This is listed under the Expensive category only because there isn’t one for Unbelievably, Heart-Stoppingly, Stratospherically Expensive. But it’s here because legendary chef Joël Robuchon—the first (and youngest) chef to win three consecutive Michelin stars—who closed his restaurants in France (where he was proclaimed “chef of the century”) at the height of his fame, has proven that all the hype is justified. The gorgeous dining room, done in rich purple and climbing vines of deep green, hosts not just food as fuel, food to bolt down greedily (even though you may want to), but to slowly savor. Pay attention as you chew, and notice how many layers of interest are revealed. Great care was taken in choosing and combining ingredients, to create not fuss but both surprise and a sense of rightness. Exquisite, superb—name your superlative, and it’s been levied toward this remarkable restaurant.
Chef Robuchon is not personally in the kitchen that often, but he oversees the menu, which changes very frequently and features many key ingredients flown in daily from France. And the service reminds one that Michelin ratings take more than just the food into account, too. None of this comes cheap. Could it possibly be worth it? When restaurant critics claim they would spend their own money to dine here, quite very possibly, yes.
- Rick Garman