Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bardot Brasserie

I have been a Michael Mina fan for several years now so when I heard that he had a new restaurant coming to Las Vegas I was all ears. Done in the style of a traditional French brasserie, Bardot Brasserie at the Aria does not disappoint. Walking in you are immediately face to face with the extensive bar. The combination of brass and glass sets the stage for the vibe of the restaurant as a whole. It's like stepping into another era complete with French jazz and uncovered wooden tables. Sitting in one of the booths in the back gives you a front row seat to witness the action in the kitchen, complete with the large wood burning oven.

After making some careful choices, honestly it was difficult to decide with so many delicious options, I somehow ended up with a multi-course feast of red meat. At the recommendation of the waiter I started things off with the steak tartar. While the crisps provided proved difficult to eat, the steak itself was decadently rich and delicious. With a creamy texture provided by the quail's egg yolk the meat was well spiced and an excellent start to the night.

Seeing bone marrow on the menu that was the one pick I had in mind from scoping out the menu online in the days leading up to my reservation. This was easily the standout dish of the night. Hearth cooked to achieve the perfect sear each bone was a balance between crisp and melt-in-your mouth goodness. Paired with bordelaise onions, whose tart sweetness cut through the heavy fat of the marrow, and bread for layering this dish is a must have.

Having had such a wonderful experience with the steak at Michael Mina over Thanksgiving I decided to keep it traditional with the Ribeye Steak Frittes. Especially for the price tag, the steak was generously portioned even though I did find the fois gras butter to be a little too earthy for my taste. The frittes themselves, fried in beef fat, were the surprise of the night. I am rarely wowed by fries, but the flavor from the beef fat paired with the still fluffy potato was a winning combination. I would order this dish again if only to enjoy the fries.

After such a heavy meal I decided to end things on a lighter note with the mille feuille. Boasting a caramelized puff pastry as its selling point I enjoyed the sweet, crisp layers though the caramelization process did leave the layers sticking to my teeth.

Final Verdict: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
With generous portions of solidly prepared, flavorful food with a twist Bardot Brasserie is a must for any fan of French food. Whether you're looking for a romantic date or a fun night out with the girls there is something for you here. Step out of your comfort zone to find the real standout dishes from the bone marrow to the escargot (which were the hit of the night for the tables around me, they are definitely on my list for my next visit).

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