On an expert recommendation, we sat at the exclusive counter at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon at my happy place, the Four Seasons Hotel in NYC. The small space, which seats 46 diners, is exquisitely contemporary, appointed with sleek honey-colored walls and floors, black banquettes and red accents that pop in a very sexy way.

It was just the two of us, and we kicked off our evening with some spectacular rosé champagne and then decided to split an astonishing array of share plates. The sublime standouts were sea urchin in a warm fennel broth, langoustine carpaccio with poppy seeds, and exquisite tiny beef and foie gras burgers topped with lightly caramelized bell peppers and served with the most ethereal, fluffy, gorgeously-cut pommes frites I could ever dream of. (Sorry…you’re hungry now, aren’t you!)

My words can not do justice to the artistic presentations and magnificent, creative serving pieces. And the experience of overlooking the kitchen was amazing – the aesthetics of the space and the performance of the chefs were both zen-like. A special occasion place indeed, and it was quite an indulgent and memorable way to end the year.

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