After decades of influencing food culture via her cookbooks, television show(s), and now-defunct magazine, lifestyle queen Martha Stewart is finally opening her first full-service restaurant, and the menu couldn’t be more perfect.
Called the Bedford by Martha Stewart, the restaurant opened its doors inside the Paris Las Vegas on August 13. According to Eater Las Vegas, the Bedford is Stewart’s attempt to recreate the bucolic-glam charm of her Bedford, New York farmhouse, complete with a full replica of the home’s living room inside the restaurant’s dining room, which is itself decked out in an appropriately neutral color palette. The real star of the show, though, is the menu, on which we have no notes.
At the Bedford, diners can start off dinner with a plate of buckwheat crepes served with golden Osetra caviar, or perhaps a half-dozen oysters baked Rockefeller-style with Pernod-infused cream sauce and parsley breadcrumbs. There’s also a subdued nicoise salad dressed with olive oil, and a bread basket laden with fresh Parker House rolls and rosemary focaccia studded with sour cherries. As for the entrees, there’s salmon en croute and handkerchief pasta served with toasted pine nuts, and a whole roast chicken that is probably worth every single one of the ’90 American dollars it costs.
Sure, there’s nothing revolutionary about the menu at the Bedford, no envelope-pushing gastronomy or over-the-top presentation, but why should there be? Martha Stewart’s identity is built entirely around an air of timelessness and sophistication, not chasing trends. This is a menu that reminds everyone that Martha Stewart continues to be a fine arbiter of good taste. She still knows how to assemble a full array of dishes to please a crowd without boring anyone. And those dishes are a legitimately perfect assortment of glam-yet-subtle and totally ’90s-chic — and exactly what I would hope to eat if I were ever lucky enough to be a guest in her home.
There is, however, one bit of gimmicky showmanship via the baked potato side dish, which is smashed against a wooden board and garnished with creme fraiche, caviar, and other toppings tableside. (Note: topping your baked potato with caviar at the Bedford turns this $15 side dish into $267 side dish if you decide to go all-out with four ounces of golden Osetra.) There’s also an especially personal touch in the form of Big Martha’s pierogis, inspired by her mother’s own recipe and stuffed with potato and sauced in brown butter. Perhaps not surprisingly, you can also add $100 in caviar to these.
At the Paris, Stewart joins other celebrity food personalities like Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay, along with an outpost of Nobu and Real Housewives star Lisa Vanderpump’s new French restaurant, all of which make sense considering the city’s celeb-obsessed dining scene. But when I think of Las Vegas, the image that my mind’s eye conjures — glitzy showgirls, casinos, so many lights — couldn’t be further than the minimalist elegance of Martha Stewart and her home in upstate New York. Yet I can think of no better respite from all the chaos and noise and gritty glamour of the city than a plate of salmon en croute.