Joël Robuchon

There is no equal on Las Vegas Boulevard or, for that matter, anywhere else in this country. A meal here is like a Beethoven symphony in four parts: carefully orchestrated, with an introduction, slow movement, scherzo and finale. After being led to a table in the plush dining room, set with purple velvet sofas and a Swarovski chandelier, you’ll probably start with a glass of Bruno Paillard Champagne—a rosé, if you’re a romantic. Then take a deep breath, because the bread cart is on the way, laden with the creations of Kamel Guechida—milk bread, a bacon epi, a bun laced with Comté cheese … There are 15 amazing specimens from which to choose. That 16-course, $425 degustation menu is probably too much for you, so opt for one of the smaller menus, such as a six-course offering that features choices for $250. You might start with an amuse called La Pomme Verte, a foam of green apple, ruby grapefruit, avocado and fresh mint, one of the most—if not only—intelligent uses of foam in the food world, and things just get better from there: langoustine ravioli with foie gras sauce, a pumpkin soup, pan-fried sea bass with five spices, exquisitely ripe cheeses, a pistachio mousse and that candy cart with more than 40 mignardises (little treats). The wine we had with dinner—a Pommard from Burgundy, chosen by one of the somms, Helen Van Riper—was superb, and so is the solicitous service. After seven years here, Robuchon is the winner and still champion.

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Cocktail Culture


By Xania V. Woodman

Following the kitchen’s lead, Fox Restaurant Concepts beverage manager Mat Snapp is committed to using house-made syrups and infusions at Culinary Dropout wherever possible. “Everything tastes better when you put time, effort and energy into it,” Snapp says. His original creation, Bells & Whistles, actually had its beginnings in the kitchen, at a barbecue festival’s cocktail competition. “I wanted a cocktail that mirrored all the great things about barbecue: some smokiness, some sweetness and some heat.” Simple syrup infused with charred bell pepper and jalapeño does the trick nicely.