Watching Notre Dame burn with a saddened heart, I was transported back to my days in Paris. I loved the local brasseries; I loved to drink in their hip hipster-ness while inhaling the wonderful streetwise cuisine. Is there a better French fry than the steak frites? That is not a rhetorical question!
Strolling through the Aria casino floor before taking the escalator up to the restaurant level was quintessential Las Vegas. But the minute you cross the threshold into Bardot Brasserie, it’s like you just landed at Charles DeGaulle. The Parisian atmosphere joyously engulfs you.
It’s the charismatic open kitchen, clearly visible behind an etched glass wall of windows (Clark County Health codes, you ruin the view!). It’s the dark woods and the fresh flowers. And the menu. You can almost hear the traffic on the Champs-Elysees inside the offerings.
Did I mention this is a Michael Mina restaurant?
Some of my favs:
- Steak Frites Au Poive: The 14-pounce rib eye was so tender I didn’t really need the steak knife that came with it. The meat was buttery on the inside and crispy charred on the outside. I think steak in general is tasteless which is why it usually comes with some kind of sauce. But this steak was jammed with flavor and didn’t need the hardy brandy and peppercorn cream sauce that arrived as its side kick. And do I need to say more about the frites?
- Loup De Mer Provencal: That’s fancy French for sea bass. I can never roast the fish so the fleshy part comes out pearly white and so sweet you almost suspect it was injected with pure sugar. But this kitchen did exactly that! And this whole fish was roasted over a fire, no less! Incredible! Its down-home friends were braised artichokes and teeny fingerling potatoes.
- Rack of Lamb Bihemiene. The lamb comes from New Zealand. The lamb here is pretty skinny but these Kiwi lambs are chunky. I have never see such huge hunks of meat on a lamb. They arrived picture-perfect pink. Creamy spinach added a woodsy touch.
- Chocolate macaron. These aren’t the awful pasty things you get at Passover. No siree. This concoction features Valrhona chocolate mousse wedged between two chocolate cookies. Then pastry chef drizzled chocolate sauce over the edible edifice.
Since this is Las Vegas, the prices are definitely Las Vegas Boulevard. Tres cher, as they say in French. But if you are looking for a romantically fun place to splurge, this is it!
Who will LOVE this restaurant:
- Francophiles. Great authentic brasserie food.
- Fish lovers: Chef Michael is fanatic about the freshness of his fish.
- Fine diners: We love the details!
- Families: We watched lots of kids scarfing up the food. What kid doesn’t love great French fries?
Who will HATE this restaurant:
- Conversationalists. This restaurant is really noisy. It’s tres difficile trying to carry on a conversation. If you have something important to discuss, this is NOT the place.
- People on a budget. The food is spendy. Worth every penny, but still spendy.
- Locals who hate paying for parking. Yes, I had to get this in.
Bon appetit Las Vegas!
Bardot Brasserie at the Aria Resort and Casino
3730 South Las Vegas Boulevard
((hugs)) BETH Ellyn
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