🌺 Cod, Caviar, Champagne Sauce 🌺
à la L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Sooner or later the question was bound to be asked, “What is your favorite restaurant in Las Vegas?” So many great chefs, so many fabulous restaurants… But after much consideration, I chose L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the MGM Grand for several reasons. With 31 stars, he is The Most Awarded Michelin-Star Chef in the World.
But surprisingly far from being stuffy, L’Atelier is fun! As one would expect, the French-inspired dishes are second to none. Each one prepared with the exactness the Chef became known for, his relentless perfectionism; he famously said there is no such thing as the perfect meal – one can always do better.
With that black & red decor, intentionally designed to be the opposite of old-style French white & gold, the atmosphere is striking and modern. The service is simultaneously easy-going and top-notch. Wines are meticulously paired to elevate the entire dining experience. A seat at the counter often results in a genial and lively evening. Strangers become friends, there is a gregariousness in shared appreciation of the late Chef’s vision of stellar dishes, prepared in view of the guests, offered in a spirit of conviviality.
In 2003, the first L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon opened its doors in Paris, in the 7th arrondissement, and simultaneously in Tokyo. The success of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris encouraged Joël Robuchon to develop its concept all over the world. The Las Vegas restaurant opened in 2005, followed by New York, London and Hong Kong, Taipei and many more.
Here, I re-create an exquisite dish and table setting from our most recent meal at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon – Cod with Caviar and Champagne Sauce.
Here is a black cod dish inspired by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, but probably not in the way one would think. The legendary chef’s arguably most popular recipe is Miso Marinated Black Cod. A preparation that is absolutely worth every accolade. We recently enjoyed his signature black cod fillet at Nobu Paris Las Vegas, along with several other incredible dishes.
But here, I am preparing Alaska black cod simply, sautéed with crispy skin. It is served over a complex broth inspired by Nobu’s cookbook Nobu West where he shares a soup made with watercress (or spinach), dashi, and soy milk.
Black cod’s silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin are complemented by the extraordinary broth where spinach brings bright earthy green flavor and color, dashi adds umami and hints of the sea, tamari for salty notes, soy milk for a light creaminess, and rice vinegar for acidity. Steamed white rice is served on the side, it is heavenly dipped in the spinach dashi. Micro watercress is a nod to Chef Nobu’s original recipe.
Smoked Sablefish & Watermelon Radish
Masia El Altet Olive Oil
Capers, Lemon Zest, Red Onion, Beet Microgreens
Starting the New Year off with a deliciously vibrant and easy brunch! This super-delightful appetizer or brunch course is made with sliced smoked sablefish layered with crisp watermelon radish, dressed with the best olive oil.
It is garnished with capers, lemon zest, red onion, beet microgreens and a bit of fresh ground black pepper to finish. Served with a toasted poppy seed bagel on the side, the silky buttery fish is heavenly paired with the crunchy mildly-peppery radish.
Black Cod over Fresh Fettuccine in Dashi Broth
Shiitake, Castelvetrano Olives, Fried Garlic, Chives
Here’s another excellent dish inspired by Nobu Matsuhisa, where he gives Japanese noodles in hot broth a Western twist by substituting Italian pasta.
Since there are but a few ingredients – where olives play a big role – choose super-tasty, buttery, meaty Castelvetrano olives. And the pasta has to be fresh, not dried, where the tender velvety texture is heavenly in the savory umami-rich dashi broth. Flavorful earthy shiitakes are wonderful in this dish, oyster or chanterelle mushrooms would work also, however common button mushrooms would be way too boring. Lastly, the star is black cod (aka sablefish), with its silky-rich luxurious flesh and its contrasting crispy skin.
This glorious sablefish was caught by Alaskan Fishing Vessel F/V Alitak. A simple preparation with a minimum of ingredients lets the silky-rich texture and buttery flavor shine through.
Found only in the Northern Pacific Ocean, Sablefish aka Black Cod is relatively abundant and harvested with methods that cause little damage to habitat and other marine life. For both taste and sustainability, sablefish can’t be beat!
Pan-seared to achieve a crispy skin, or broiled to achieve a caramelized crust – each of these sablefish preparations are equally stellar.