I went a few weeks ago with two friends for an early Saturday dinner. The server was really fun and sharp, but we felt a little rushed (she may have assumed we were going to the theater, who else eats at 6?). We started with a martini ($20) and ordered a bottle of wine ($110) and ordered appetizers and entrees. The wine and apps came before the martinis were half done. The lobster salad appetizer (mid $40s) was about a half of a mediumish tail and one half a claw. The smaller half. Two of us had this and did one of those look-up-look-at-friend-look back-HUH? things. On little rings of ice berg lettuce, with some very light vinagrette. Delicious, but chintzy. So underwhelmed. The scallops the third had were more reasonably priced and generous. Also smelled fantastic.Then the real smack in the face. A dinner portion of the quail stuffed with foie gras. One.Little.Bird. I have never been served one quail before, especially just the breast and legs. It looked liked someone ate most of the dinner on the way from the kitchen. Anothere look-up-look-across-look-down experience. While it tasted very good, there were maybe four small bites, and scant evidence of the foie gras. This, for $47. Third again chose better, going with the steak. The truffled potatoes, on the other hand, served to all, were seriously good, even though I gave half my truffle shavings to my tablemates, as a little goes a long way with me. The desserts were just okay, nothing wow. All this for $210 a person.
We had pizza three hours later, it was $1.50 each, and was far more satisfying. Atelier JR is a good restaurant, it just isn't great. Maybe the tasting ($195, $315 with wine) is better? Or choosing from the small plates? I hate to slam a place, but this was truly disappointing meal.
If you have done a little research about Robuchon, it shouldn't be a surprise that their portion size was always very small. The langostine dish is one langostine, and ravioli is one ravioli. Robuchon is supposed to be one of the most expensive restaurants in town, so the sticker shock relatively to the size should not be really a "shock" afterall.
As for desserts, I have always loved their desserts, esp. the Le Sucre. Not sure if this was what you ordered, but if not, this is what I felt is well worth the $20.
Yes, it it expensive, but it's worth it, and given the amount of thought, the luxe ingredients and preparation for each dish, I understand why things cost as much as they do. But I for one, thought the quail entree was particularly filling - boyfriend and I split one to share after we finished with the appetizers. It was a perfect amount - as it was sooo rich - and I couldn't even finish all my potatoes.