Steve Benjamin

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon

Despite having what appears to be an American name, this friendly Parisian is as French as a Camembert wrapped in a tricolor. When Benjamin first came to the MGM Grand six years ago, his accent was as thick as the crème Anglaise served on desserts in his restaurant. Today, he’s lost much of the accent and speaks fluent English. He’s made Las Vegas his permanent home.

What makes him great? Simply that from day to day, year to year, the kitchen at L’Atelier is the most consistently excellent on the Strip. It’s virtually impossible to get a bad dish here, and that includes faithful and difficult reproductions of the dishes that made his boss so famous, such as his celebrated mashed potatoes, stuffed quail and papillotte of langoustine.

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Salmon Rillettes, Bouchon

Dishing With Grace

Salmon Rillettes, Bouchon

Rillettes are minced meat or, in rare cases like this, fish made into a spread with its own fat. Thomas Keller’s signature appetizer comes in a glass jar, available for retail purchase and home indulgence. Spread the rillettes onto crisp rusks made from house baguettes. It’s an unbeatable combo. $17.50 for 5 ounces, in the Venetian, 414-6200, BouchonBistro.com.

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