2015 Ruinart Blanc de Blancs
La Boulangerie – Canele, Kouign Amann, Pain au Chocolat, Raisin Snail
Nutella Sticky Bun – Warm Vanilla Brioche, Brown Sugar, Candied Hazelnuts
Seasonal Fruit – Frozen Yogurt-Pistachio Parfait, Buckwheat Beignets
Bardot Baguette – Butter
Pastrami Cured Salmon – Marble Rye Profiteroles, Everything Toast, Smoked Wild Salmon, Chive Mascarpone, Marinated Cucumber, Caper, Red Onion, Dill
Albacore Tuna Nicoise Chop Salad – Radicchio, Wild Arugula, Sushi Grade Albacore, Traditional Garnitures
Foie Gras Parfait – Ruby Port Gelée, Grilled Country Bread
Hunter’s Waffle – Glazed Duck Confit, Poached Eggs, Sauce Maltaise
Bardot Breakfast Sandwich – Maple Sage Sausage, Fresh Baked English Muffin, French Omelette, Mimolette Fondue, Hash Browns
Hearth-Baked Quiche Forestiere – Wild Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Simple Salad, Mustard Vinaigrette
Apple Tarte Tatin – Warm Caramelized Apple Tart, Puff Pastry, Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Macaron – French Chocolate Cookie, Dark Chocolate Mousse
Bardot French Toast – Brioche, Vanilla Mascarpone, Almond Brittle, Orgeat Syrup
Mille Feuille – Graham Cracker, Caramelized Puff Pastry, Cypress Grove Fromage Blanc, Kirsch Cherries
Having now returned from Minneapolis, the suggestion of a friend that Grand Café might unseat Bardot Brasserie as North America’s best mid-price French Restaurant inaccurate in terms of both creativity and quality, it was with two out-of-town guests that Brunch reservations were made, Chef Josh Smith and Staff once again providing a highlight reel performance that saw everyone smiling from beginning until end.
At this point needing no introduction, the Restaurant now approaching its fourth anniversary on Aria’s second floor where Michael Mina’s American Fish once stood, it was from familiar Servers while seated in a sizable booth that dining was turned over to the kitchen, four rounds and thirteen plates beginning with a Champagne toast and lasting nearly three hours.
Not quite as dynamic a Menu as that at Dinner, though even a collection of highly regarded hits has not stopped Chef Smith and his colleagues from making small adjustments and additions, it was transitioning from Bubbles to Coffee that dining began with the presentation of Bardot’s Boulangerie Basket, the Canele and Breton Butter Pastry both again standouts rivaling the best found Stateside while a sizable Nutella Swirl and Fruit alongside Frozen Yogurt and sugared Donuts took entirely opposite approaches to wowing first timers but did so equally.
Easily polishing off every bite with conversation temporarily taking a backseat, stories dating back half-a-lifetime easily heard beneath the din of a fully packed room, it was after serviceware was re-set that Bardot’s top-quality Baguette arrived alongside two new items plus an old favorite, the Duck Liver Mousse returning to its original form and impressing even those who typically avoid Offal while Pastrami-style Salmon picks up where the Paris Brest left off in terms of taste but arrives stackable on either Everything Brioche or brilliant Marble Rye Pate a Choux.
Again enjoying every bite of each composition, the Nicoise Salad with glistening Tuna a pleasant pairing to topped-off Blanc de Blancs, it was alongside fresh plates that entrees arrived, a relatively new Breakfast Sandwich taking notes from the Golden Arches and improving on every aspect including English Muffins made on-site while day-one classics such as the Hunter’s Waffle and smoky Mushroom Quiche remain archetypes of their genre.
Surprised to see friends still keeping up at this point, though both would later reveal that they were well-sated even before Dessert, there is simply no way anyone should consider leaving Bardot without tasting fluffy French Toast that has earned billboards and televised accolades, though those in the know would also be remiss to pass on the classic Tarte Tatin, tableside-topped Chocolate Macaron or re-imagined Cheesecake Mille Feuille.
FIVE STARS: Having repeatedly challenged fellow gourmands to name a better Bistro, Brasserie or Café in North America than Bardot none have yet stood up to the task, and while some may believe that a Restaurant doing big volume cannot possibly compete with a place like Grand Café or Le Coucou I’ll simply say I’ve done the legwork and this one can.
RECOMMENDED: French Toast, Canele, Pastrami Cured Salmon, Foie Gras Parfait, Hunter’s Waffle, Bardot Breakfast Sandwich, Tarte Tatin, Mille Feuille.
AVOID: N/A – though the waiter presenting each guest with a small spoon to “enjoy the lovely Passion Fruit” on Bardot’s Fruit Plate did provoke a few laughs.
TIP: In addition to Dinner and the Strip’s best Brunch BARDOT is now open for lunch Monday through Friday 11am-2:30pm.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.