By Donna Polizzi
Keys 2 The Coast may have found the best restaurants for brunch, in all of Las Vegas. Considering the options, that’s a big statement.
The Bardot Brasserie Restaurant is located inside the Aria Hotel. I stumbled upon it while at a travel conference, with Montecito Village Travel at the Aria, and as soon as I saw it the beautiful entrance beckoned me to enter. As you walk through the circular entrance, the bar will impress you. Beautiful crystal and brass shelves are suspended from the ceiling, displaying beautiful bottles of wine and spirits. Pink roses enliven the tables. The marble tile and French design is stunning.
Shortly after being seated, General Manager Gerti Gjika came to welcome me to the Bardot Brunch, which is open on Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dinner is served daily from 5 to 10:30 p.m.
I started my meal with a glass of delicious red wine. The 2016 Bouchard Aine & Fils Bourgogne rouge Burgundy, I imagine you guessed it, yes from France, was an excellent choice. It had strawberry notes, with access accents of baking spices. It’s a unique combination, off jammy, yet dry. The restaurant also has a Champagne cart, with a nice selection, including Dom Perignon, Ruinart blanc de blancs and Veuve Clicquot rose, to name a few.
Moments after being seated, a hot, fresh and delicious baguette and softened butter were delivered to the table. Don’t you love a restaurant where there’s temptation from the moment you’re seated? The seasonal fruit. wasn’t your typical fruit platter. I was pleasantly surprised to see, fresh oranges, kiwi, figs, pineapple and berries, in a generous portion that includes frozen yogurt – pistachio parfait and warm buckwheat beignets that were worth the calories.
Something of interest to wine connoisseurs, Coravin is the state-of-the-art line extraction system that allows the Bardot to serve world-class wines, not normally offered by the glass, without every removing the cork. One of the best is the 2011 Continuum cabernet blend, from Napa Valley. It tasted full of ripe berries, licorice and undertones of coffee, with a cedar finish.
Do you like steak tartare? You will enjoy prime fillet ground order, sauce verte, egg yolk, and gaufrette potato chips. Even the potato chips are out-of-this-world; super-thin, crispy and they looked like lace. It was truly delicious. Tender, flavorful and richly seasoned with oregano that tasted like the good stuff that my mother-in-law brings home from Greece. Trust me, there is a huge difference in where a spice comes from.
You simply must try the king crab and endive Caesar salad. It is an enormous plate of Belgian endive, Parmesan cheese, caper aioli and herb-seasoned breadcrumbs. The shellfish tower features center-cut king crab, Maine lobster, premium oysters and jumbo shrimp. This interesting dish is a tasting sensation.
It was wonderful to have a choice of ordering so many delicious dishes on their extensive menu for brunch. They also have a raw bar and 13 main courses to select from. I chose the Maine lobster scramble. It was prepared with summer squash, fresh basil, squash blossom pistou, cherry tomatoes and chickpea fries. I was also delighted to try the croissant benedict. You get two poached eggs and sautéed spinach in béarnaise. Your choices are prosciutto di Parma, short ribs bourginon, smoked salmon or Haas avocado.
Be prepared to have to lay down or jump up and down to get your jeans zipped up tomorrow.
Gerti shared, “Hospitality is simply an opportunity to show love and care.”
If you’re in the mood for cocktails, the classic bloody mary is made with Belvedere vodka, Roma tomato and garnish that looks like art. The French mule is made with yellow Chartreuse, yuzu and ginger.
You might be asking if I really drank and ate that much, all at one time. The answer is no. Flights from the Santa Maria public airport were about the price of a tank of gas and the parking was free. It was so good that I went back again two weeks later and took a few friends with me. Work hard and play hard, right?