L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, MGM Grand, Las Vegas.
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, a Michelin one-star restaurant at MGM Grand, in Las Vegas, now offers a $39 pre-theatre express menu, available daily until 6:45 p.m. Changed weekly, the special menu focuses on French bistro-style fare – appetizer, main course and dessert, served simultaneously, in a bento box. Entrées, for example, offer the likes of caramelized beef short ribs with confit onion and mashed potatoes.
New York-based superchef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has launched J&G Steakhouse in the just-opened W Washington D.C., in a city that’s one of the top U.S. meeting places. In addition to a steakhouse menu, J&G serves Vongerichten’s favorite dishes from his New York restaurants. Located below the dining room is J&G’s Wine Bar, a tavern-style lounge offering Old and New World wines, cocktails and bottled beers from around the world.
Much-delayed Union restaurant has opened on Toronto’s hot Ossington strip. Chef/owner Teo Paul is serving casual food (elk mini-burgers, charcuterie, simply prepared cuts of beef) at a horseshoe-shaped bar. On the service side, Paul favours a casual, welcoming ambience, which should fit Ossington like a glove.
Anyone craving the illicit allure of absinthe liqueur should head to Sarah B., a bar that’s opened in the InterContinental Montreal following a $14-million renovation to the property. Taking its inspiration from 19th-century French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt, the bar serves cocktails – many incorporating absinthe – and Provencal-inspired tapas, courtesy of chef Matthieu Saunier. Two alcoves, each with its own fireplace, allow for intimate tête-à-têtes.
A team spearheaded by Calgary chefs Connie DeSousa and John Jackson plans to open Charcut Roast House, in December, in the planned Le Germain Calgary project. With 140 seats, including a 10-seat communal table made of reclaimed Douglas fir, a six-seat eating bar and a 30-seat sidewalk patio, Charcut will feature a design by Montreal-based Lemay Michaud. The menu will be based on ingredients sourced seasonally from local, artisanal farmers and ranchers.
Asian-themed Zin restaurant has opened in the space formerly occupied by Boba eatery in Toronto’s tony Yorkville area. The main room – the rear of which features a small semi-private dining area, seating eight – is done up in black and gold décor. An upstairs lounge is equipped with a flat-screen television, a fireplace and a separate bar.
Gianfranco Loponte, of Vivoli restaurant, on Toronto’s College Street strip, has launched Calisto Restaurant + Lounge, an Italian eatery, also on College, inspired by a Roman cave of the same name. Accommodating 210 people, Calisto is available as a business meeting venue or as a corporate event facility. The main floor can host 110 and the lower-level lounge, which features a dance floor and DJ booth, holds 100.