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FrontRunners: Counter Culture

Following his 2005 U.S. debut in Las Vegas, French chef Joël Robuchon has introduced his L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon to New York at the Four Seasons hotel (www.fourseasons.com/newyork). True to the spirit of an atelier, or artist’s studio, the restaurant has a U-shaped pear wood counter where you can sit and watch the chefs prepare meals in the open kitchen. The indulgent menu includes foie gras–stuffed free-range quail and thyme-perfumed miniature lamb chops, which are offered in small tasting portions so you may sample a variety of flavors. The dessert menu’s highlight is a literal example of culinary art: Le Sucre, a glasslike sphere made of sugar and filled with violet crème, lychees, and milk foam.

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