Friday, October 3, 2008

Joel Robuchon's L'Atelier

The other night I made an omelet for dinner. It was the most perfect omelet I have ever made, and I might even go as far as to say that it was the best omelet that I have ever had. Ever. Really, it was that good. The outside was not quite browned, but the exterior was almost crisp. Well, not really crisp, but it had bite. It was the perfect texture to enclose the velveteen, custard-ey goodness of the eggs and the filling. Nom, nom, nom. I had it next to a small, mixed green salad with Dijon, shallot, and red wine vinaigrette (that I swiped from my "French Laundry" cookbook and whip up weekly to keep in the fridge for my usual salads that I take to work for lunch) and it was the perfect little dinner.

ANYWAYS. Making that omelet gave me a weird sense of pride. After I sat back, with my content little (har har) belly all full of yummy goodness, I thought about what it must feel like to hit that kind of culinary home run all the time. I’m a pretty good cook, but I’m not that consistent. I make an omelet like that once a year, maybe. The rest of the time I usually over cook it a touch, which is fine because I like scrambled eggs and all, but it’s never that satisfyingly perfect dish that I set out to make. Oh lord, what must it feel like to be Thomas Keller or Joel Robuchon? Or just one of the chefs at Joel Robuchon’s L’Atelier… just making awesome dish after awesome dish. Perfectly prepared and presented and laid out on pristine plates, night after night.

Because Dave took me there for my birthday last month and every dish we had was utterly fantastic. It was so good that it felt naughty. No, not naughty, beyond naughty. It was lascivious (probably my favorite word in the English language and I never get a chance to use it enough). I can’t imagine what it must be like to be one of those chefs, nailing every dish they put out so perfectly. All of the sexually suggestive adjectives and comparisons floating around in my head right now are overwhelming. I could probably write gastronomic erotica (gastronomic erotica sounds awful, no?) about the appetizers alone. But I’ll save you the flowery text and get right to the pictures of the food. FFWD to the money shots, right dudes?

The dining room at L'Atelier is bad ass. It's sushi bar style so you can see all the chefs plating the food. There are exactly 36 stools around the kitchen and the peasants who don't make reservations have to sit at the crap-o tables along the wall. LAME.

I can't get enough of of looking at these chefs tenderly plating each dish. I focused on it all night. Fuck a titty bar, I will happily sit along this rail and ogle these guys all night long. The eye candy's better and the drinks aren't as watered down.

We got to see all the bad ass cooking/plating action from the bar. this is all the dressed up, flashy, sexy part of the cooking process. Obviously, there's a lot of prep work behind the scenes, but you don't watch porn to see the fluffers, do you?

Well, except for this part: Shooting bread lasers at the executive chef from my sweet seat at the bar. I've got him in my scope. PEW! PEW! PEW! PEW!

So yeah, the food was about to come out. Yay. But don't fill up on bread! It is sooo hard when it's so gooood. And it's served on a golden platter? What the fuck dudes? I would take that bread out to a dinner and a movie if it would let me get to second base with it.

The amuse bouche (which means "mouth amuser." Um, try and tell me that's not naughty in the best way). It was cucumber gelee with mint and something else that I can't remember. I just gulped that shit. I've always been a swallower.

Some big eye tuna tartar with lemon infused olive oil and a quail egg on top. Nummy num nummers.

I think this was the lobster in a vegetable gelee with chilled leek soup over it, but I have forgotten. I was basically just closing my eyes and putting stuff into my mouth by then anyways. I think there should be food glory holes for culinary perverts like me.

Some luscious salmon, next to Monseiur Robuchon's famous pomme puree. the consistency is beyond description... and it was kissed ever so lightly with a touch of basil infused oil.

The absolute most decadent, wonderful thing you can put on a plate (or anywhere else, for that matter): Pork Belly.

A bit of quail. I never knew I liked quail so much. Sometimes, you just have to be talked into something, no matter how odd it might seem. It's good to be open minded though.

Some fish. I guess it was John Dory, but any fish is pretty much just fish to me: Fishy and whatevs. This fish, however, was actually good... so I guess I should call it by its proper name. Mr. Dory, don't stop now. Just a little bit more.

The cheeeeeeese! Finally the cheese! Yes, yes, yes!!!! Oh god, yes!

Ahhh, and finally the come down. Now I need a cigarette and a nap. Mmmm mmmm. There's money on the counter for you, L'Atelier. Can I call you again sometime?

1 comment:

Ptite Claire said...

Yes, Joel Robuchon !
Love your blog, good food and lots of cheese, can't get any better.

Shame it makes me so hungry though and everytime I have to go out to the local "├ępicerie" and get more cheese and wine to answer my greed.

(Now you know there's a hungry girl somewhere in France reading this shit!.)
Keep at it.
(p.s. I remember reading your Gallaz video review in Big Brother like it was yesterday!)