Chef Joël Robuchon’s renowned eatery, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (151 NE 41st Street), finally makes its grand debut in the Miami Design District — almost half a decade after its imminent arrival in Miami was announced. The highly anticipated restaurant is one of the most acclaimed fine dining restaurants in the world, with many of the nearly dozen locations holding more than one Michelin star.
The restaurant has been described as an “upscale chain restaurant” serving up French cuisine using Japanese-style counter service with tapas-sized small plates. Guests mainly sit at one of the 34-seats at the countertop and watch the chefs work, with the idea being that guests can experience fine-dining food in a lively setting without the stuffiness of white tablecloth service. Spearheading the Miami location is culinary director Christophe Bellanca, a longtime protégé of Robuchon, and chef de cuisine Nancy Dominguez, who worked within the Robuchon group for six years at his Michelin-starred restaurants in Las Vegas.
L’Atelier offers both an à la carte selection of small plates, appetizers, and entrées, or guests can choose from several tasting menus including a five-course “Menu Végétarien;” a four-course seasonal tasting with choices for each dish; and the 10-course “Menu Evolution.”
The menu in Miami features several of L’Atelier’s best-known dishes — including the famed pommes purée that come with the last course of the tasting menu — alongside new items that reflect South Florida. On the menu think classic French fare like crispy langoustine papillote and caramelized quail with foie gras and potato purée, alongside new additions like grilled wagyu ribcap, summer vegetable “tian” and basil pesto.
The 3,400-square-foot space is housed directly above Le Jardinier and was designed by architect Pierre-Yves Rochon — who designs all L’Ateliers worldwide. Similar with its counterparts around the world, the interiors feature dramatic lighting, bold colors, walls outfitted with polished rosewood, custom-made red leather Italian seating, flame-brushed granite flooring and black painted ceilings.
The restaurant is now “softly” open for dinner, with its “official” opening marked for August 28. It is now open 6 to 10 p.m Tuesday through Saturday.