The chef with the most Michelin stars anyone’s ever heard of (31, to be exact) returns to New York this week with a vaguely Parisian-feeling behemoth of a restaurant that’s all gold and red and gorgeous truffle-laden dishes, now open in the Meatpacking District.
It’s the latest incarnation of his esteemed L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, a tasting counter concept that originated in Saint-Germain in 2003—but unlike other outposts, this one’s got two different spaces for dining indulgence: the main dining area, and a more casual bar up front (think: less beautiful $300 tasting menus, more pre-night out Croque-Monsieurs and champagne).
Find only what you need to know about both, below.
In Sum: A 56-seat restaurant when you first enter the space, with its own a la carte menu, cocktails and a myriad of champagne options. It’s a massive space, with brick walls, high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Why You’re Here: A quick-ish pit stop before heading out somewhere in the area, or not in the area. A post-work drink. To try some of the chef’s food without dropping serious money.
Choice Drink: Maybe the Lapin Martini, with carrot eau de vie, vodka, curacao and manzanilla sherry.
Choice Menu Move: We’ll go with the crispy veal “Milanaise” with wild arugula salad. And maybe the lobster bisque with tarragon-flavored flan.
In Sum: The main event. Claim space at the 34-seat counter and settle in for the full nine-course tasting menu experience. You’ll be here a while. You can also build your own meal, but don’t do that.
Why You’re Here: A top-notch date night. An indulgent group dinner in one of the private rooms. Some very important family event.
Choice Drink: Something off the impressive champagne list.
Choice Menu Move: We’d suggest going with a tasting menu, which include such delights as imperial caviar and king crab with shellfish gelée, truffled langoustine ravioli with foie gras émulsion and a beef and foie gras burger. (Check their site for more on the menu.)