110°F
weather icon Clear

French childhood inspires restauranter’s culinary vision

Think you’ve had a croissant before? If it came cased in plastic at a grocery store, you’re probably wrong. Those croissants bear little resemblance to the lightly buttery, many-layered, slightly-crispy, flakey-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside wonders at Rosallie Le French Cafe, 6090 S. Rainbow Blvd.

Owner Jonathan Pluvinet starts the dough for each day’s croissants the night before and carefully crafts it into the classic half-moon shapes. After they spend the night rising, he bakes the pastries in the morning.

The Summerlin resident’s attention to detail doesn’t stop there. He spent more than a year searching for the best coffee, trying 40 to 50 types of beans before he found a few favorites.

Pluvinet said business has been great since he hosted his grand opening in early September, which is a fine payoff for all the work he put into the cafe. It took almost two years of searching to find just the right spot and five months of labor and jumping through permit hoops to transform it into a restaurant.

In addition to crafting a menu filled with dishes inspired by his childhood home in southern France, the chef constructed almost everything in the cafe — a former 7-Eleven — himself.

He built the front counter using bricks he found on Craigslist and weathered reclaimed wood from a crane company. He picked up chairs from a recently closed restaurant and refinished and upholstered them using fabric ordered from eBay. Tables were made from reclaimed and restored metal bases topped in butcher block. Shelves for a library area were purchased from a Kenneth Cole store as it was closing.

Pluvinet grew up in the restaurant industry helping out in the family business from pretty much the time he could walk. His cafe is named for the restaurant his parents ran in France. Rosallie was the name of the landowner who sold the farm house that would become the restaurant to his family.

“The name brought a lot of luck to my parents, so I wanted to name the cafe here with that name,” he explained.

Pluvinet has been in Nevada for more than a decade.

In France, he was a world champion cross-country skier, competing for the French National Team. As the 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy, approached he was faced with a choice: Join the Olympic team — which he said is a full-time job in France — or pursue a college education. Education won. He was wooed by several universities in the United States and chose to ski for the University of Nevada, Reno out of love for Lake Tahoe.

When he graduated with a degree in business management, he knew he wanted to stay and found work in Las Vegas at the Wynn. After six years in Las Vegas, he knew it was time to launch his dream, Rosallie Le French Cafe.

So far, the restaurant is open for morning coffee, pastries and breakfast and lunch, with an assortment of sandwiches, salads and soups.

A lounge area with a library welcomes patrons to linger, and a small conference room is available for companies to have private meetings.

Staff member Nebby Teffera said the place is great and unique.

“I love it,” she said. “It’s different. I had never had French food before.”

One thing they don’t serve is french fries. Most sandwiches come on a bed of mixed greens.

“I’m always looking for a healthier, better way,” Pluvinet said, adding that, whenever possible, he chooses organic ingredients and uses olive oils.

His biggest emphasis is on the coffee and tea experience. Coffee is made fresh throughout the day, and every cup of tea is individual brewed from whole leaves using a French press. Even chilled teas start out hot with ice added after the brew, one cup at a time.

“It takes us a little more time, but they get the full flavor, and there is no bitterness in the tea,” Pluvinet explained.

Samples of the teas are displayed in decorative containers near the register so patrons can see and smell the leaves before ordering.

“I don’t like tea bags,” Pluvinet said. “They crush the tea, and most of the flavor is gone when you crush the leaves. With full leaves, you keep all of the flavor of the tea.”

He hopes to expand offerings soon with more breakfast items and the addition of a liquor license so he can serve wines and small bites for dinner. Also in the works is an overheard television to play instructional videos of Pluvinet preparing croissants and other specialty pastries.

For now, the cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Visit rosallie.com or call 702-998-4121.

— Contact View contributing reporter Ginger Meurer at gmeurer@viewnews.com. Find her on Twitter: @gingermmm.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Mob Month is back at the Clark County Library

For the fifth year the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is making an offer some people find they can’t refuse. Mob Month is coming back to the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, with events Tuesday nights in January.

7 ways autocomplete can get smarter

Autocomplete is one of the best (or depending on how hastily you push ‘send’ – worst) things in the world. We rely on it so much that Google plans to let us autocomplete whole emails. Here are seven ways predictive input can improve. 1. Recognizing names from previous emails Jakub Kokoszka has a tough name to […]

Movie posters might soon be based on your clicks

You may have thought you left Blockbuster behind, but the basic way we browse movies hasn’t changed all that much. We peruse poster after poster, kind of like walking the aisles of a ‘90s-era video store. That one poster image, meant to appeal to as many people as possible, is often all we see before […]

What I’ll be covering at NAB 2018

The National Association of Broadcasters show kicks off this weekend in Las Vegas.  The show focuses on new and emerging technologies and trends in relation to the media and entertainment industries. As it’s not open to the public, I’ll be at the Las Vegas Convention Center on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday to share some of […]

EXECUTIVE TRAVEL: Forget Strip flash; some prefer lake’s panache

If you get called to a board meeting at Lake Las Vegas, you might want to bring your swimsuit. That’s the term Westin at Lake Las Vegas marketing director Matt Boland uses for upright paddleboard races, one of many team-building exercises offered regularly at the resort.

After $4,700 in live poker career winnings, James Romero, 27, wins nearly $2 million

It was a 15-year celebration of The World Poker Tour at Bellagio for the Five Diamond World Poker Classic. The largest field size in WPT Five Diamond’s history was created when 791 entries were tallied, and it was James Romero, 27, of Portland, Oregon, who won his first WPT title.