There’s a very famous line in ‘The Godfather Part Three’, spoken by Al Pacino. It goes: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” Joel Robuchon may have been French as opposed to Italian, but the line could just as easily have come out of his mouth. The French maestro was awarded ‘Chef of the Century’ in 1989, received a record-setting 32 Michelin stars over the course of his career, and tried to hang up his apron in 1995 after feeling he could achieve no more. His retirement didn’t stick, and that’s to all of our benefit, as it means we have L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon to enjoy.
Sadly, Robuchon is no longer with us, but his design skill and work ethic as a chef is present everywhere within his restaurant, tucked away inside the Meatpacking District. You’re encouraged to sit at the counter, omakase-style; a trend that Robuchon introduced to the west almost single-handedly. Everything about the environment is stylish and glamorous, with the red and black shades setting a tone that’s as close to a boutique dancehall as it is an eatery.
The eight-course menu, full of seasonal ingredients, is the best way to enjoy a meal here. Wagyu ribeye is the star of the show if you come at the right time of the year, and although that may not be unusual, you’ve probably never had it done better. At $235 it isn’t cheap, but if you paid any less to eat at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon you’d feel like a thief.
Michelin Stars: 2
Address: 85 Tenth Ave
For a list of the very best eateries in town, check out our guide to all the Michelin star restaurants in New York.