Chef André Rochat has been a stalwart of excellence in the Las Vegas culinary community for more than three decades. His first foray in the city was an eponymous restaurant Downtown in 1980, and he has since gone on to run gastronomic affairs in the Las Vegas Hilton (now Westgate), Monte Carlo and Alizé in the Palms. At a dinner celebrating his 35-year legacy last year, a conversation between Rochat, his business partner Joe Marsco and Alizé executive chef Mark Purdy turned to the future. While Rochat announced a quasi-retirement, “Mark and I wanted to explore how we could continue his legacy of culinary excellence and service and maintain his brand in Las Vegas and consider what the next 35 years in the restaurant industry will look like,” Marsco says.
As the conversations continued, Stacked Hospitality was born. Former XS and Tryst Nightclub vet John Wood came into the fold, he says, to “diversify the group while maintaining a relevance in food and beverage, but also beyond into lounges, bars and entertainment, and pursue opportunities based on that.”
Wood says he is certainly open to curating nightclubs and bars with the group, but his current focus is on the social dining trend. And Stacked Hospitality is definitely not limiting itself to French cuisine. “Dining is fun. It’s interactive, and it’s very social,” Wood says. “I see that continuing to grow through all the different types of food. People want to enjoy their time out and their experience.”
So whether that means imminently opening a bistro-meets-tavern in the southwest’s former DW Bistro space next month (for more on Andre’s Bistro & Bar, click here), a modern yet approachable locals steakhouse with a great bar scene on the east side, or keeping things contemporary at Alizé, the group is actively looking to expand, Wood says, “both in and out of Las Vegas.”
Rochat may be known for more traditional French fare, but Andre’s Bistro & Bar will take a more loose interpretation.
“The concept for [our] bistro is very fresh, where it’s being married with the American tavern. We’re serving a hot dog, which is not classic French, but we’re using the [techniques] that we’ve learned as French chefs, [with] an emulsified sausage that we make and smoke ourselves,” Purdy says. “It opens the menu up to other things, such as milkshakes and root beer floats with house-made ice cream. It’s really exciting for us, using traditions and recipes that we use in our restaurants now in the fine dining atmosphere.”
Looking beyond Andre’s Bistro & Bar, “The [typical] Italian-American restaurant is to do larger family-style, ‘red-sauce’ [places],” Purdy says. “We have an Italian concept in development that will focus on more snack-size portions [called spuntini]: smaller, shareable, but capturing all of those elements of an Italian table that lend itself to that social and interactive fun kind of dining.”
The group is focused on bringing the Valley “approachable and interesting” projects, Marsco says. The true beauty of Stacked Hospitality is that together, its members can create novel experiences for many different audiences, both on and off the Strip.