If you want to see last year’s L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon recap HERE.
Located in the Casino de Montreal, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon is tucked in a little downstairs corner accessible by elevators at one end of the casino. Different from last year is how it was bustling and full of action this time with tons of customers there. After last year’s experience, I was a little more knowledgeable about how to approach this year’s dinner so was a little less ambitious. If you had seen last year’s dinner, it took well over 3 hours, this wasn’t really that much more different.
In terms of decor, there wasn’t much change. I’m back at the same time after all so I do wonder if the decor changes especially in the display case with the seasons. Maybe one day, I’ll go not in autumn.
Due to the rainy weather outside and a rather under the weather feeling like a cold was creeping in, I ended up vouching to get a green tea. This is a Japanese green tea recommended by the waitress for us. It tasted great. I don’t usually drink Japanese green tea but this one definitely was a treat.
The breads here are also quite good. This time, we had the baguette one the left and the bacon and mustard braid on the right. Not shown here but my friend got two other ones which had dairy products in it. One was a flaky cheese one I believe and I can’t remember the other one right now.
A refreshing starter amuse-bouche to kick things off. Tonight’s starter, the dairy free option, I assume since my friend got something different but he also had the 7 or 9 course seasonal discovery tasting menu. This amuse-bouche is a eggplant topped on one side with a red pepper and the other one is topped with a zucchini (or maybe eggplant) chip? I can’t remember anymore. But I can tell you that it tasted really good. I’m not much of an eggplant fan. I really just eat it for its health benefits on a daily basis but this was really lovely.
Tasting Portion Dishes
Like I said in the beginning, last year’s tasting menu traumatized me to my core. Not that the food wasn’t good but the duration and the sheer amount was just way over what I could handle. So this year, I went a different route. I asked the suggestion of the waitress to tell me what would be a good approach and she gave me a very accurate one of taking 3 tasting portion which should be enough and went along with her knowledge and suggested the ones that she knew could be modified to be dairy-free or already was dairy-free. With that I chose three (with her help):
Le Homard – Lobster over mashed avocado tart and pomegranate arils
My first choice when I first saw my choices was this one. Avocado tart and pomegranate and lobster all sounds so fresh and delicious. From the presentation to the delicious balance of flavors to just the crispy different texture of the pomegranate seeds and little bits and the crunchy fresh vegetables and the lobster was such a delight. Not to mention of course the creamy avocado tart base.
La Morue Noire – Stewed Black Cod with “Malabar” peppercorn, baby spinach
The star of the show, my friends. I picked this one because the waitress highly recommended it. Normally, this one would have a frothy creamy coconut foam. Mine is just coconut sans the cream for the obvious lactose intolerance issue. With that said, this dish is absolutely heavenly. I kid you not, the cod is done so perfectly.
L’Agneau – Quebec lamb ribs with eggplant and lemon pulp confit caviar
Talking about the final dish in my selection is the lamb. I’m starting to realize that I have a tendency to get lamb whenever I go out, mostly because I wouldn’t eat it at home. This was done the perfect doneness. The eggplant caviar as they call it is really delicious along with the eggplant chips which are both very good. Paired up with the lemon pulp, it worked so well together. The only thing I wasn’t a big fan of based on personal preference is the date puree thing. I’m personally not a fan of dates so it didn’t quite appeal to me. Overall, the whole dish worked together really well.
La Bulle – Blown sugar ball with coconut cream, fresh coriander sorbet
The original La Bulle is made with yuzu lemon in the menu. However, this version is dairy-free version so its made with coconut cream. I have to say that the coriander sorbet is somewhat of an acquired taste that took a moment to get used to but it cuts through the sweetness from the coconut so it works out well.
Overall, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon Montreal is a great dining experience. It offers fantastic cuisine, comfortable ambiance, flexible with their dishes to accommodate allergens as well as great service. Its honestly one of the restaurants that I love going to. It is quite pricey but worth every penny.