John Curtas is …

Letter of the Week

ELV note: We received this in response to our recent article “Restaurant City” in Vegas Inc. magazine. Our response follows the bold-face typing in which the correspondence was received.

GOOD MORNING.

I JUST READ THE EXTENSIVE ARTICLE ON RESTAURANTS THAT WAS IN THE SUN THIS MORNING.  I READ THE WHOLE THING AND NOT ONCE WAS ANDRE ROCHET’S NAME MENTIONED.

ANDRE OPENED HIS FIRST RESTAURANT HERE IN 1980.  IT WAS DOWN TOWN  ON 6TH. STREET AND WE FIRST DINED THERE ON OUR 25TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY IN 1981. OVER THE YEARS WE ENJOYED GOING THERE MANY TIMES AND ALSO CELEBRATED OUR 50TH ANNIVERSARY THERE IN 2006.  WE WERE SO DISAPPOINTED WHEN WE HEARD THAT ANDRE WAS CLOSING THAT RESTAURANT.

HOWEVER, HE STILL HAS HIS RESTAURANT AT THE MONTE CARLO ON THE STRIP AND ALSO ONE AT THE PALMS.  MY QUESTION IS,”HOW COULD YOU WRITE SUCH AN ARTICLE AND NOT INCLUDE ANDRE ROCHET?” HE IS ONE OF THE FIRST GREAT CHEFS TO OPEN A RESTAURANT  IN LAS VEGAS AND IS CERTAINLY ONE OF THE BEST, IF NOT THE BEST.

SHAME ON YOU FOR NOT INCLUDING HIM.

Signed,

MR. AND MRS. ANNOYED AT ANDRÉ’S ABSENCE

ELV responds:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Annoyed,

We meant no disrespect to Chef André Rochat. In fact, we still hold dear to our hearts the time he told us (in 1998) that we were “…the only critic in town who knows anything about food.”

However, if you read the article carefully, you will see it was not about any one chef or one chef’s accomplishments, but rather, how our city as a whole needs to do a better job promoting the restaurant culture for which it is so famous nationally and internationally.

No one denies that Chef Rochat has been a pioneer of Vegas fine dining, and has elevated our community for over thirty years with his restaurants. However, whatever recognition he now wishes for and no longer receives is (sadly) his own fault. He should have reconsidered long ago his position that a certain critic (especially with the reach of this one) should be banned from his restaurants. Maybe then, he would now find himself being fêted as the godfather of our culinary culture (as he deserves to be) instead of being marginalized and battling bankruptcy all the time.

Sincerely,

ELV

9 Responses to Letter of the Week

  • The departure of Gary LaMorte from Andre’s was a significant loss.

  • I also enjoyed Andrea’s on Sixth. I became annoyed when he opened and closed it for lunch several times. Had he left it open, he might have built a decent lunch business (and downtown needed it in the 90’s desperately). Several times I heard people say “I’m not sure they are still open so let’s go somewhere else.”

    Also, when he closed his restaurant in the BOA Building, he blamed the people for not supporting the place. It had been opened a short time, severed over priced food, was too large for his clientele and the service was poor. He was on Channels 3 and 8 whining about how it wasn’t supported instead of looking at what he could do to improve it. I lost all respect for him after that.

  • You don’t like Andre…get over it!
    Andre doesn’t like you, or your reviews…he needs to get over it.
    Andre has tripped over his own ego for well over 25 years…he is his own worst enemy. But, he is still to be recognized by you in an overview article (even with a sidebar indicating that you cannot review his food, at Andre’s childish choice).
    Other than that, John keep up the good work.

  • Haha, very nice Blog, just discovering it, would love to go to vegas !

  • well said JC.
    I am told Andre has a fetish for knives (hunting ones)…beware!

    But seriously: Chefs like Gary LaMorte actually cooked and elevated kitchen standards for Andre Rochat who is too busy blaming everyone else for his business shortcomings.
    Rochat is French for “thing of the past”…let’s celebrate the bright future of LV culinary scene and embrace the plethora of restaurant choices notwithstanding Alize and the likes.

  • I can’t think of any restaurants in NYC where the culinary talents are still praised after 30 + years. For that reason alone I would be embarrassed for our city if Chef André Rochat’s contribution was as important as it appears to be for “MR. AND MRS. ANNOYED AT ANDRÉ’S ABSENCE” three decades later. I feel bad for M&M AAAA, they are apparently lost in the past. They must have no idea how far the dining scene in this city has come, what a shame.

  • Sorry InTheCards, but you’re wrong…Le Bernardin is the first, and foremost that comes to mind…maybe not quite 30 years, but over twenty-five and stronger than ever.

  • Very amuzing article in last weeks “Hot Chicks With Douchebags” about the music of “Choad The Douche Spocket” playing at the home of Chefs like Gary LaMorte. And Le Bernardin in defs the hottest eats yo!

  • ELV responds: Ay dios mio! Our site has been blessed with the profane, disturbing, and hilarious musings of The Reverend Chad Kroeger.

    There really is a god….and we hope she’s listening.

John’s Tweets
John at Work Restaurant reviews, quips, picks and pans-with some seriously salivating history-from the man who eats his way through Sin City every day.
Follow eatinglasvegas on Twitter Follow eatinglasvegas on Twitter