2016 Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Bardot Baguette and Country Loaf with Beurre d’echire A.O.C. and Sel Gris
Fall Fruits and French Blue Cheese – Belgian Endive, Candied Walnuts, White Balsamic, Bleu des Causses Mousse
Smoked Salmon Paris Brest – House Cured Ora King Salmon, Chive Mascarpone, Marky’s Caviar, Everything Spiced Choux Puff, Cucumber Salpicon, Fines Herbes
Foie Gras Parfait – Chilled Mousse of La Belle Farms Foie Gras, Ruby Port Gelee, Cornichons, Grilled Country Bread
Maine Lobster Bisque – Classically Prepared with Brandy, Roasted Tomato, Puff Pastry, Fennel, Tarragon
Parisian Gnocchi – Tete de Moine Cheese, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Asparagus, French Summer Truffles, Roasted Garlic Veloute
Seared Foie Gras Lyonnais – La Belle Farms Foie Gras, Beluga Lentils, Roasted Shallots, Banyuls Vinegar, Prune Confiture
Macaroni & Mimolette Gratinee – Sauce Bechamel
Scallops Grenobloise – U-10 Dayboat Scallops, Brown Butter, Demi-sec Cherry Tomatoes, Sunchoke, Broccoli de Cicco, Fried Capers, Lemon
Creekstone Prime Rib – USDA Prime Black Angus, Aligot Croquettes au Jus, Horseradish Crème Fraiche, Bordelaise, Béarnaise, Peppercorn Sauce (+Bone Marrow en Persillade)
Beef Wellington for Two – 14oz USDA Prime Filet, Prosciutto di Parma, Puff Pastry, Mushroom Duxelles, Foie Gras-Madeira Veloute
Double Espresso on Ice
Plate du Fromage – Couronne de Fontenay, Reading Raclette, Mimolette Vielle, Cremeux de Bourgogne, Fourme au Moelleux, Tete de Moine, Perail de Brebis with Fruits, Candied Hazelnuts and Country Bread
Spiced Pear Clafoutis – Warm Almond Cake, Red Wine Poached Pear, Armagnac Ice Cream
Espresso Crème Brulee – Fresh Beignets, Turbinado Croquant
Strawberry Pavlova – Strawberry-Verbena Compote, Crème Fraiche, Rose Wine Sorbet
Apple Tarte Tatin – Warm Caramelized Apple Tart, Puff Pastry, Vanilla Ice Cream
Licorice Marshmallows – Dried Fennel Fronds
Shortly after opening in January of 2015 it was obvious to anyone with any dining experience that Bardot Brasserie had a ton of potential, the space itself a gorgeous renovation from the eye-catching bar right down to the Brasserie-detailed plates and Chef Josh Smith, a local, showing lots of skill across a menu of French Classics featuring good technique and just enough whimsy to keep things interesting during both brunch and dinner service.
Immediately supplanting Bouchon as the best mid-priced French Restaurant in town and later taking home a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist nod for Best New Restaurant, an award later won by New York’s Le Coucou which features neither equivalent French Cuisine nor quality of design, it was nevertheless that the Michael Mina space on Aria’s second floor continued to evolve, even launching sister Margeaux Brasserie in Chicago earlier this year.
Now approaching year number three and still doing good business, the menu having born several signatures but continuing to evolve with each new season in directions often classic and frequently exciting, it was with two friends that a reservation was made for Friday night to take a look at Chef Smith’s new Autumn offerings, an unexpected closure of Jean George’s Steakhouse seeing Bardot pick up several covers but both the kitchen and service firing on all cylinders to turn out a meal that far exceeded already high expectations.
Checking in at just past Six o’clock, the restaurant soon starting to fill and completely packed within an hour, it was at a spacious four-top just past the threshold of the Bar that the party was sat and beginning with a glass of particularly fruity Champagne it was not long before dinner got started, two styles of Bread including Bardot’s best-in-Las Vegas Baguette joined by a disc of imported Beurre d’echire soon to be followed by seventeen menu items spread across four courses and nearly three hours.
Always featuring top-quality service, this visit no exception and the young Female server actually outperforming all those in the past in terms of both her knowledge of the menu and an ability to balance professionalism with personality, it was after a brief greeting from Chef Smith that three plates were presented including a vibrant Salad of ripe Pears and Plums with smooth Blue Cheese Mousse and candied Nuts alongside the always wonderful Foie Gras Parfait, one of the menu’s newest additions seeing the Paris Brest migrated from Dessert to Appetizer and presented with a silky drape of house-cured Salmon, Caviar and Mascarpone infused with Chives.
Already impressed, the fact that the meal would feature thirteen all-new items speaking volumes in a city where Restaurants like Picasso and several others have barely changed a garnish in years, it was once again showing a great understanding of Choux that course two offered plump Parisian Gnocchi served alongside flowers of Tete de Moine and Chanterelles beneath shavings of Black Truffles, a second serving of Duck Liver every bit as worthwhile as the first in a savory preparation atop tender Lentils while the pot of Lobster Bisque raises the bar for everyone else in town by several feet thanks to the fragrant linger of Brandy that plays well off of both the Tarragon and buttery lattice of Puff Pastry.
At this point already well-sated, the heft of French Cuisine and the inherent need to sop up all Sauces with good Bread not to be taken lightly, it was after brief respite that the meal marched on to entrees, two limited-availability specials featuring Beef joined by Bardot’s famous upright Macaroni and Cheese and five plump Scallops amidst earthy and briny bites, the Prime Rib simply better than the average thanks to better quality Meat and gentle treatment to render it fork-tender while the Beef Wellington was not only gorgeous but thoroughly delicious and exceptional in terms of the golden Crust which Chef Smith protects from becoming soggy by placing a thin layer of Prosciutto between it and the Duxelle.
Very happy with the L’Aubrac-referencing Croquettes before sopping up the rest of the Foie Gras Sauce as well as more melted Marrow with pieces of toasted Bread it was with the arrival of a Double Espresso and a large Glass of Ice that the meal transitioned to Sweets, a Cheese plate featuring several raw varieties plus a particularly sharp Mimolette saved towards the end while dishes more temperature sensitive were focused on first, the Apple Tarte Tatin as good as ever while the soft-centered Pavlova was light, refreshing and unparalleled locally, a similar statement safe to be applied to the Spiced Pear Clafoutis that was served piping hot and Pudding-soft beneath slowly melting Armagnac Ice Cream.
Rounding out the night with the Espresso Crème Brulee, even those not particularly fond of Coffee complimenting both the soft Custard and pillowy Beignets, it was alongside the check that three Toasted Marshmallows were presented on the ends of dried Fennel Fronds, a light bit of Licorice up front slow to dissipate and even more evidence of Bardot’s continued evolution into not just one of Las Vegas’ best Restaurants but a truly world-class Brasserie.
FIVE STARS: Having said several times in the past that on a good night Bardot Brasserie can compete with the best Bistros and Brasseries in Paris or Lyon Autumn 2017 has finally seen Chef Smith and his team turn out a menu that rivals any in the city in terms of quality and craftsmanship, the Proteins and Produce all well sourced and Sauces frequently on par with what one would expect at Le Cirque or Guy Savoy even as the restaurant does nearly five-times the volume on any given night.
RECOMMENDED: Smoked Salmon Paris Brest, Foie Gras Parfait, Parisian Gnocchi, Lobster Bisque, Beef Wellington, Apple Tarte Tatin, Spiced Pear Clafoutis.
AVOID: N/A, though I personally avoided the small dollops of Passion Fruit on the Pavlova.
TIP: The Online menu is not currently up-to-date, so see photos for current options and for those in a hurry be sure to check out happy-hour at the bar which offers some really great bargains on both food and drink.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.