All tagged french restaurants

Le Château

Fauchon, Pierre Hermé, Tailellevent, Jean Paul Hévin, Hédiard, Alain Ducasse. This list of restaurants and patisseries may seem like a page from a Paris guide book, but it's not just the French who enjoy French cuisine. In fact, Tokyo is the city with the largest number of French restaurants outside of Paris. And if its hungry foie gras-craving citizens are any indication, the Japanese might even demand French food more than the French. It is no surprise then that Joël Robuchon has set up shop in Tokyo with over five different locations. And considering he has more restaurants there than France, Japan may even be considered his home base. Don't forget: this is where L'Atelier started. Surprised by that? I sure was. Imagine my curiousity (not to mention my appetite) when I learned of Chef Robuchon's "Château" in Tokyo. While I'm a huge admirer of chef Robuchon, unfortunately I've only had the opportunity to visit to his L'Atelier restaurants (granted, I have hit the New York, Paris, and Tokyo locations). Visions of the place that has been called the epitome of French cuisine and elegance in Tokyo began to fill my head. And it seemed like Le Château would be a nice place to take my mother, my guest for the evening, who was visiting me that week. We fasted for the morning in anticipation of an evening full of French food and wine. It should be noted, however, that my fasting attempt lasted only until noon (I woke up at 11).

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

No matter the time of day, my appetite, my clothing, or my food preference, L'Atelier always seemed like the right place to go, and I think that's a really important quality of a favorite restaurant. Considering the amount of times we've eaten here, it would not be an exaggeration to say that Aaron and I have tried everything on the Fall 2006, Winter 2006, Spring 2007, and Summer 2007 menus, and even some of executive chef Yosuke Suga's experimental dishes. Maybe this is why L'Atelier is perhaps our favorite restaurant in Manhattan. L'Atelier's location inside the Four Seasons Hotel might suggest a level of stuffiness, but this is quickly eliminated by Joël Robuchon's unique sushi-bar style seating, which forces complete strangers to talk with, rather than about, each other. This setup also means that the final platings are done directly in front of diners, allowing them to have an increased appreciation of the work that goes into each course, while cleverly hiding the messier kitchen elements behind closed doors. The energy from the adjacent Four Seasons cocktail lounge also flows into the restaurant, setting a lively tone without airs, something that is very much appreciated in contrast to many other haute French restaurants where the only sound is that of cutlery hitting the plate.