Securing a lunchtime reservation at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Manhattan’s Four Seasons Hotel was never easy, but now it’s downright impossible. The Michelin-starred Midtown eatery suspended its midday service indefinitely as of July 21. “We really didn’t need the three lunch options in the hotel,” explained a spokeswoman of the decision to let the Four Seasons’ 57 and TY take over the afternoon meal. “It just made the most sense.” Of course, it also could have something to do with the fact that lunchtime crowds at the haute cuisine temple had been noticeably thin of late. The spokeswoman admitted L’Atelier’s regulars were a “bit disappointed” by the change in schedule, but quickly added: “They’ve found homes at our other restaurants.” Really? It’s slightly hard to believe the diners who indulged in Robuchon’s beef tartare, tomato gazpacho or free range caramelized quail stuffed with foie gras are flocking to order 57’s Cobb salad — even if it is easier on the wallet.
August 4, 2008