Posted on: October 5, 2022, 02:34h.
Last updated on: October 5, 2022, 04:34h.
The Bedford by Martha Stewart at Paris Las Vegas is the latest restaurant to be scolded by New York Times food critic Pete Wells.
Wells is notorious for panning restaurants, both new and old. He made many headlines in the fall of 2019 for lambasting Brooklyn’s Peter Luger Steak House, often considered one of the nation’s best steakhouses. Wells gave Peter Luger zero stars in a scathing review, concluding that the steaks are “far from the best New York has to offer.”
Wells has been the Times’ restaurant critic since succeeding Sam Sifton in November 2011. While Wells focuses on eateries in New York City, the critic recently traveled to Las Vegas to check out The Bedford, billed as Stewart’s first restaurant.
Wells didn’t like the experience.
The food critic says Stewart is known for teaching her fans and viewers about the comforts and pleasures of hosting and entertaining, though that falls flat in Las Vegas. Wells says Stewart’s touch on The Bedford is little more than her name, as dining there “is less a participatory activity than a spectator sport.”
Wells says Caesars Entertainment, which operates the Paris casino and resort, said The Bedford is owned by the casino company and is using Stewart’s name through a licensing partnership.
“In other words, The Bedford is not Ms. Stewart’s ‘first restaurant,’ as many news reports have said,” Wells wrote in his Tuesday review. “It is not, in fact, ‘hers’ at all. She is neither an owner nor the chef.”
“It is almost certainly, however, the first Martha Stewart-themed restaurant,” Wells determined.
Wells described a rather ho-hum, overpriced dining experience at Stewart’s Las Vegas restaurant. The critic said the baked potato he was served was lukewarm and overprized at $15.95, while the $89.95 whole roasted chicken was “on its way toward room temperature, too.”
Wells said the steak tartare at $27.95 was “distractingly sweet.” The $29.95 oysters Rockefeller seemed to be missing the Pernod cream sauce, which allowed the chopped spinach and watercress to present “a mulched-grass texture that might have been produced by the bright-orange mower that Ms. Stewart once rode around her farm to the delight of her Instagram followers.”
Wells did highlight some strong points of the restaurant, namely the bread basket and pierogis. But as for The Bedford marketing the eatery as an authentic experience that Stewart provides her family and guests at her stately New York farmhouse in the Bedford hamlet, Wells cautions potential diners to look elsewhere for a reservation.
I somehow doubt that Ms. Stewart slaps baked potatoes on a cart when she has friends over for dinner,” Wells critiqued. “The cooking is supposed to be as comforting and reassuring as the pierogi, but much of it lands somewhere between boring and careless.”
Wells was equally difficult on Guy Fieri, another celebrity restauranteur who operates “Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar” in Las Vegas at The Linq. While reviewing Fieri’s Times Square location in 2012, Wells said the food is “as not seen on TV.”
The Bedford by Martha Stewart opened in mid-August, and while Wells wasn’t a fan, most others who have issued public reviews have predominantly given the restaurant high marks.
Of the 69 reviews on Google, The Bedford averages a rating of 3.9/5 stars — not bad for a new restaurant.
“We had such a lovely meal!” said local guide Jason Eaton-Lynch. “Absolutely delicious,” added Google reviewer Jess Johnson.
Ryan Levine, another Las Vegas local guide, said Stewart’s restaurant was “a wonderful experience,” and the food was “phenomenal.” Another Southern Nevada resident, Katie Shipley, said it was “one of the best meals start to finish” she’s ever had in Las Vegas.
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