September 15, 2022 - 7:50 am
Except for a 32-ounce bone-in ribeye and buckwheat crêpes anointed with briny beads of Osetra, the whole roast chicken is the most expensive item ($89.95) without add-ons from the menu at The Bedford by Martha Stewart, the restaurant recently opened by the DIY doyenne in Paris Las Vegas.
Now, it must be noted that, short of jewelry cooked in the cavity, the dish is pricey poultry by most measures. Except this is Vegas, and there have been big-ticket birds before. Recalling just one: the $100 chicken and waffles (duck fat, foie gras, caviar) once featured by Yardbird in The Venetian.
Martha’s chickens come from D’Artagnan, the posh supplier of organic, antibiotic-free and hormone-free meats. The bird is stuffed with breadcrumbs, it’s carved tableside (by Emanuel Jackson, on broiler), and it easily feeds two (or even three). And most important: It’s delicious.
Julia Child used to say you can judge a restaurant by its roast chicken. Julia would approve of The Bedford because the folks in the kitchen are poultry poobahs, their birds emerging crisp, moist, salty, fatty — in just the right amounts. The chickens arrive at the table in gleaming oval pans, set with sprigs of rosemary.
A friend and I stop by the other evening for roast chicken and wine amid the glossy grays of The Bedford’s faux bois dining room.
Our server wears a white wait coat, part of The Bedford uniform. He introduces himself as Ishmael. For a moment, I’m tempted by a “Moby Dick” bon mot (or what I fool myself into thinking might be a bon mot), but young Ishmael has undoubtedly had to endure such attempts his whole life.
So, instead, I order the roast chicken and turn to gossip with my friend.