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March 04, 1999
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Andre's French Restaurant

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Andre’s

It is very very French. It is so French that you start saying tre’s bien almost zee moment zee food arrives. From zat moment on, tout le monde est tres manifique, which is my way of saying mon amie, that Andre’s very very French restaurant is worth a trip to the netherworld that is downtown Las Vegas.

All right, all right, I know you’re tired of me trashing the pathetic eating choices in our center city, so for once I won’t, and finally I’ll give credit where credit is due, at one of our oldest gourmet restaurants. For as timeless and treasured as Andre’s is, it continues to be one of our best restaurants and one which gave many Las Vegans their first taste of fine dining.

Now that we’re being invaded monthly by celebrity chefs and their clones from all over the world, it’s easy to forget just what a culinary joke Las Vegas used to be, but back when the bad buffet and a few tired steakhouses was our dining out sustenance, Andre Rochat decided to make a go if it with cuisine that was as out of place in the desert as a trout farm. Believe me, twenty years ago French food was a tough sell, and it’s still a tough sell to some folks, but not to those who appreciate the vivid flavors of good ingredients.

It’s beyond argument that France cooks the world’s greatest food, one bite of Andre’s intensely oniony and rich onion soup will convince even the most diehard meat and potatoes fan that all that flavor reduction and extraction from something as simple as an onion can take your taste buds to new levels of bliss, or try his eggy and light yet concentrated gran marnier souffle if you need further proof. I’m a much bigger fan of his bourgeois cooking than his haute cuisine, but even with a few overwrought dishes, Andre’s provides a formula for fine dining that is eating at its best. In the beginning there was Andre’s, and I’m sure he’ll be here long after all this celebrity chef nonsense has run its course.

Andre’s is located at: 401 S. 6th Street, Las Vegas, NV 385-5016 and

Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino, 3770 Las Vegas Blvd.,

Las Vegas, NV 798-7151

This is John Curtas.

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