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It could’ve been embarrassing but wasn’t. It might’ve been a great meal at Alize—the sky-high jewel box of a French restaurant sitting atop the Palms Hotel. It ended up being, what I call: “My Almost Dinner with Andre”.

Many had told me that Alize is where I had to go…. and I had…. once. Shortly after it opened, I had snuck in undetected by owner Andre Rochat and his minions. But ever the perfectionist, I required another visit before foisting my opinions on the public. Andre himself had once praised those opinions, after I’d written a glowing review of the now departed Frogeez. Then, he complimented me for my insight and appreciation of fine French food—praise that quickly evaporated into allegations of know-nothingness and corruption after my lukewarm review of his other restaurant --Andre’s.

“But let bygones be bygones I thought”, as I sipped a perfect Manhattan at Alize’s stunning bar. “If this place is as good as it seems, you can bury the Sabatier and have a great meal all in one well-sauced swoop”.

But sadly, it was not to be. Spotted by the cheesecloth-skinned chef, I was eighty-sixed. Asked to leave. Escorted to the door and denied my right to eat semi-good, over-priced French food right then and there…

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.but not without some not-so-civilized discourse of course, that went something like this:

HIM: You have to leave…. You know nothing about food, eat for free and write bad things that are wrong.

ME: Hey Andre, why don’t we stop bickering long enough to discuss the difference between fact and opinion, and I’ll show you my nineteen thousand dollars in restaurant receipts for last year?

HIM: You don’t know what you’re talking about….leave!

And so it went. And so did I…….over to the Bellagio where my friends Kevin and Toni Spilsbury, saved the day, by dropping a sizeable chunk o’ change at Prime. Money that could’ve gone into the coffers of Alize…. just as the restaurant, might’ve been the recipient of a glowing review, but won’t be.

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