Saturday, January 12, 2008

Review: L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon

L'atelier is a mediocre restaurant, and bad for its price. It's located in the Four Seasons hotel, and clearly tries hard to be contemporaneous and hip: overhead lights pieced together as squares whose sides are triangle-ended rectangular towers; large blackish gray plates with stripes down part of them; translucent red glasses; pickled vegetables swimming in large jars fronting an open kitchen. I sat at the counter, which looks right into the kitchen. I asked if they could accommodate vegetarians (I had called ahead and they had assured me they could), and they pointed me to their single appetizer (a slow-roasted vegetable & buffalo mozzarella dish) and entree (spaghetti, parmesan, and poached egg w/optional black truffles). I asked if the chef could make anything different, and the answer came back no.

The bread basket was decent, consisting of baguettes, rolls, and olive focaccio. The baguette was a little too tough. The slow-roasted vegetable dish was also fine, though nothing special (though I liked the flavor of the tomato confit). The spaghetti dish was not particularly memorable. I'm certainly glad I didn't opt for black truffles, which would have upped the price of the dish from $35 to a somewhat absurd $160.

Service was fine, though the server did not seem to make much effort to even attempt to get me the special dish I requested nor was he particularly put-out when he couldn't. So mark one off for that.

Nothing to see here, folks. I won't be going back.

Stars: 2/5

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