- L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
57 E. 57th St.; 212-350-6658
The Atkins and South Beach folks may have tried their best to kill the humble dinner roll, but at least one high-end gastronome is fighting back. At L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, the great French chef serves up little pointy-ended cigar-shaped baguettes that are every bit as obsessively thought-out and exactingly executed—and, yes, delicious—as the rest of Robuchon’s much-worshipped food. The globe-trotting Robuchon originally developed his signature baguettes at Jamin, the three-star Paris restaurant he closed a decade ago. To make them work on this side of the Atlantic, Robuchon spent months fiddling with flours (he settled on American King Arthur artisan organic and high-gluten wheat flours), other ingredients (his levain is started from Thompson black raisins and red delicious apples), and techniques (he uses a relatively small amount of dough to create a product with more crust and less crumb). The result is a golden-brown chewy treat and an excellent way to kick off a meal, Atkins be damned.