French Fifty Six – Chopin Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Elation Pear Liqueur, Fresh Lemon, Champagne Float, Sugared Rim
Cold Spiced Pear, Walnut, Goat Cheese, Hot Apple Cider Consommé
Pretzel, Baguette, Rice Flour Roll with Salted Butter
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta, Avocado, Crème Fraiche, Salmon Roe
Chilled Roasted Beet Salad – Kataifi Crusted Goat Cheese, Persimmon Chutney, Walnut Vinaigrette
Foie Gras Torchon – Caramelized Pineapple, Chocolate Gooseberry, Fig Compote, Balsamic Reduction, Buttered Toast
Spice Crusted Bison Carpaccio – Whole Grain Mustard, Cucumber Relish, Crispy Potatoes, Beaufort Cheese
Sautéed Foie Gras – Cranberry Scone, Honey Crème Fraiche, Port, Cranberry Reduction
Escargot – Puff Pastry, Garlic Herb Butter, Tomato Relish, Onion, Garlic Chips
Sweetbreads – Brussels Sprouts, Madeira Sauce
Bouillabaisse en Papillote – Jumbo Shrimp, Onions, Squash
Pan Seared Monk Fish – Sea Beans, Uni Beurre Blanc, Osetra Caviar
Maine Lobster Thermidor – Mushrooms, Tarragon, Cream, Brandy, Dijon, Hollandaise
Szechuan Pepper Crusted Venison – Honey Glazed Turnips, Golden Raisin Mostarda, Farro, Cassis Jus
Pan Seared Duck Breast – Endive and Duck Bacon Tart, Preserved Lemon, Pomegranate Duck Jus
Cheese Cart with Fresh Fruit, Whole Grain Crisps, Apricot Chutney, Olives and Candied Nuts
Mango Panna Cotta – Coconut and White Chocolate
Kona Siphon Coffee from Colorado River Coffee Roasters with Whipping Cream, Sugar Cubes, Chocolate and Vanilla Cookies
Hot Chocolate Souffle – Sticky Marshmallow Cream
Chocolate Mocha Bombe – Mascarpone Mousse, Coffee Soaked Lady Fingers, Espresso Biscuits, Cappuccino Froth
Fallen Chocolate Cake – Meringue and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Spiced Pear Berliners – Salty Caramel Ice Cream
Classic Crème Brûlée – Berries
Apple Pie –Caramelized in Golden Pastry, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Apricot Pate de Fruit, Hazelnut Crunch, Nougat, Butter Mints
With Mark Purdy now working alongside Joe Marsco to launch Andre’s Bistro & Bar in the wake of Andre Rochat’s iconic restaurant at the Monte Carlo unfortunately shuttering earlier this year, it was just past sunset on Saturday that dinner was served in Alize’s gorgeous dining room at the top of The Palms, Chef Chris Bulen moving several stories up and bringing the already great food to a higher level, as well.
One of Las Vegas’ most impressive views, the whole Strip spread-out with lights twinkling in the distance, it was at one of the coveted windowside four-tops that the party was sat, the floor to ceiling windows complimenting romantic lighting and white tablecloths as service from a team captained by Gabriel Fontenier assured an added degree of elegance.
Requesting the menu be served Carte Blanche, Chef Bulen at this point as trusted a toque as any in town, dainty amuses including a creamy Sweet Corn Panna Cotta kicked off what would eventually be unveiled as a 6-course tasting comprised of no less than twenty-one individual plates.
Serving every dish ‘family style,’ most courses arriving in threes, proper plates commenced by way of a roasted Beet Salad not unlike that at 35 Steaks + Martinis as a result of the Kataifi crusted Goat Cheese while thinly-shaved Bison Carpaccio melted on the tongue despite its leanness, a completely different sort of smoothness found in the Foie Gras Torchon with Figs, Pineapple and Balsamic ready to be spread on buttered Toast points.
More than a little impressed by the details and balance of round one, course two approached some of Rochat’s more classical French plates with an air of refinement despite bold ingredients and portions big enough to share, the sautéed Duck Liver undoubtedly one of the city’s most unique presentations atop a Fruit-filled Scone with sweetened Crème Fraiche while the Escargot and off-menu Sweetbreads riffed on traditional preparations with added elegance.
Anticipating an entrée-course at this time, but instead distinctly told that the third round was fish before meats, it was with good timing that more of Tammy Alana’s housemade bread was brought forth, the gluten-free Rice Roll a perfect means to sop up the broth from Chef Bulen’s Shrimp Bouillabaisse while the meaty Monkfish with Caviar and Rochat’s famous Lobster Thermidor were expectedly great.
At this point starting to feel the effects of such a heavy meal, yet unable to resist either the rosy Duck Breast atop a Galette of Bacon and Endive or the ruby red Venison with soft Turnips in a pool of Black Currant Juice, it was with small hunks of eight Cheeses straight from the cart that the meal moved onward, the Mimolette aged to perfect crumbly sweetness while the Roquefort popped with bloomy Mushroom notes, particularly when paired with Fruit.
Taking an Eleven Madison Park tradition with tableside Coffee via Siphon, no accoutrements necessary but nonetheless welcomed as heavy Cream and Cookies, a small palate cleanser reminiscent of the beach transitioned palates sweet, Chef Alana flooding the table with a half-dozen choices including a whimsical Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Marshmallow Cream plus classic Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Fondant and Tiramisu plus Spiced Pear German Donuts and a caramelized Apple Pie beneath a net of golden Pastry.
FIVE STARS: Without a doubt one of the best Las Vegas Meals of 2016, Chris Bulen’s classical skills honed at Andre’s now cast in a more modern light high above Sin City, Alize remains an underappreciated gem in a city dominated by Celebrity Chefs, though with parent group Stacked Hospitality now venturing Off-Strip perhaps that situation is about to change.
RECOMMENDED: Sauteed Foie Gras, Escargot, Lobster Thermidor, Bouillabaisse, Duck Breast, Berliners, Hot Chocolate Souffle.
AVOID: Passing on the Gluten-Free Rice Roll, easily the best of its kind.
TIP: Reservations are now available for New Years Eve at Alize, the Palms location ideal for locals who don’t want to be stuck on the Strip with a vantage of the fireworks that is tough to beat.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.