“It should come as no surprise that Joël Robuchon has been named the 'Chef of the Century.' The 16 course 'Menu Degustation' is further evidence of his mastery. A true feast for the eyes, the nose and taste buds, this ambrosia is as beautiful as it is delicious. It is as if you are dining on art. Please note that your dishes will vary, but there is no doubt they will be just as spectacular. The following is a summary of the Winter menu.
Before we get to the menu, we must first discuss the bread cart. The ultimate nightmare for carb-conscious dieters, the cart’s contents will mesmerize you. It is easy to be overwhelmed with over 20 varieties of the best bread you’ve ever tasted. I prefer the milk, bacon and saffron selections. Careful though, if ever there was a time to not fill up on bread, this is it. On to the feast.
We began with an emulsion of blood orange on a wild berry gelée served in a bowl over dry ice. Tart and smooth, but not as spectacular as what followed. The next dish was perhaps one of the best foie gras I’ve ever experienced and one of the best tastings of the evening. I can still taste the carpaccio of foie gras and potatoes, draped with black truffle shavings. Who knew foie gras and potato paired so well? Just as I was catching my breath, the onslaught of caviar arrived via three small plates. Green asparagus, chilled corn veloute and a silky salmon tarter with gold leaf were each delicately adorned with sturgeon roe. The salmon was the best of the three.
How do you impress after caviar? A black truffle tart, of course. We’re not talking about a truffle garnish, but rather nine generous truffle slices beautifully arranged with an onion confit and smoked ham. Decadent. The following custard of gorgonzola was very nice, but paled in comparison to the three fish courses that chased it. The truffled langoustine ravioli, grilled spiny lobster and sea urchin on fennel potato puree did not disappoint. The ravioli was simply spectacular and its savory gravy was so divine I had to refrain from licking the plate. My dining partner found the urchin to be too sweet, but I thought it worked well with the puree.
We welcomed a respite with a light chestnut cream on a bacon foam. Next, a turbot with artichoke prepared in cocotte, barigoule jus. The poultry dish was a poulard hen with roasted foie gras (who wouldn’t want more?) and yes, more tuffle. The hen was perfectly cooked and the truffle continued to inspire. The next dish, a sault farrow risotto, was another favorite of the evening. The risotto was incredibly creamy and rich. The gold leaf further cemented its regal quality.
The dessert courses did not disappoint. A pumpkin cream with vanilla infused pineapples was delicious, but overshadowed by the spectacular presentation. Clear glass bowl, clear plate and sugar arches were stunning. Also impressive was the Poire Willaims mousse under a meticulously crafted dark chocolate sphere. It was so impressive, I felt bad eating it. Finally, we ended with a plate of mignardises with rich chocolates.
Of course, such a gastronomical adventure comes at a cost. As of this writing the tasting was $425 without wine pairing, but well worth every penny. Certainly this is an experience that is not to be missed. Bon appétit!”