Sit among chefs while noshing on small dishes inspired by the cookbooks that now fill Andre’s new Cigar Lounge and Culinary Library (Photo credit: Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Andre’s at Monte Carlo).
Located on the second floor of Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, this is the only library of its kind and designed specifically for chefs and foodies. The library consists of Chef André Rochat’s personal collection of cookbooks, amassed over the course of his more than 55 years in the culinary industry.
Nearly 700 books are on display and available for guests to read while they experience this menu. Subjects include baking and pastry, wine and spirits, restaurant architecture, celebrity chefs and much more. The library debut is a part of the milestone celebration for Rochat, who in 2015 celebrates 35 years since opening his first restaurant, Andre’s Downtown, in Las Vegas.
Executive Chef Christopher Bulen and his team were inspired by the cookbooks, creating the dishes based on their selections. Below is a snapshot of the dishes, along with Chef Bulen’s explanation behind the inspiration:
Inspired by “Gramercy Tavern Cookbook” by Michael Anthony
“While visiting New York last year with Joseph Marsco (director of operations and managing partner) and Patrick Trundle (director of beverages), we dined at Gramercy Tavern. One of the first plates was their raw and pickled vegetable plate. After reading the ‘Gramercy Tavern Cookbook’ upon our return, I could see how important pickled vegetables are to their menu and the vast and interesting applications they were using. Our small plate uses multiple different seasonal vegetables, complimented with a 5-herb sauce. You get the taste of each vegetable with the sharpness of the pickling and the sauce provides a fresh and herbaceous flavor.”
Inspired by “The Art of Charcuterie” by The Culinary Institute of America and John Kowalski
“I had the privilege of learning how to make sausage first hand with Chef André Rochat. He explained the process, thoughts and techniques behind creating a good sausage. Since then, at Andre’s, we have been making different kinds sausages for nearly every menu and this menu is no exception. We chose a lamb sausage with summer being the perfect season for it. The taste of the sausage itself is more fragrant with subtle spices notes. Finally, we are pairing it with a curried slaw to give the dish a nice zing of heat without overpowering the palate.”
Inspired from “Mozza Cookbook” by Mario Batali
“This traditional Sicilian eggplant dish has a similar partner in French cuisine known as ratatouille. One of the main differences is the addition of sugar and vinegar, giving the roasted vegetable dish an additional sweet and tangy finish. We also add a few ingredients to put our own twist on it, including capers and crispy anchovies. We enjoy this dish because of its robust flavor of the vegetables and its heartiness. It’s ideal as a starting point of a meal which makes it a popular item for this menu without filling up our guests before their appetizers.”
Each dish is priced at $10. By request, cocktails and cigars can be paired with these dishes.
In addition to the cookbooks, Andre’s Cigar Lounge and Culinary Library features a collection of more than 200 single-malt Cognacs, Armagnacs and scotches, as well as premium cigar varieties. The collection is the largest of its kind in Las Vegas and is ranked third in North America based on its size.
Already considered a “hidden gem” by those in the hospitality industry, the lounge originally opened in 1996 along with the award-winning, AAA Four Diamond restaurant. The intimate lounge comfortably seats 36 guests and also houses a state-of-the-art ventilation and air filtration system enabling cigar aficionados to enjoy their evening without smoke disrupting nearby dinner or library guests.
Andre’s Cigar Lounge and Culinary Library is open Tuesday through Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to close.