clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chris Bulen Keeps it Chichi on His Days Off

Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren't unearthing. To help guide us to these potential discoveries, we've enlisted some of our city's food players to share their recommendations for a weekly feature dubbed Dining Confidential.

Chris%20Baler%20Andre%27s_500%206-13-12.jpgChris Bulen at Andre's [Photo: Chelsea McManus]

It seems appropriate that Chris Bulen got his culinary career off the ground working at a country club in Hartland, Wis. After all, now he’s the chef de cuisine at Andre’s at the Monte Carlo, one of Andre Rochat’s two Vegas restaurants. After culinary school, Bulen targeted Vegas as his next target, to land a job at Alizé, Rochat’s restaurant at the top of the Palms. And while it all sounds like a charmed life, Bulen did work his way up from the bottom, whether at a country club, Alizé or now Andre’s. When he hangs up the toque, here’s where you can find Bulen.

Where do you like to dine when you’re not at Andre’s?
Three of my most favorite restaurants to eat in town when I am not working are Estiatorio Milos, STK and Firefly.

What do you like to order when you’re there?
Milos — Fried zucchini and eggplant chips with tzatziki. They are so crispy and when dipped into the creamy and tangy tzatziki?delicious. You can easily keep them at your table throughout your entire meal and snack on them at your leisure. 

STK — Bread pudding. A dense but not to filling bread pudding sitting in a pool of warm bourbon syrup, salted caramel ice cream and candied Captain Crunch. My entire meal was amazing but I will take others or go back by myself just for this dessert alone.

Firefly — Baked tetilla. Juicy tomatoes in a warm tetilla cheese fondue with spicy bits of chorizo.  It comes served with toast points and it’s easy to go through it quick if sharing. You will not want this to happen. Advise others to order their own (it’s that good). 

Why do you enjoy going to these restaurants?
Milos — I have only gone for lunch, but the prix fixe menu cannot be beat in my mind. A great deal and the options you have to choose from are excellent. During the day it is a wonderfully illuminated room and they offer outdoor seating! I also enjoy their fresh, on-ice fish display. For dinner you can go up and choose your fish you want to eat and get it cooked to your request: grilled, baked, sautéed.

STK — When walking into STK it seems like you might be walking into a club. It’s dark but warm with wooden tables and white trim on the booths. The room has a great intimacy about it that allowed my wife and myself to relax, but not be put to sleep. I also noticed as the restaurant filled up toward the end of my meal that the noise level was not overwhelming but quite tolerable. The menu is bountiful with options for most patrons likings and is easy to build your own dining experience.

Firefly — I love tapas restaurants because they offer more on their menu and, as a guest, you can try multiple intriguing items you may not have the stomach to eat at a traditional restaurant. I go back to FireFly and order a few of my favorite items along with a few new ones that capture my attention. It has a great atmosphere and is a sure winner to take out-of-town friends and family who “over” the Strip scene.    
· All Coverage of Andre’s {~ELV~]
· All Dining Confidentials [~ELV~]

Alize

4321 W Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103 702-951-7000 Visit Website

STK

3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South, , NV 89109 (702) 698-7990 Visit Website

Firefly*

11261 South Eastern Avenue, Henderson, NV 89052 702-778-1400

Estiatorio Milos

3355 South Las Vegas Boulevard, , NV 89109 (702) 414-1270 Visit Website

Andre's

3770 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Las Vegas newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world