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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Joel Robuchon 05-23-2013

Joel Robuchon
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, 05/23/2013
http://www.mgmgrand.com/restaurants/joel-robuchon-french-restaurant.aspx



I ate at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon a few years ago and thought it was awesome.  I told myself that one day, I'd be back to try the REAL DEAL, the adjacent 3-Michelin starred, Joel Robuchon.  I figured it would be a once in a lifetime dinner, so I splurged for the full tasting.  With a reservation to the restaurant, the MGM Grand can send a complimentary limo to your hotel and escort your party through a private entrance (through some fancy gardens apparently) to bypass the casino floor entrance.  I went ghetto style -- self-parking and a walk across casino grounds.  For a meal like this, you'll want to do as much walking as possible before and after engorging.  

 
 Butter and Olive Oil


Bread Cart


Bread: Bacon Baguette, Saffron Brioche, Comte Bread, Country Bread


Gruyere, Rosemary-Sea Salt Brioche, Olive Oil Bread


La Cerise - Cherry Gazpacho with Pistachios and Ricotta Ice Cream


The 'Right' Cocktail - Right gin, St. Germain Elderlower Liquer, Raspberries, Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice, Tonic, Lemon Zest [$19]


Reisling [no idea which one]


Le Tomato - Salad of Tomato with Basil Infused Olive Oil, Tomato Pelee Topped with Mozzarella





Le Caviar - Carrot Leaves with Yellowtail Carpaccio, Delicate Cream of Corn, Salmon Tartar with Shiso Sprouts







Bread - Classic Baguette, Bacon, Milk, Basil Brioche


Le Saint-Jacques - Pan Seared Sea Scallop in Green Curry and Fresh Coriander


Don't Remember What Cocktail This Was!


La Symphonie de Morilles - Ricotta and Herb Ravioli in a Pea Veloute, Delicate Morel Royale with Green Asparagus, Turnip and Arbois Vin Jaune Broth with Foie Gras







Le Homard - Grilled Lobster with Spinach Leaves, Roasted Black Pepper Sauce


L'Oursin - Uni Served Atop a Blend of Mashed Potatoes, Fennel and Anise


Le Black Cod - Black Cod on a Daikon Velvet Puree with Lime Zest


Le Boeuf - Grilled Beef Ribeye, Black Olive and Bone Marrow Condiment


Le Broccolini - Broccolini and Soybean Sprouts Served as a Risotto


Le Rubis - Raspberry Dome on Mascarpone with Red Fruit Coulis and Calpico Jelly


Coffee


Les Herbes - Green Chartreuse Sabayon Topped with Herb Sherbet and a Hazelnut Praline


Candy Cart


Candy Cart - Pineapple White Chocolate, Strawberry Cupcake, Strawberry Pistachio Tart, Rum Cannele, Raspberry Marshmallow, Dark Chocolate Orange Peel, Strawberry Cheesecake & White Chocolate, Chocolate Macaron, Coffee Eclair, Blood Orange Guave Gel


Candy Cart 2 - Creme Brulee, Panna Cotta with Strawberries, Baba Au Rhum


Departing Treat - Raspberry Marhmallows


Verdict

Pros:
- One of the most decadent meals I've ever had -- felt like a king!
- Most impressive bread array I've ever seen.
- Another best I've ever seen?  Why yes!  Best mignardises cart ever!
- The chilled cream of corn with caviar was so freakin money!

Cons:
- Edible gold flakes on multiple plates?  C'mon, a little much, don't you think?  Unless you want me going all 49ers on my poop, ditch the gold next time.
- The service was a bit stuffy, but I guess that's what high end 3-star Michelin dining can become?
- Please enforce the "jacket required" dress code.  I was pretty much the only one dressed as requested.
- The faux risotto soybean dish was a total fail IMHO.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

112 Eatery (10-11-2013)

112 Eatery
Minneapolis, MN
Friday, 10/11/2013
http://www.112eatery.com/




I've never had a nice dinner in Minneapolis before but a conference brought me to downtown and a chance to explore the city core.  Surprisingly to me, downtown Minneapolis has quite a lively scene with a diverse group of 20-30 somethings walking the streets, drinking, eating, and eventually lining up at the many clubs within walking distance from my hotel. 

Yelp and Trip Advisor had 112 Eatery ranked very favorably.  Looking at the menu online, it had plenty of food I found interesting.  Executive chef and owner Isaac Becker is apparently a James Beard winner for Best Chef Midwest in 2011.  My friends were coming in to town a little later so I dined on my own at the bar.  People in the Midwest are known to be very friendly, and I certainly didn't lack any conversation at the bar.  They did keep making fun of me for snapping photos of my food though....  

 Olives & Honey Almonds


Focaccia Bread


Summit Brewing Co, Extra Pale Ale, St. Paul, MN [$5]


Fried Sweetbread with Pickled Shallots [$12]


Tagiatelle with Foie Gras Meatballs [$12]


Roasted Carrots with Honey & Pecorino [$7]


Nori Encrusted Sirloin with Ponzo [$32]


Verdict

Pros:
- tasty contemporary food = one of the city's most popular dining destinations
- foie gras on the menu?  I'll take it!  Still can't believe California banned this stuf...
- very diverse selection, everyone can find something they will like on this menu
- walking distance from the downtown scene, though it is in the the more "artsy" warehouse district
- nice people all around!

Cons:
-  this is so picky, but some dishes had half portions and some didn't.  Why not offer half portions on all of them and let me experience more plates?
- no idea that green blob in the sirloin dish was pure wasabi.  I guess I should have known better given the Japanese inspired ingredients on the dish.  But guess who ate a huge dollop and had his sinuses immediately burned?