On the evenings of February 27, 28 and 29, the French gourmet restaurant L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon welcomes guest chef Christophe Bellanca. Under the auspices of the 2020 Montréal en Lumière high lights festival’s fine-dining program, the Michelin-starred chef has prepared a special full-course dinner with wine pairing to be enjoyed in the spectacular setting of this elegant establishment inside the Montreal Casino.
Bellanca‘s exceptional career path is the dream of any young chef. His know-how, determination, and constant pursuit of excellence pave the way for him to earn the respect and trust of the late Joël Robuchon –the most influential French chef of the post-nouvelle cuisine era– and be chosen to serve as his culinary director in the United States. Responsible for preserving the legacy of Robuchon, while cultivating the evolution of his restaurants in New York, Miami, and Houston; Bellanca briefly returns to Montreal in electric style to take our taste buds on a unique culinary journey.
Served to us with warm smiles by waiter Gérald Robitaille and sommelier Charles Claprood-Lemieux, the exquisite dinner consists of 9 courses with 7 wine pairings. A haute cuisine tasting menu, it’s more courses at smaller portions so you can taste multiple dishes and, surprisingly, feel quite full and satisfied by the end. Here’s a sneak peek to feast your eyes on:
Les Cuisses de Grenouille
Crispy frog legs, black garlic aioli, mache velouté
Parsnip espuma, blood orange reduction
Le Caviar et le Crabe Royal
Caviar and Alaskan King crab, crustacean jelly, celery vanilla cream
La Truffe Noire
Black truffle, “Parisian gnocchi”, celeriac, mimolette tuile
Poached Maine lobster, galanga broth, green asparagus, jicama, black trumpet mushroom
Wild Atlantic black bass, shiitake chutney, razor clam, curry emulsion
Le Trou Normand
Black truffle ice cream, Sicilian pistachio
Grilled Wagyu ribcap, harissa-glazed carrot, radicchio marmelade
Le Gin «Dandy»
Herbs sorbet, “Dandy” gin sabayon, hazelnut praline
Arabica coffee Chantilly, caramel mousse and cashew, cocoa crumble
I must really thank Christophe Bellanca, Stéphane Galibert, Jean-Pierre Curtat and the entire team of L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon — Montréal, as well as Marilyne Desrochers of Loto-Québec, for making our first time at one of the city’s fine-dining landmarks an evening to remember!
Here is what you need to know about L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon’s Montréal en Lumière dinner:
Location: 1 avenue du Casino, Montréal, QC H3C 4W7
Dates: February 27, 28 and 29
Hours: 6PM to 10PM
Price: $225, full-course dinner without wine pairing | $355, full-course dinner with wine pairing
Age: 18 and over
Reservations: 514-392-2781 or opentable.ca
UPDATE: (April 27, 2021) We are sad to read that L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon — Montréal has become the latest casualty of the covid-19 pandemic. Loto-Québec has reluctantly decided to end its contract with the group behind the restaurant, which had opened in December 2016 but had been temporarily closed since the first lockdown began in March 2020.
Photo credit: L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
From fine dining restaurants to boutique hotel staycations to high society balls, V is a lifestyle writer who unlocks some of Montreal's best-kept secrets.