Martha Stewart has done what many would have called impossible: With her thirst trap Instagram posts and her delightful friendship with Snoop Dogg, she has cultivated a new and younger fan base, one just as fervent as the generation of homemakers who shot her to fame in the 1980s. So it only makes sense that she chose Las Vegas, in the middle of arguably the cutest casino—Paris Las Vegas—as the site of her very first restaurant, The Bedford.
And while Martha could have opened a restaurant whenever she wanted, after visiting The Bedford, it seems to me that at age 81, she chose the perfect time to do it. I don’t use this superlative lightly, but the meal I enjoyed ranks among the most perfect dining experiences I’ve ever had.
Martha Stewart, in restaurant form
Granted, I was primed to like my visit. Even though I’ve never knitted anything in my life and I’ve never canned any kind of preserve, I love Martha Stewart with a deep, unshakeable adoration, due in equal part to her badass boss attitude and her uncanny ability to be good at basically everything.
On one blissful morning in grad school, I got to visit Martha Stewart Omnimedia’s offices in Manhattan. Displayed on a counter in the test kitchen was the exact wedding cake that graced the cover of the current issue of Martha Stewart Living, a copy of which I had in my bag at the time. I truly could have died of happiness that day.
But back to The Bedford. The restaurant isn’t really advertised as fine dining. Rather, as the website says, it’s an “authentic, immersive experience,” meant to evoke the feeling of being a guest in Martha’s home, a 1925 farmhouse in Bedford, New York.
She’s not in charge of the kitchen—that’s the domain of Chef Pierre Schaedelin—but her touches are everywhere, from the gleaming copper pots hanging between the kitchen and the dining room, to the china cabinet with artfully stacked serving plates and cake stands inside.
“Martha Stewart and her team have curated all elements of décor to make this space feel just like you are a guest in Martha’s home,” the restaurant’s website reads. “You will feel like every touch was crafted by Martha.”
To get to The Bedford, you walk through the doors of Paris Las Vegas and immediately onto the gaming floor, which is set underneath the base of the hotel’s Eiffel Tower. Walk past a string of French-inspired stores and the Vanderpump a Paris restaurant on “Le Boulevard,” and you’ll be hit with a wall of neutral tones that stands in stark contrast to that sensory-saturated environment. The restaurant is decorated in the tones of her home: white, cream, light gray, punctuated with vivid blues and greens through the windows.
The best food at The Bedford by Martha Stewart
My friend and I sat down at our table near the open kitchen and noticed two things about the menu right away. First, everything was expensive. And second, we wanted it all.
The menu is best described as loosely French-inspired, but with Italian touches in the pastas and properly Vegas-sized steaks. There are also a handful of family recipes on the menu, which Martha serves to guests in her home. Some of these dishes have appeared in her cookbooks, which lined the bookshelves in the dining room.
We were going to skip the house-made bread basket ($11.95), but our server told us it was unmissable, and he was right. It had perfect Parker House rolls; a sour cherry-rosemary focaccia that was both sweet and savory and had chewy, caramelized edges; and crispy, cracker-like flatbreads inlaid with fresh vegetables and herbs.
Next up were two starters, Ricotta-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms ($22.95) and Alexis’s Chopped Salad ($25.95). The zucchini blossoms were stuffed with spinach, lemon, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, and just enough ricotta to bind them together, then barely breaded and fried. They were by far the lightest and most flavorful version I’ve ever had, and came with a plate of sliced heirloom tomatoes that really added to the whole thing.
The Alexis’s salad came with corn, green beans, tomatoes, and peppers in a light vinaigrette; it was good, but it suffered by comparison. As we ate it, I explained to my friend that Alexis is Martha’s daughter.
“Is she skinny?” she asked. When I said yes, she replied, “Yeah. Tastes like it.”
There are a variety of things on the menu to which you can add caviar, and what I had seen online before my visit indicated that I’d be missing something if I didn’t partake. The star of the show seemed to be Martha’s Smashed Baked Potato ($15.95), a dish that is “smashed” tableside with creme fraiche, chives, and bacon lardons—or served with an ounce of Golden Osetra caviar for an additional $99.95.
“It’s good,” our server said, “especially with the tableside show… but the pierogies are just incredible.”
So we opted for Big Martha’s Pierogies ($29.95). It’s a recipe from Martha’s mother, Big Martha, and comes served in a brown butter sauce, and added caviar to that. Soft, rich, savory—even without the caviar, I still would have said this was the best pierogi I’ve ever had. We were already feeling full, but I couldn’t resist polishing off the last one on the plate. I didn’t care if I would regret it later.
For my main, I opted for Salmon en Croute ($35.95), which featured salmon steak and salmon mousse baked in puff pastry and finished with a lemon beurre blanc sauce.
“I never would have ordered this,” my friend said after sampling it. “How is this so good?”
She chose the Short Rib Ragu ($38.95) with meat and vegetables braised in red wine and served over fresh pasta. It was much more delicate than it sounds, and was easy to identify the disparate layers of flavor, even in a dish where everything was cooked together.
We were bursting, but didn’t want to leave without dessert, so we shared the Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Pie, different than I’d ever had it prepared before. Martha’s version involves crispy, chewy meringue cookies around a lemon curd, topped with whipped cream. For the third time that night, I said, “This is the best one of these I’ve ever had.”
While all of the food was excellent and intricately prepared, none of it felt fussy. The server’s recommendations made us feel like we were being hosted at a dinner party, not sitting through a fancy, multi-course restaurant meal.
Part of that feeling of hospitality came from all of the tableside preparations. I saw Martha-tinis being prepared at another table, as well as a 32-oz. Prime Bone-In Rib Eye for two ($159.95) and a Whole Roast Chicken ($89.95) sliced on a rolling tray beside other guests. But part of it definitely came from the decor, the aesthetics, and the overall atmosphere, which all felt very much in-world for Martha’s life, at least as far as any of us can understand it.
Then came the check, and the final flourish to remind us that Martha is, first and foremost, a savvy business person. As he handed over a QR code, our server explained that everything in the restaurant, from those copper pans in the kitchen to the cake stands to the lamps on the tables, were available for purchase. It’s Martha’s world, and we’re all living in it.