This is one for the memory books.
A friendly hostess, the restaurant’s only line of communication from below, greets you on the Palms’ ground level and guides you to the elevator. Of course Alize has its own button, sparking that first sense of intrigue. Shoot up 600 feet and you’re in a hallway lined with Michelin guide plaques and AAA 4-diamond awards. They are well deserved. The restaurant is outspoken in classic simplicity, an elegant setup with perhaps two dozen tables spread around a 7500-bottle wine cellar. For obvious reasons, there are no walls, only windows. Look out of any one of them, and your breath escapes you.
Yes, you’ll get a magical view of the Strip from iconic spots such as the Mandalay Bay’s Foundation Room, Mandarin Oriental’s Skybar and Stratosphere’s Top of the World. At Alize, you’ll take in the whole city from center stage. Book your table just before sunset to see Las Vegas evolve from light onto dark, and feel the air around you change as the crowd comes in and the restaurant takes on a life of its own. Plan your night accordingly; you’ll stay a while.
The dining experience starts with the service. It’s flawless. A friendly, genuine team delivers almost stealthily while catering to your every need before you knew you needed it. Presentation, even in a city where food is fine art, stands out for its majestic qualities. Every course is dissected down to the finest detail, from cheese sliced to resemble a blossoming flower to perfectly-cut lobster stuffed into a tiny homemade profiterole: the centerpiece of their lobster bisque. Eye-catching plates are always delivered with a silver cover on top, unveiled once they reach the table for a turn back in time.
Chef Andre Rochat, Las Vegas’s first true celebrity chef, along with Chef de Cuisine Mark Purdy, bring a history of French-inspired success to the kitchen. Acclaimed wine director Claudio Vigani ensures a top-quality beverage program, including some of the smoothest and most alluring cocktails you’ll get on the 56th floor of anywhere. The two combine their talents in Alize’s seasonal tasting and pairing menus. And while the restaurant’s a la carte selection holds no dish short of extravagant, the prix fixe option truly capitalizes on the magic this place delivers.
Lobster herb salad and rib-eye carpaccio so tender that it gives to the individual prongs of the fork set the pace for the ‘7-course’ meal [your servers will always surprise you with a few extras]. Two types of foie gras, king grab in shredded phyllo dough and a Venetian spin on calamari with squid ink assures you that this place sticks to its French roots, but also carries them across the globe.
You’d be sorry to not get the dover sole, a favorite at Rochat’s ‘Andre’s’ in the Monte Carlo. The meats continue with a coffee-crusted rabbit, though you’d be much more amazed with the rib-eye, served with lobster fritters just for fun. The Tete de moine, or cheese course, will bring out a new selection nothing short of superb. And finally, finish things off with two types of soufflé: chocolate and Grand Marnier, dressed at the table.
Every wine that goes with is as good a match as the royal couple, presented only at the last minute to keep the surprise going. Yes, nights like this have a price, but dining at Alize is an investment in life. In a land overrun by fine dining [not that this is ever a bad thing], this is a place that delivers lifelong memories.
Alize is open from 5:30 – 10 p.m. daily. Reservations recommended. Appetizers ~$25, entrees ~$55. Chef’s tasting menu with wine ~$230/person. This review was comped. For more information call (702) 951-7000 or visit Alize online.