Trust me, dear readers, while the name of this restaurant is weird to pronounce, the food is simply magnificent.
In one sentence: L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons in NYC is simply mahr-velous.
And let's face it: I do NOT say that about everyone. Only those places that deserve the positive recognition, get it on this blog. (If the place is bad, they get THAT recognition, too.) No mincing anything. Especially words.
Ok. So....when we arrived, we were seated right away and treated to a nice spot at the counter - which I personally enjoy more than being at a table or seated in a banquette. Why? Because I sincerely love watching the kitchen prepare my meal and experiencing the action. At the table, you're a guest. At the counter, you're a diner. It's more interactive and the staff is extremely attentive.
Speaking of staff, If you're REALLY lucky, you'll have Sandjerma at your personal service. The best part about this restaurant is that the staff knows the food and the right beverage that you should order. You'll get the perfect pairing for your various selections. Even if you don't know what to order, just ask for a recommendation. In my case, Sandjerma knew what went along with what and every course came out of the kitchen on time, exquisitely presented and was an incredible culinary experience.
A few suggestions from the menu:
- Chestnut Veloute with Smoked Cream, Celeriac and Cardamom - Oh the flavors! I am salivating just thinking about this superb concoction. It was delicate, yet hearty.
- Foie Gras Ravioli in Warm Chicken and Oriental Herb Broth - This dish is a melt-in-your-mouth gourmet pleasure. I had a hard time keeping this particular menu item to myself - as my guests were wanting to sample my ravioli! (Hey! Get yer own next time!)
- Free-Range Caramelised Quail Stuffed with Foie Gras, Potato Purée - Again, the flavors and the perfect blend of herbs just make the poultry so delectable. Sure, you can call it potato purée.... but in my book, it's "mashed potatoes" -and probably one of the BEST I've ever tasted!
Certainly, this is not your everyday dining locale, but it's a special occasion spot that is most memorable. And FYI: If my special someone is reading this, he knows that I'm ready to go back ANY TIME (Hint! Hint! DOUBLE hint!)