Whether you’re a Martha Stewart fan or not, one cannot dispute the influence the 81-year-old powerhouse has had on the way Americans eat, entertain, and decorate their homes. The once-stockbroker-turned-domestic-queen has built a media empire surrounding her refined aesthetic, and she recently stamped her name on a new restaurant called the Bedford by Martha Stewart on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Bedford is modeled after her farmhouse in New York’s star-studded Northern Westchester County and aims to replicate the feeling of being a guest in her home. Details including the tall ceilings, wood paneling, and gleaming copper pots that hang above the marble counter were approved by Stewart herself. The same can be said of the menu that includes the icon’s take on familiar crowd pleasers — such as Caesar salad, fettuccine, and 16-ounce prime New York strip steak. French dishes such as Nicoise salad, salmon en croûte, and bouillabaisse befit the Paris Las Vegas Hotel location.
The Paris culinary team worked with Stewart and her executive vice president Thomas Joseph to refine every item’s flavor and presentation, which is kept simple. “Martha is not one to put micro greens on everything or have really fussy plating,” says Chef Erin Fouhey, executive chef of Paris Las Vegas. “It’s about showcasing the ingredients themselves. We’re not using tweezers to place things.”
Here is a closer look at some of Martha’s favorite dishes at the Bedford.
At the top of the cocktail list is the Martha-tini, one of Stewart’s favorites and currently the restaurant’s number one-selling drink. Presented tableside, the crystal clear cocktail is served in an ice-cold martini glass. It’s important that the shaker is filled with fresh ice immediately before it goes out on the cart to avoid any dilution, plus “Martha loves icy shards in her martini,” says general manager Megan Carraher. The drink is made by combining oils from a Meyer lemon peel with four ounces of Żubrówka bison grass vodka and Dolin vermouth.
Whole Roast Chicken
Fouhey explains that Stewart prefers not to do a wet brine, so the bird is seasoned and salted and then left out to dry, a process that Fouhey says keeps the skin crispy. Then, she stuffs a mix of brioche breadcrumbs, butter, parsley, thyme, and rosemary underneath the skin of the bird. Before the chicken is placed in the oven, the outside of the skin is seasoned with salt and pepper and rubbed with more French butter. Finally, the organic four-pound chicken is placed on one of the restaurant’s custom carts and plugged with two rosemary sprigs before a server carves it tableside. The $90 entree is meant to be shared by two people, and the restaurant serves an average of 20 per night.
Martha’s Smashed Baked Potato
Though the idea of Stewart smashing a hot potato on her counter may seem unlikely, she demonstrates the unconventional technique in an online video, filmed in her Bedford home. In the TikTok video, Stewart reveals the potato’s fluffy, pillowy texture, and tops it with creme fraiche and a generous dollop of caviar — because of course she does. It starts at $16 without caviar and a whopping $116 more if you want to add one ounce of Golden Osetra. “The smash is what it’s all about,” says Fouhey. “If you slice the potato in half and fluff it with a fork, you’re not going to get the same result.” At the Bedford, a server cuts a little slash into the Yukon potato to break the skin at the bottom before they slam it into the cart’s marble surface. It is then reshaped, finished with butter, salt and pepper, and served with chives, lightly crisped Nueske bacon lardons, and creme fraiche.
Big Martha’s Pierogis
The Polish dumplings are Stewart’s mother’s recipe, and priced at $30, they are one of the Bedford’s most popular dishes. “If there’s anything that represents Martha and her brand, it is the pierogis,” says Fouhey, who paid extra attention to nailing down the recipe. The filling’s main components are a mixture of potato, cream cheese, green onions, and brown butter. The pillowy dumplings are gently laid in a dish lightly filled with nutty browned butter. “The first time Martha came in and tried everything on the menu, I was really relieved that one passed, and she was happy with it,” Fouhey says.
For an appetizer that can also serve as a meal, the Bedford’s crab cake is priced at $33. “This crab cake is all about showcasing the crab itself,” says Fouhey. Its ingredients are few and simple: roast yellow peppers, cilantro for freshness, fresh lemon juice for brightness, lemon zest, and of course, jumbo lump crab that is mixed with a little bit of mayonnaise and brioche bread crumbs. A very light egg wash, flour, and Panko bread crumbs create a light breading on the outside that is cooked to a golden crisp.
The five-ounce crab cake is served alongside a bright mix of Granny smith apples, celery root, and carrots tossed with a tangy, lemon dijon dressing to balance the sweet, plump seafood.