Bardot Brasserie & the Cocktails You Can Eat

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Every Bastille Day, I faithfully weave something French into my agenda.  Last year, Josh surprised me with a baguette and some cheeses.  The year before he and I stuffed ourselves with crêpes.  The year before that, I made Croque Madames.  Yes, it is all food-centric, but if quality food tradition with loved ones isn’t a French thing, then I hereby surrender my Francophile card.  Regardless, this Bastille Day would be slightly different.  I’d be spending it in Las Vegas, an oasis for fine dining, and even more so, a diamond mine for French fare.  The opportunities for a great French meal extend toward infinity, which made compiling a list of places to try a downright nightmare.  Six days and approximately twenty restaurants. Yet, after many hours of deliberation, menu comparison, and hair-pulling, I found one deserving of my precious limited time: Bardot Brasserie.

Image shows Bardot Brasserie Front and Bastille Day Display
Bardot Brasserie front and Bastille Day display

Located in the Aria, Bardot Brasserie is the child of renowned chef, Michael Mina, who boasts several other famed restaurants throughout the United States.  Offering a slightly modernized interpretation of French brasserie classics, such Coquilles St. Jacques and Duck Wings À L’Orange, Bardot is self-described as a ”nod to Hemingway’s Paris.” Sold.  I knew I had to experience it for myself as a Bastille Day treat.  If I can’t be at the Eiffel Tower to watch the fireworks live, then I’m at least going to hunker somewhere, have some escargot, and watch the festivities on the internet.

Did I experience a moveable feast at Bardot Brasserie? No.  Not in the conventional sense.  A happy discovery was made, and it did not involve escargot this time around.  Unbeknownst to me, the restaurant was celebrating Bastille Day itself with festive decorations and authentic French music, which included an accordion.  Does it get any better than an accordion? I would generally say no, but…

Image shows the bar at Bardot Brasserie
The gorgeous bar

It got better.

As a special Bastille Day guest, Bardot Brasserie hosted renowned Los Angeles cocktail chef, Matthew Biancaniello, who created a cocktail menu specific to the celebration based on his new book, Eat Your Drink: Culinary Cocktails.  Biancaniello’s farm-to-glass philosophy pushes the flavor boundaries with unusual organic ingredient combinations that deeply arouse the senses:

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The Cocktails:

  1. Roquette: Tanqueray 10 Gin, Lime, Agave, Wild Arugula
  2. The Last Tango: Bulldog Gin, Aged Balsamic, Strawberries, Wheatgrass-infused Saint Germain Foam
  3. Smoked Tomato: Smoked Tomato-infused Cap Rock Vodka, Cherry Tomatoes, Lovage, Ghost Pepper Salt
  4. Italian Greyhound: Aperol & Campari, Lime, Agave, Fresh Passion fruit

Generally, I rarely stray from a gin and tonic as a preferred cocktail.  It’s simple.  It’s refreshing. C’est parfait!  However, when an exceptional drink presents itself, I feel morally obligated to oblige.  Many of these concoctions had a complicated and savory flavor.  The Roquette offered peppery notes from the arugula, which took a few sips to genuinely appreciate. The subtle aroma from the cornflowers gifted the faintest hint of sweetness. It was delightfully peculiar. My favorite was The Last Tango, because frankly I never thought I would enjoy drinking balsamic.  Although, since that drink is gin-based, it had to be destined for greatness.

My time at Bardot Brasserie was spent ‘eating’ drinks, which blossomed a new appreciation for mixology.  I couldn’t help but feel completely French sitting at the bar, engaging in great conversation, and savoring a few exquisite cocktails that were artful and meticulously crafted.  The servers were passionate in making recommendations and explaining their creations.  Biancaniello himself took time to chat with guests to ensure that the beverages were perfect.  The French have profound respect for gastronomy and the camaraderie it encourages among friends and families.  Having that ideology in mind as I sipped on these intricate concoctions, I realized the experience was indeed the perfect way to celebrate a French national holiday.

Image shows Fresh aromatics to accompany the celebration's cocktails.
Fresh aromatics to accompany the celebration’s cocktails

I eagerly await my next trip to Bardot Brasserie.  Cheers! Santé!

À la prochaine!

 

  1. anette charlton

    August 13, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    The Bardot Brasserie looks fabulous with all the flowers on the counter. How fantastic that you were able to celebrate Bastille Day so far from France. I also celebrated Bastille Day with a luncheon for friends and attended the Bleu Blanc Rouge Festival on the weekend. I have never tried ‘eating’ a cocktail – sounds fun!

    1. Jessica

      August 15, 2016 at 11:16 am

      A luncheon with friends sounds like a lovely way to spend Bastille Day! Hopefully someday soon, I’ll be able to go to France again for the festivities. These cocktails were so fresh and flavorful- I highly recommend them if you are looking for something new to try!

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