Fine French Dining Las Vegas Style

Fine dining experiences are normally saved for occasions when I am wooing a member of the opposite sex. I made an exception when visited recently by a friend from home. I wanted to treat my first visitor to something special. After hearing about the phenomenal views from the 56th floor, Alizé at The Palms was my choice.

Esteemed Michelin-starred French Restaurant in Las Vegas

Everything good one would assume about an esteemed, Michelin-starred French restaurant in Las Vegas is served up at Alizé. It is high-end all the way. The panoramic views courtesy of 16-foot floor-to-ceiling windows throughout are unparalleled by any other restaurant in Las Vegas with a view of the Strip.

Guys are not supposed to care about the aesthetics and ambiance of any eatery, but I feel strongly that elegance and refinement are indicative of a higher standard applied to all kitchen practices. If the table linens’ thread counts are impressive, you know the sous chef isn’t on probation. Overall, I liked the vibe of the place. The prices are not out of control, but are significant. For those seeking to dine on the cheap, Alizé isn’t the place.

Hard-to-Find Armagnac and Cognac in Las Vegas

A focal point of the interior of Alizé is the two-story wine cellar boasting 7,500 bottles of wine in over 1,500 labels. Those seeking the best wine selections Las Vegas has to offer will appreciate the expansive selection of wines at Alizé. While my dining partner and I are not wine connoisseurs, we do appreciate good cognac. Alizé prides itself on being home to the largest armagnac and cognac selection in Las Vegas while also ranking in the top three in North America.

We were taken with the expansive nine-page cognac and fine spirits menu. We opted for the Chateau du Tariquet, Three Stars. Smooth, with a subtle vanilla flavor, this armagnac was an excellent selection. I plan to come back for more extensive tastings of their celebrated brands. My bankroll is too modest to afford myself a taste of their $34,000/bottle Jacques Hardy Cognac, Private Reserve, Vintage 1777, but I am a big fan of partaking in a lower-end libation knowing there’s Jacques Hardy Vintage in the house.

Summer Tasting Menu at Alizé

After one drink at the swanky bar, we were seated and ordered the summer tasting menu. Armed with less-than-refined palates, we appreciated the simplicity of the tasting menu: three choices for each course. The first in each trio is Chef Mark Purdy’s modernized approach on refined French cuisine. The second in line is a nod to renowned Chef André Rochat’s creations. Vegetarian selections are the third in each course list.

Alizé Summer 2014 Tasting Menu:

HAMACHI TARTARE Watermelon, Quail Egg, Capers, Red Onion, Potato Crisp

MAINE LOBSTER Ratatouille, Tomato-Garlic Aïoli, Crispy Potato

CHILLED VICHYSSOISE AND TOMATO SOUP Crispy Potatoes, Minced Chives & Truffle Oil

SAUTÉED FOIE GRAS Caramelized Peaches, Blackberry Purée, Candied Sunflower Seeds

FOIE GRAS TERRINE Smoked Duck & Artichoke Crêpe, Orange Marmalade, Candied Pecans, Basil

POINT REYES BLUE CHEESE-STRAWBERRY CROUSTILLANT  Balsamic Reduction, Candied Pistachio 

CALAMARI “CAKE” Falafel Crusted, Cucumber & Mint Salad, Tzatziki Sauce 

IRISH SALMON Purple Peruvian Potato, Asparagus, Pickled Mustard Seeds

ROASTED MUSHROOM TOBAN-YAKI Miso-Mushroom Broth Rice Noodles & Sesame Oil 

DUCK BREAST Honey-Lemon Cake, Foie Gras, Sautéed Spinach, Leeks, Strawberry Gazpacho

RABBIT TENDERLOIN Corzetti Pasta, Fava Beans, Rabbit Bratwurst, Espelette Mustard Velouté

HEIRLOOM TOMATO RISOTTO Crescenza Cheese, Marinated Tomato, Herbs

RACK OF LAMB Apricot Couscous, Cucumber, Almonds, Cilantro Za’atar, Lamb Jus

BEEF RIB EYE Empanada, Plantain, Piquillo Pepper, Avocado, Marinated Tomatoes, Chimichurri Sauce

PAN SEARED TOFU Puffed Rice Cracker, Tofu Crème, Soy Glaze

TÊTE DE MOINE Apricot Confiture, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Zucchini Date Bread

LA TUR Port Poached Prunes, Candied Pistachios, Rosemary Raisin Crisp

ETORKI Sweet Onion & Honey Confiture, Rye Toast, Balsamic Vinegar

CHOCOLATE DECADENCE Strawberry Sorbet, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

GRAND MARNIER SOUFFLÉ Sabayon

CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ Chocolate Sauce

My Savored Selections

A complimentary soup sample set the supper in motion. For the first course, I opted for the Maine lobster. This palatable part one was a great first course and just a phenomenal lobster ratatouille. Kudos to the chef for his attention to detail, as my second course proved to be delectable and visually pleasing.

It was after this course of savory sautéed foie gras with a hint of subtle sweetness that the restaurant manager approached our table to inquire about our meal to that point. The touch of class was appreciated and genuine. As he was making his exit, our third installment was forthcoming. I relished the Irish salmon that was served with an asparagus spear, mustard seeds and a purple potato. The concoction was thought-out and well-presented. I felt the chef had to be a magician because it was a delightful amalgam of flavors unlike any salmon dish I’ve sampled.

The fourth course left a little to be desired. I went with the rabbit tenderloin, simply because I had yet to try rabbit in any capacity. I felt the dish fell short with tasteless fava beans and an uninspired corzetti pasta. The fifth course of beef rib eye was uplifting with a marinated tomato that complemented the beef quite nicely. With beef this great, I easily forgave the rabbit falling short.

When making my sixth course selection, I was indifferent. Nothing appealed to me, but I took a stab at the la tur, and was glad I did. Who knew pistachios would add so brilliantly to port poached prunes? Not this guy. The seventh course, the dessert course, was the chocolate soufflé. Chef knocked it out of the park again with this because it was a chocolate lover’s dream. I don’t often order dessert, but am grateful when a tasting menu forces me to indulge.

Overall, Alizé is deserving of its adulation. Given the limitless libations, I envision taking clients here for drinks and a bite, while the charming ambiance lends itself to being a perfect date night venue. Add the breathtaking views to an impeccable menu, and guests are in store for a culinary experience with the ultimate backdrop in the form of the best view in Vegas.

Reservations are recommended, and Alizé is open nightly, 6-10

Alizé telephone number: 702-951-7000
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