Just One Dish: Andre's French Onion Soup
We moved a little fast yesterday with all that chatter of sex and passionate injuries so let's back it up a bit and have a talk a tick more appropriate for the table. In time we'll get to know each other better but, for now, let's start off with Just One Dish: the French Onion Soup at Andre's in the Monte Carlo, perhaps?
French Onion Soup seems like an awful thing to recommend, doesn't it? Onions are one of the most abrasive vegetables -- a total "you either love it or hate it" food item -- and it's too damn hot half the time to even consider a bowl of soup in Vegas. As bad as it seems, French Onion "soupers" will appreciate the hell out of this tip as they, if they're like us, have no doubt suffered through bowl after bowl of bad versions in the quest to discover some top of the line cheesy-onion goodness.
When we saw the $15 price tag at Andre's, we smiled knowing we were either about to eat the best French Onion soup of our lives, or experience yet another disappointment. Either way, we'd share our story so that others may avoid making the same mistake.
Spoiler alert: It was far from the latter.
Celebrity Chef Andre Rochat's worthwhile rendition of the classic recipe should alleviate the worry about the bite of the onion -- they are soft, tender, and have a sweetness component that's strong enough to compete with the salt of the cheese. The selection of Gruyere as one of the cheeses echoes this balance of sugar and salt (Swiss Emmental is the other).
As for the heat, Andre's does a good job of removing you from the chaos of the casino. Dining casino-side is nice for the people watching, but it can be hell on the ears. Walking through the thick set of doors, the noise of the hotel fades and one is transported to a quiet, peaceful world of contemporary French cuisine.
We're not sure that onions and the upstairs cigar lounge will go well together (maybe try it with some port?), but we'd recommend stopping in for a drink at the bar and tackling the most expensive French Onion Soup of your life.
Call us crazy, but we think you'll love every second.
(Photos: Andre's Restaurant and Lounge)
Full Disclosure: This writer was on an assignment for another publication when he ate at Andre's last year.