It seems that amazing Las Vegas has more talented chefs per capita than any other destination in the world. And the talent isn’t confined to the Strip or even to the city itself. I’ve found outstanding dining in every suburban nook and cranny and the prime example of this is Andre’s Bistro in Spring Valley.
Andre’s is in a non-descript shopping center on the edge of Spring Valley, near the Wet and Wild water park, and is a bit of a car drive for many people living in the Vegas valley as well as for travelers staying in Strip-accessible lodgings. It’s unpretentiously chic, with the ambience of a classic French bistro but, in keeping with the bistro tradition, the food is the true shining star of Andre’s.
Andre Rochat is a bit of a Vegas culinary icon. He ran Andre’s, his Michelin star namesake restaurant at the Monte Carlo, until it closed in 2016. Andre’s Bistro, run by Rochat’s former employees in partnership with him, is the incarnation of Andre’s in name and spirit. It’s not as fancy or as expensive as the Andre’s at Monte Carlo was - I think of it as the acoustic version - all of the quality stripped down to the essential of providing great food.
I started the night with an OG Mai Tai, prepared the way I like it; tart, not too sweet, and as smooth as liquid silk. I loved the maraschino cherry garnish, they use the real kind, not the radioactive fluorescent ones. It was the best mai tai I’ve ever had, the night was off to a good start.
The menu is classic French, not Cal-French, so they don’t do anything odd or extravagant here. I was pleased to see Dover Sole on the menu ($55, that’s a rare find). I started with the Spring Risotto ($22, $15 for happy hour) made with ramps, brussel sprouts, and goat cheese. It’s served al dente (as stated on the menu) and, while I wasn’t used to the crunch in the rice, it wasn’t unpleasant. The risotto itself was hearty and vibrant, imbued with the earthiness of the ramps and brussel sprouts. I loved the burst of sweetness the tomatoes provided. Overall, it was a well-rounded dish, surprisingly, crunchy rice and all.
Next I moved on to the Moules Frites ($15 for happy hour), made with PEI mussels, garlic, parsley, saffron, and cream. It is served with a side of duck fat fries that were perfectly flavorful and crisp. The mussels theselves were fresh and clean tasting and greatly enhanced by a delicious broth that I couldn’t stop sopping up with my bread. My dining companion got the Potato Gnochhi and it was the lightest, fluffiest gnocchi I’ve ever had. All the dishes were delicious, but I’d say the gnocchi was the big winner of the night.
Andre’s also has a full stocked bar and a decent wine list with French labels at reasonable prices. In summary, the restaurant is a local gem. The values during happy hour are insane and include Saturdays from 3pm - 6pm. It’s destination dining for both visitors and locals looking for high-end, Strip quality food in a comfortably non-bougey setting. Andre’s Bistro has happily earned a place in my regular rotation, especially during happy hours.