2015 Gerard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux Rose
Bardot Baguette with Beurre d’echire A.O.C. and Sel Gris
Belgian Endive & Roquefort Salad – Watercress, Candied Walnuts, Medjool Dates, Granny Smith Apples, Balsamela
Steak Tartare – USDA Prime Filet Ground to Order, Egg Yolk, Sauce Verte, Gaufrette Potato Chips
Foie Gras Parfait – Chilled Mousse of La Belle Foie Gras, Ruby Port Gelee, Cornichons, Grilled Country Bread
Seared Foie Gras – La Belle Foie Gras, Wild Red Camargue Rice, Sunchoke & Parsnip Matignon, Red Cabbage Agre-Doux
Bone Marrow en Persillade – Wood Grilled Marrow Bone, Garlic and Parsley Crust, Macerated Radish Salad
Octopus a la Basquaise – Wood Grilled Spanish Octopus, Tarbais Beans, Chorizo Escabeche, Banyuls Vinegar, Espelette Chili, Saffron Rouille
Scallops Meuniere – U10 Dayboat Scallops, Cauliflower Fondant, Broccoli Spigarello, Thompson Raisins, Toasted Pine Nuts, Fried Capers, Mint, Brown Butter, Meyer Lemon
Duck Breast Forestiere – Pan Roasted Moulard Duck Breast, Caramelized Salsify, Savoy Cabbage, Golden Cordycep Mushrooms, Huckleberry Jus
Rack of Lamb Printaniere – Cast Iron Seared 8-Bone NZ Lamb Rack, Creamy Polenta, English Peas, Baby Artichokes, Baby Turnips, Baby Spinach, Basil Pistou
Beef Wellington for Two – 14oz USDA Prime Filet, Prosciutto di Parma, Puff Pastry, Mushroom Duxelles, Foie Gras-Madeira Veloute
Buckwheat Parisian Gnocchi – Tete de Moine Cheese, Morel Mushrooms, Cepes, White and Green Asparagus, Black Truffle, Roasted Garlic Veloute
Cheese Plate – Couronne de Fontenay, Reading Raclette, Mimolette Vielle, Cremeux de Bourgogne, Roquefort AOP, Tete de Moine, Perail de Brebis, Walnut Mustard, Strawberry Jam, Candied Hazelnuts, Country Bread
Double Espresso – Ice
French Toast – Brioche French Toast, Vanilla Mascarpone, Almond Brittle, Orgeat Syrup
Chocolate Macaron – French Chocolate Cookie, Dark Chocolate Mousse
Mille Feuille – Caramelized Puff Pastry, Vanilla Crème Patisserie
Baked Alaska – Banana Rum Ice Cream Cake, Roasted Pineapple and Toasted Meringue
Espresso Crème Brulee – Beignets
Sour Cherry Clafoutis – Warm Almond Cake, Sour Cherries, Armagnac Ice Cream
Apple Tarte Tatin – Warm Caramelized Apple Tart, Puff Pastry, Vanilla Ice Cream
If there is one ‘problem’ with friends and family visits it is mostly deciding which Restaurants to dine at, the balancing act of personal favorites and places that will please a variety of palates not all that tough here in Sin City but trimming a “best of the best” list becoming more difficult as everyone continues to raise the bar, though few have gone so far as to reinvent a genre like Josh Smith at Bardot Brasserie.
Now sailing smoothly in year three, a similar space from Celebrity Chef Michael Mina called Margeaux since opened in Chicago, it was alongside five others including four first-timers that seats were taken at a rounded table on Saturday night, familiar servers bustling around a jammed-packed room with music chiming overhead and the scene not dissimilar to what one will find in Paris or Lyon at 9:00pm, but here shifted a few hours earlier.
Recently transitioning from Winter to Spring, a “seasonal” change from Chef Smith and his team not merely a shift in set-ups but entailing the invention of several new plates, it was with an opening glass of Champagne that friends new and old exchanged cheers before slathering world-class Butter on Baguettes now served by the basket, a sweet n’ salty Endive and Blue Cheese Salad the first new dish of the evening presented alongside ground-to-order Tartare and silky smooth Mousse that even those who claim not to like Liver found irresistible.
Never lacking for quality ingredients or creativity, a second plate of Foie Gras served seared atop Wild Rice with diced Root Vegetables providing a foil to Cabbage Agre-Doux, those looking for a highlight from the new menu would do well to order a plate of charred Octopus served spicy with White Beans while Bardot’s Bone Marrow remains another good choice, though the presentation is not quite as eye-widening as Jean Georges Steakhouse next door.
Moving at a comfortable pace with serviceware replaced and glasses refilled frequently it was with Laguiole Knives in hand that entrees were served in two rounds as the table soon filled, Chef Smith’s Beef Wellington once again outperforming any other seen to-date by anyone present while Duck recently added to the menu showed similar to the Foie Gras, a sizable Breast with crisp skin resting on earthy ingredients brightened up by the addition of Huckleberries providing just a touch of natural Sugar.
Getting even more Spring-like with Lamb and Scallops, two cases where a change in set-up improved nicely-prepared proteins with a plethora of seasonal Produce that all contributed something novel yet complimentary, it was at the request of Josh that guests next weighed in on a concept dish, the fact that there is no literature on Buckwheat Pate a Choux not as issue for the locally born Chef as each Dumpling was indistinguishable from standard Flour save for a light nuttiness that contributed to the forest-floor medly of Morels, Cepes, Black Truffles and Asparagus.
Pumping the brakes for Cheese, a good selection highlighted by the same Tete de Moine served atop Gnocchi plus runny Perail de Brebis and housemade Condiments on thick slate, it was with Espresso cleansing the palate that every single one of Bardot’s Desserts arrived in a truly Grand Finale, a special request also seeing a block of fluffy Brioche French Toast held over from Brunch and the only “disappointment” being that some were already too full to enjoy as much as they’d have liked while one in particular had given up Chocolate for Lent.
FIVE STARS: Say what you will about Michael Mina, Celebrity Chefs, high-volume Restaurants or Las Vegas in general, the simple fact is that when looking world-wide at “Brasseries” from North America to France there are none outperforming Bardot day-in/day-out or plate-for-plate and if Chef Smith were in New York or Los Angeles he’d be getting James Beard nominations while spots like Le Coucou would be forced to step up their game rather than resting on their laurels.
RECOMMENDED: Foie Gras Parfait, Octopus a la Basquaise, Scallops Meuniere, Duck Breast Forestiere, Gnocchi, Beef Wellington, French Toast, Mille Feuille, Sour Cherry Clafoutis, Apple Tarte Tatin.
AVOID: The Baguettes and too many dishes with Bread will sabotage Dessert plans and you definitely don’t want to do that.
TIP: Although the Buckwheat Gnocchi is being prepared for an upcoming event in California the same garnishes are currently available with traditional Parisian Gnocchi on the menu.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.