Martha Stewart Unveils Showstopping First Restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip
Landing in the Paris hotel, The Bedford by Martha Stewart is a chic, farmhouse-inspired ode to the queen of DIY and home decor.
With decades of books, magazines, and television appearances under her belt, Martha Stewart has proven herself the absolute icon of hosting, party planning, and home decor. She runs her own multimedia empire, complete with a one-stop online shop to share recipes and sell everything from cookbooks to kitchenware to garden supplies. She even hosts her own podcast—with close friend Snoop Dogg appearing as her first guest.
Now the successful businesswoman is branching out with another long-anticipated venture: the opening of her very first restaurant, The Bedford by Martha Stewart on the Las Vegas Strip. For someone who's shaped her identity in food and the art of entertaining, it's almost a shock it's taken this long.
While you’re unlikely to see Martha flitting between tables greeting guests, rest assured that the star has taken every step to imbue the space with her tastes and styles. The servers can't stop talking about her, beginning with the drink order ("Martha's favorite bourbon"… "Martha's favorite vodka"...) and continuing throughout the meal. Here, starpower is everything, and in a town that can't get enough celebrity chefs, Stewart’s Bedford hopes to establish itself as la creme de la creme.
The Bedford by Martha Stewart is the latest addition to an ongoing dining revamp at the Paris Hotel and Casino. The resort is keeping what works (Gordon Ramsay Steak, Mon Ami Gabi, the Eiffel Tower Restaurant) while replacing what doesn't with flashy, high-profile newcomers: a cocktail lounge by Lisa Vanderpump, an oddly casual version of Nobu, and a burger counter from Bobby Flay that's quickly becoming omnipresent in casinos run by Caesars Entertainment.
Yet it’s The Bedford that’s most guaranteed to draw your attention, with an inviting covered patio lined with blooming foliage and an interior that’s modeled after Martha's New York farmhouse—and that's not hyperbole. The design team took extensive photos of Stewart's estate in Bedford, New York, nailing down details from the flooring to the light fixtures and even the furniture with laser-focused accuracy.
While the patio offers a Northeastern coastal ambience amid Vegas people-watching, the best seats in the house are in the "Brown Room," a private dining area that really does feel like a high-end HGTV remode. Other tables in the bright, open dining room feed off the energy of the centralized bar and a busy open kitchen. The copper cookware that dangles above the chef's station is strictly decorative (and available for purchase, along with other items displayed throughout the dining room).
Just like any good host, The Bedford doesn't cut corners with the menu, even bringing in a special team to train the kitchen staff to get things up to Stewart's high standards.
Led by executive chef Brian Stroud, the food is presented in a tight, efficient menu that resists tired staples that dominate Strip restaurants. No branzino or octopus here. The steak selection is kept to just two prime cuts (a New York Strip and bone-in Ribeye) from Niman Ranch. Here, ingredients and technique take center stage, with plates that draw intrigue while touching on elements of American and French cuisine.
The restaurant’s signature Whole Roasted Chicken entree is stuffed with rosemary, thyme, and brioche breadcrumbs and carved tableside following a two-day process involving a salt brine and herb brioche butter. It's tender and juicy with a delicate, crispy skin. Yes, the price is high for chicken ($89.95), but then again, it's meant for two to share.
If you only pick one side dish, go with the Baked Potato, which comes with a tableside presentation of its own. The Yukon gold potato is turned upside-down and smashed on a wood board, letting out the steam and softening the texture. ("Martha says it makes the potato fluffy," the server informs.) It's served with crème fraîche in place of sour cream and plump lardons instead of traditional bacon. If you have room for a second side, try the Tian, a seasonal vegetable casserole of zucchini, squash, peppers, and tomatoes with a garlic butter sauce.
The Crab Cake, ricotta-stuffed Zucchini Blossoms, and Steak Tartare are recommended appetizers, but depending on your appetite, a couple could easily share one of three pasta dishes too. Better yet, go with Big Martha's Pierogies, named after Stewart's mother and based on a Polish potato dumpling recipe passed down through the family. Like with the smashed potato, guests are given an option to add Golden Osetra caviar for an ample upcharge.
Stewart's much-discussed Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Pie is a nice blend of taste and texture, but the Apple Tarte Tatin is a more satisfying dessert with the sweetness balanced by a semi-tart buttermilk sorbet.
The beverage program isn't messing around either. The cocktails are strong and stiff—even the Manhattan is easy on the sweetness, despite the luxardo cherries. An Old Fashioned goes down with less resistance, thanks to a cube of brown sugar. The Martha-tini, made with Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka and dry vermouth, is prepared tableside when ordered for two, using a rustic 84-ounce shaker ("Martha loves antique shakers") and finished with a lemon twist.
It's a great martini. The smooth and easy Martha-rita is even better and comes the closest to justifying its price with the addition of Casa Dragones tequila. And here's where we question the restaurant. Yes, the prices are high on the food. No surprise there. But can any cocktail be worth $22.95 when it doesn't come with a five-dollar bill as garnish?
A decent wine list is also available, with representation from France, California’s Napa Valley, and even Australia—plus 19 Crimes’ Snoop Dogg Cali Red. (Fair warning: a bottle goes for $75.95, quite a jump from its grocery store price.)
As to be expected, The Bedford maximizes on everything Martha Stewart—with prices to match. If you want to save a few dollars, the star's favorite recipes are available on her website. But then again, you'll miss out on the best moments of The Bedford, where it feels like you're crashing a dinner party at an extravagant home while the owner's out of town.