Vegas Values: An Evening at Monte Carlo

There are hundreds of aspects to love about Las Vegas, but one I specifically adore is convenience. This city is convenient on many levels, but in particular you can have a full night of entertainment all under one roof. Not to mention, the different combinations are practically endless. We recently celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary with a fun-filled evening at the Monte Carlo.

Andre's intimate dining room is playful, yet traditional
Photo Courtesy of MGM/Mirage

We began our night with a lovely dinner at Andre’s French restaurant. We first discovered this jewel last year during Restaurant Week. We were quickly wooed by Chef André Rochat’s twists on traditional French dishes. He’s been perfecting his menu and pleasing diners for more than three decades in Las Vegas, his namesake restaurant first had success at the original location on 6th Street downtown; regrettably, it has since fallen victim to hard economic times, its last meals were served New Years Eve, 2008. Fortunately, the location inside the Monte Carlo has been going strong for thirteen years now. Last year, the restaurant underwent a $2 million dollar renovation. The new look is welcoming and a bit swanky with whimsy and glam touches. Upon entering Andre’s you’ll pass by the wine bar which is a great place to enjoy cocktails or small plates of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie. If you’d prefer after-dinner drinks or a nightcap the Cigar Lounge upstairs is a unique place to unwind. If it is a gourmet meal you are after, Andre’s restaurant aims to please.

On our visit, we began with French onion soup ($12) and bison Carpaccio ($19). The latter is the star, the bison has a bold meaty flavor but it melts like butter once it passes your lips. It’s truly fantastic. We’d return again and again for the Carpaccio alone. Moving on to the main course, we had the rack of lamb ($52) and duck breast ($42). The rack of lamb was beautifully prepared and the crust offered a superb blend of seasoning. It was served with a curried risotto and goat cheese; it was delicious. The zest of the curry worked well with the tanginess of the cheese. The Muscovy duck breast was served with red rice, bok choy with a tamarind sauce. It, too, was well executed. Chef Rochat gives his personal stamp of approval to each plate before it leaves the kitchen. The extra attention is duly noted in every dish. We were fortunate to have him personally visit our table to see how we were enjoying our meal. The gesture was truly appreciated.

Chef Rochat has been pleasing Las Vegas diners
for more than 30 years
Photo Courtesy of MGM/Mirage

A fine meal at Andre’s is a splurge but there is a current promotion that allows you to save 20% off of your dining experience by taking in a MGM/Mirage show (shows available for this offer include; Lance Burton, Frank Caliendo at Monte Carlo, “O” at Bellagio, Zumanity at New York New York, KÀ at MGM Grand, The Beatles LOVE at Mirage and CRISS ANGEL Believe at Luxor). To redeem this offer show your receipt or tickets good for the same day as your dinner reservation to your server. The offer is valid for dinner before or after the show or for after-dinner drinks and cigars in the lounge.

Pleasantly full we headed over to the Lance Burton Theater for the 9:30 pm performance of Frank Caliendo. He is known by millions for his dead-on impressions of such celebrities as John Madden, Charles Barkley, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Dr. Phil, Jay Leno and dozens of others. As a veteran of sketch comedy, Caliendo starred in his own television show, “Frank TV” on TBS, spent five years on “MadTV,” and for the next decade he’ll be found entertaining crowds at the Monte Carlo.

Frank Caliendo and his cast of characters
Photo by Kellee Kunovic

The show offers a mix of live music, impromptu comedy and fast-paced impressions. Caliendo claims no two shows will be exactly alike. We found ourselves singing along and laughing, it was an enjoyable time. We were pleased we took advantage of the 2-for-1 tickets promotion currently being offered to locals. I verified with the box office that this offer is available indefinitely. Tickets prices begin at $59, performances are Monday-Tuesday and Friday-Saturday at 9:30 pm.

After Frank Caliendo, we went to The Pub. It was formerly the Monte Carlo Brew Pub; it now has a revamped menu and more than 50 beers on tap. Zowie Bowie performs Top 40 hits Friday and Saturday evenings; admission is $5. However, the cover is waived for MGM/Mirage hotel guests. The Pub has two sets of Happy Hours daily 4 pm – 7 pm and 9 pm – 11 pm, both offer 2-for-1 well, draft and house drinks. Two premium beers set us back $9 with the happy hour pricing. Reasonable drinks and live entertainment made The Pub a great end to our night. Fine dining, comedy and live music all at a great value and under one roof… now, that’s convenient.