Le Grand Courtage Brut Rose
Baguette and Salted Butter
Warm Country Bread and Echire Butter and Grey Sea Salt
La Boulangerie – Canele, Kouign Amann, Croissant, Raisin Snail
Seasonal Fruit – Frozen Yogurt-Pistachio Parfait, Buckwheat Beignets
Charcuterie Board – Pate, Pork Rillettes, Saucisson Sec, Bayonne Ham
Smoked Salmon – Everything Brioche, Chive Mascarpone, Traditional Garnishes
Parisian Gnocchi – Ash Rind Goat Cheese, Maitake Mushrooms, Butternut Squash, Pistachios, Red Kuri Velouté
Hearth Baked Quiche Lorraine with Double-cut Bacon and Kale
Foie Gras French Toast – Brioche, Vanilla Mascarpone, Almond Brittle, Seared Foie Gras, Cassis Compote
Chocolate Macaron – French Chocolate Cookie, Dark Chocolate Mousse
Apple Tarte Tatin – Warm Caramelized Apple Tart, Puff Pastry, Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
Nutella Sticky Bun – Warm Vanilla Brioche, Brown Sugar, Candied Hazelnuts
As polished an operation today as the ornamentation in its gleaming bar, it was at the behest of old friends that Brunch was booked at Bardot Brasserie at Aria, Josh Smith’s kitchen under the banner of Michael Mina again showing that no city can compete with Las Vegas when it comes to quality at volume, even when computer issues paired with a swollen pre-Superbowl crowd.
Having last visited the restaurant for Brunch in late 2015, and unfortunately-yet-expectedly not finding the menu to have changed one iota in the intervening fifteen months, it was after greetings at the podium that a party of four sat down at the center of the bustling dining area, the course of the day to be dictated by the restaurant, but beset by long delays between courses thanks to an IT malfunction that saw the staff forced to adapt to hand-written tickets.
Sipping bottomless Rose, Water and Coffee throughout the meal, refills frequently lagging once a sizeable party was seated to the table’s left, it was for at least twenty minutes after seating that the group chatted with only Baguette and Beverages, a pat of Imported Echire with Grey Salt and toasted Country Bread joined by a pastry basket that has finally achieved excellence, the Canele crunchy on the outside with an air-pocketed Custard center while the Kouign Amann offers layers upon layers of butter and caramelization.
Seeing several familiar ready-to-go starters doled out over the next hour, all of them obviously labor intensive in terms of process but essentially just plate-and-go during service, the Frozen Yogurt Parfait presented as part of the Fruit plate perhaps the most flavorful bites per gram in all of Sin City, Bardot’s Charcuterie continues to show strong by way of both the chunky Pate and Pork Rillettes while the Smoked Salmon is a silky drape for aromatic Brioche that could be offered in a slightly larger portion so that there is enough to go around.
Unaware of the ticket issues until later, the empty plates lingering with glasses unfilled for what would have seemed like an eternity were the conversation of nearly a year-past not freely flowing, Chef Smith showed a great deal of generosity by sending out the dinner-only Parisian Gnocchi even when the kitchen was stretched-thin, the small puddles of Goat Cheese only slightly softer than pan-seared Dumplings that literally melt in the mouth positioned delicately in a pool of brilliant Red Kuri Squash Velouté.
Continuing to make a strong case for Las Vegas’ best Quiche, the Lorraine-style wedge brimming with Bacon and Kale suspended in fluffy Eggs, the nearly-three hour meal came to a close without seeing a single Benedict, Waffle or Hash, the Tart Tatin still challenging any found in Europe by way of its perfectly caramelized Apples and an ample scoop of Ice Cream while the rich coil of Brioche and Brown Sugar found itself overshadowed in the most decadent way possible, the industry-standard pillow of French Toast with Almond Brittle and Mascarpone Cream further enhanced with a slice of seared Duck Liver plus Black Currant Jam.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS: Long ago setting aside Bouchon at The Venetian for a lack of innovation, though Thomas Keller’s track record tells a valuable tail for success, my first brunch visit in almost 15 months to Bardot Brasserie was thoroughly delicious despite delivering less variety than ever, the unaltered menu telling of a concept focused on perfecting its brand and executing consistently while the restaurateur focuses on global expansion, a good thing for visitors or locals craving one of the well-crafted favorites – the sort of concept built to stand the test of time in a city where remaining relevant past a few months is indeed a test.
RECCOMMENDED: FRENCH TOAST, PARISIAN GNOCCHI, CHARCUTERIE BOARD, APPLE TART TATIN.
AVOID: Busy weekends around noon.
TIP: The Gnocchi preparation is due to change soon given the seasonality of its ingredients.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.