Dinner at L’Atelier

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The designs in the sand are just another of the little things the Grand does that make it a lovely experience walking from your (oceanfront) room to your dinner restaurant. There are flowers (an abundance of orchids) and art and you feel like you are always happening on something new that you have not seen before. Ten visits, and I can’t remember seeing the designs in the sand before.

They do say that an abundance of alcohol affects your memory though.

We went back to the room to get ready for dinner. I was not feeling great. My body felt like it was buzzing. I drink some orange juice. Or mango juice. Or whatever was in the fridge. Didn’t help. We order some chips, guac and salsa from room service. I down some water.

Feeling a bit poorly, I lay down for a bit. But then I realize I have not made reservations for the rest of our stay. I had made reservations for four of our first five nights, but we still had one more nights. I started obsessing about it, as I am wont to do.

Thursday we had Toni’s. We needed to decide when we were having the beach dinner. That left one night to figure out where to eat.

I can’t remember what time our dinner res is, so I call the concierge. She tells me 7 pm. I am feeling a bit better. The drapes are sticking, so I call Maintenance. I am burning up the phone tonight.

They come to fix the drapes. They do some stuff. They leave. They come back. They spray some funny smelling stuff. It seems somewhat improved. But not completely. At some point, one of us pulls off the wand that you pull the drapes with. Improved, but not fixed.

We are dressed and ready to go. We stop at the concierge desk. We decide to do the beach dinner that Friday night, our last night and hopefully the best weather night. We choose the menu. You have to choose a set menu, but each of you can choose a different menu. We choose the same menu.

We need to make reservations for Wednesday. Karen wants to eat at Toni’s twice. It comes out that she hates the Asian restaurant. She’s just going to have to suck it up on future trips, because I really like the Asian restaurant. For this trip, we are done with the Asian restaurant. She loves Toni’s (as do most people), and wants to eat there twice.

I used to get really worked up about where I ate, when. I am fairly relaxed about it now. Really, it’s one dinner out of how many gazillions in your life? Last year I had my birthday dinner at the buffet. It wasn’t really my first choice. It was fine. I didn’t love it, but I was 51 years old. I’d had quite a few really fantastic dinners over the years. I have found that if you don’t get your knickers in a twist about these things, overall you have a better experience.

I told the concierge that we would like to eat at Toni’s on Wednesday if possible. She tapped away on her computer and made a couple of phone calls. She said they were full, but she was trying to see if she could get us in and we should check back tomorrow.

We walked to L’Atelier. We were seated and then greeted by David, our waiter. He must have been going to comedy school. He kept us grinning and laughing all evening.




We look at the wine list and order a bottle of champagne. Finally, Karen likes it.


I had the Bresse style paddy-Pheasant turnover with port wine and cream . I really love this appetizer. It doesn’t sound particularly awesome, but I find it very delicious. It may just be my favorite of all the restaurants.



Karen had the lobster salad, which sounds way sexier, but the picture sucked.

I had the veal for my entrée. It was decent.



Karen had the duck, which she quite enjoyed.



In my notes, I also say that David brought Karen a little cream of mushroom soup. I don’t do mushrooms. At all. Unless heavily disguised. I watched Karen eat her mushroom soup.

I have Saint Honore for dessert. OMG! So good, I want to lick the plate.



Self portrait.



Karen orders a Mayan coffee and she gets the full show.







He got an ovation from the diners in the restaurant.

Karen said it always tastes better when you get the show.



Karen enjoys her coffee and then we head upstairs. Alvaro, one of the dancers from the shows is there. Alvaro is an awesome dancer and appreciates a good shoe. They are doing the Rock Show and I tell him we will see if we last that long. We don’t, but it is always good to see him.

We walk toward the Lobby and see Alfonso. He is with one of the assistant GM’s. We do introductions and walk towards the Lobby together.

Then I see Victor!



I stop and chat with him. It is so good to see him! He asks where and how Zung is. I explain that this is my annual girl’s trip. No husbands allowed.

I tell him I hope I will see him again when I am here next time, with Zung.

Karen and I continue on to the Lobby. Daniel is there and we have a long chat about what kind of woman he needs. Well, I tell him what kind of woman he needs, now that he is a free agent and all.

He makes me two cucumber mojitos and Karen drinks Havana Siete on ice.

We head back to the room early because we are both tired.

When we get back to the room I say, “This really is my second home.” Karen responds, “No. It’s really more like your first home.”

Truer words may never have been spoken.

“What day is it?” I ask.

She replies, “The last time I tried to remember, it was Tuesday.”


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. smiling, as always! thanks for sharing…

  2. Most definitely trying the Mayan coffee and the Saint Honore dessert, whoa …

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