L’Atelier de Joel Robechon
Surprising but true: here’s a glossy, international concept restaurant whose hot status is wholly merited. The big idea is small plates of exquisite, inventive gourmet food, served at the counter of a open kitchen, so you can witness the freshness and the deftness as you dine. The decor is minimal and glossy, with a Japanese bent; the staff are black-clad and the clientele moneyed to at least some degree; to reach contentment via the miniature interpretations of langoustines, frog’s legs, scallops, carbonara pasta and calf’s liver, a certain abandonment is necessary. Because of the counter arrangement, L’Atelier is best sampled à deux; you can’t book, so turning up on the early or late side is wise. Don’t miss the warm Chartreuse soufflé.