FRENCH bread here.

Panier

Just like and Oscar acceptance speech, I have to give thanks to the puree de pommes de terres. They were amazing. I will note that they were not quite warm enough. Damn, am I hard to please?

pommes de terres

As I happily chatted to my fellow diners I realized just how monumentous this meal really was. It moved me. It tantalized me.

Thank you Joel, Merci mille fois.

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