Restaurants & Bars

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Vegas Report, Part II: Andres (The original)

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Vegas Report, Part II: Andres (The original)

susancinsf | May 26, 2005 07:39 PM

Sister Janet owed a colleague and spouse dinner, and gave him his choice of restaurants. He chose the original Andre’s, near downtown, telling us that he made a point of eating there on every trip to Vegas, which, since he only lives a few hours away, is fairly often. Somehow I convinced Janet to buy my dinner as well, so four of us headed out to dinner at Andre’s last Friday. For both Janet and me it was our the first time eating there.

I think the best part of this restaurant was the atmosphere. It is really lovely, in an old western style building that was once a private home, with a series of small, intimate rooms, romantic lighting and comfortable seating.

Service was fine in a classic French manner, except for one aspect: it was, well, to put it nicely: leisurely. We ended up spending three hours over dinner, for three courses, with considerable wait between courses, particularly between the apps and mains. It was a lovely spot to linger, but still, the wait seemed a bit excessive. Moreover, no comment was made as to any reason for the delay (although our dining companions felt it was unusual based on their previous visits). With a seven-thirty reservation, we ended up closing out the place.

But onto the food: all was at least competently prepared, and some was excellent. As an app, I had diver scallops. They were coated with an unnecessary macadamia nut crust that I ended up pulling off, but the scallops themselves (three to an order, fairly small) were tasty. Can’t remember the other apps; perhaps Janet can chime in…My main, a veal chop, was cooked as requested, in a nice reduction, though the morel mushrooms that accompanied it were surprisingly tasteless. I think Janet had duck, and was quite pleased. The other mains were a vegetarian/cheese risotto, which was delicious, and a filet.

Janet and I split a grand marnier soufflé for dessert: yummy! Again, however, service was a bit off: we ordered in advance, and of course they had to bring it right away when ready, but they didn’t even come to take the rest of the dessert orders until well after we finished eating it…

Janet hogged the wine list, probably because it was so pricy she wanted control over how much she paid. :-) She told me later that there were very few choices under three digits that were not very low end and heavily marked up (Fetzer Merlot for $70?!...not sure which one that was, but even the Barrel Select is less than $20 retail). No matter, she chose well, an excellent Shiraz that went quite well at least with what I ordered. The sommelier did offer to help and wine service was very nice.

My bottom line: eh. I’m more or less neutral. It was ok, and better because I wasn’t buying. :-) Had the service not been so slow, and the wine list had more to offer under $100 a bottle, my enthusiasm would probably be higher. However if one wants to be treated well in a romantic environment, with solid if not outstanding food, it is worth considering.

Link: http://www.andresfrenchrest.com/

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