Martha Stewart Keeps It Classy And Delicious At Her New Restaurant, The Bedford - Exclusive Interview

If there's anyone who is absolutely living their best life these days, it's Martha Stewart. The perennial lifestyle guru — whose success spans and glamorizes every corner of domestic bliss, from cooking to hosting, gardening, decorating, and more — only continues to grow her brand and elegantly thrive with each passing year. 2022 was no different. The year saw Stewart launch her own wine label, start a podcast, win a social media award, launch three new TV shows, and open her first restaurant — oh, and she turned 81 (in style, no doubt).

Stewart's debut into the restaurant industry was nothing less than extravagant, not that we expected anything less. The Bedford by Martha Stewart opened inside Paris Las Vegas, a Caesars Entertainment property, with a star-studded grand opening and a perpetually packed dining room ever since. The eatery is modeled after Stewart's home in Bedford, New York, and combines all the elements of East Coast charm with Stewart's penchant for cozy dinner parties and classic American fare with an elevated twist. On the menu, you'll find unassuming yet decadent dishes inspired by some of Stewart's most famous recipes, from her perfect roast chicken to her mother's pierogies, along with a cocktail menu spearheaded by a world-class, Martha-approved martini.

With all that behind her, the sky's the limit for Stewart's success in the year to come, and we got a front-row seat at the table recently to hear from the icon herself about all that and more. Stewart sat down with Tasting Table for an exclusive interview at The Bedford to discuss her restaurant's overnight success, the inspiration behind some of her gourmet menu favorites, and just a few of the exciting things she's got planned for 2023.

Martha Stewart talks 2023 and why she doesn't need a New Year's detox

First off, happy New Year!

Thank you.

Do you like to make New Year's resolutions?

No, I make objectives, not resolutions.

Are there any objectives you can share right now?

Well, I have several objectives that are personal. I'm making a new vegetable garden. That might sound like a minor objective, but there will be a book. There will be lots of video. There will be a very great artistic vegetable garden being created in the next couple months. That's an objective, and I have to fulfill it — because you can't start and then not finish.

For a lot of people, the new year means detoxing and whatnot after the holidays. Does your cooking style change this time of year?

Oh, I'm not a detoxer because I'm always on detox. I'm a very healthy eater, and I don't binge very much — in fact, hardly at all. I'm very moderate in my eating habits. Now, I have one thing that I'm doing this year in the next month that requires me to look amazing. I can't tell you what it is, but I have to be very careful for the rest of the month, and I have to work out like a maniac every single day.

Martha Stewart says The Bedford has exceeded her expectations

Five months into the restaurant, what has surprised you the most?

I didn't know what to expect ... Last night coming here [around seven], it was packed and it made me so happy. I went to every table and took pictures with everybody, but they weren't expecting me.

And I wasn't expecting to see ... I've been told I might get my weekly reports on how many meals were served, et cetera, but I was so pleased with the friendliness and the real enjoyment that people were having while eating in this place.

Obviously, The Bedford has some very high-profile neighbors, Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay, Chef Nobu, Lisa Vanderpump ...

All friends.

Did you talk to them or get any advice about opening a restaurant here in Las Vegas?

No, [I said] "I'll just wing it." I really like the people that we work with here at Caesars. They have been phenomenal, and they actually lived up to all my expectations. I kept saying, "Are you sure they're going to do that? And Kevin [Sharkey] and Thomas [Joseph] will work with me?" Yes, they said they would, and they actually did ...

Thomas Joseph works with me at my company and he's a genius. He's fantastic. Kevin Sharkey works on the decor of this restaurant, and he came out right before Christmas to decorate, and he'll come here and decorate for Mother's Day, Easter, kind of a springtime look.

They did such a good job ... That's Las Vegas. This is a show town. They can do anything.

Does it feel like you're walking through your house when you're here?

Yes — only much bigger.

To make facsimiles of my terribly expensive bird photographs ... They all look a little different from mine because these are fakes. But they look real. These lamps are copies of what's actually in my kitchen .... All these tables are my design, and they actually executed them very well.

Everything — the scenery, the big photographs ... Those are actual photographs that I took of my property, and they blow them up and they're so pretty. They look so great and seasonal. There's snow outside [right now].

The Bedford features gourmet touches inspired by Martha Stewart's travels

Let's talk about this menu.

I want to serve people food that they will actually like. This is food that I serve in my own house and I have for years, and recipes that we've developed that we love are inspired by that. We keep adding to the menu. We'll remove a few things come spring and add some lighter fare — more fish.

I love that caviar features pretty heavily on this menu.

I've always liked caviar. We used to get little tiny tins of it and splurge with a tablespoon of it. Now, caviar has become ... In the last two years, it's a mainstay of almost every menu. That we can afford to dollop it onto a baked smashed potato is pretty luxurious, and it's nice.

People who have never eaten caviar before are enjoying it, learning about it. It's a sustainable food. We've actually learned how to farm caviar very well, so we're not relying on Russian caviar anymore or Iranian caviar. We're lucky.

I would never have thought to put it on a baked potato. Where was the inspiration for that?

I'm Polish and very close to Russia, and that was a common thing to do. On my last trip to Moscow, we were served baked potatoes with huge bowls of caviar. This was a few years ago. It was so fantastic, and the blinis there in Russia too ... The blinis are plate-size, and you put on your cream. You roll it and eat it like a sandwich. It's so good.

Something else on this menu that is so interesting is the bucatini with the bottarga shaved tableside. What was the inspiration for that?

I learned about bottarga on a beautiful yacht in the Adriatic. I went to Sardinia for the first time, and that's where a friend who had a villa there served me bottarga on bucatini. That's inspired by his recipe. I had it two weeks ago at my house, and it's very similar to the recipe we serve here. It is so good. Everybody likes it, and they don't know what the taste is. It's hard to find bottarga now — you have to buy it at specialty stores [or] you can order it online, but it's good.

You opt for Grana Padano across the menu instead of the typical Parmesan Reggiano.

Delicious cheese — it's a cheese we like. We look for very fine ingredients. This is Las Vegas; it's in the middle of the country, and we have to search for the finest ingredients. But because there's so many other good restaurants in this village, we have good suppliers.

Classic cooking tips straight from Martha Stewart

There is so much hype about the roast chicken on the menu and how perfect it is. What is the secret to it?

First of all, the chicken is a very good chicken. We buy the very best ingredients at this restaurant, and the herbs and the butter and the drying of the chicken ... That's very important to dry it before you roast it. It's refrigerated dry overnight, and that makes a big difference in a roasted chicken. I'm not the only person who does that. There's a lot of chefs that do it that way, and it makes a huge difference — the crispiness of the skin and the flavorful stuffing that's inserted under the skin. It's very good.

Do you think you'll bring a brunch menu to The Bedford?

Oh, yeah. We've already developed it. We just want to make sure that we have the active clientele for a brunch as well as dinner.

Is there anything you can share with me about what might be on the menu?

[It's] like my frittatas and the crustless quiche and other delicious foods — salads that are meal salads that you will love. There's a lot of nice fresh food.

You mentioned two egg dishes.

I raise my own chicken, and I have my own eggs. I get between 60 and 100 eggs a day at my house. I add it up — 31,500 eggs were laid at Bedford.

You've got a lot of eggs to make.

I was trying to think how much they could retail for, and it comes out to about $10,000 worth of eggs. That's a lot. But this is backyard poultry. The food for those chickens is way more than $10,000. It's a very, very inefficient way to get your eggs, except that my eggs are the best eggs that you'll have ever eaten.

Because your chickens are so happy.

They're so well-fed.

What is your favorite way to have eggs?

My favorite way is soft-boiled with steam. The New York Times ran a one-page story a couple years ago by [J.] Kenji López-Alt. He said he spent 10 years developing the steamed egg thing. I do it exactly the way that he told us to do it.

You put the eggs on a rack over water in a covered pan and bring the water to a boil. Put the eggs in the rack over the boiling water, cover, and do either three minutes, three and a half minutes, four minutes, or five minutes. The eggs not only are perfect for your taste, but they also peel perfectly. You can peel a soft-boiled egg with none of that silly struggling with the peel. It works, and that's the way I do it.

How many minutes for your perfect soft-boiled eggs?

My perfect egg is four minutes. The white is set, but the yolk is still beautiful, gold, and runny.

Martha Stewart loves a good cocktail and a good time

The Bedford also has a very good cocktail menu, and the Martha-tini is hugely popular.

I had one last night. It was perfect — shaken at the table. We're using a vodka called Żubrówka, which has bison grass in it.

What is the key to a perfect martini?

Icy cold, shaken, not stirred, and a little bit of vermouth ... The way they make them here, shaken at the table, is so charming. It's the way I would do it at home. I have shakers this big, I have shakers this big, and then I have one this big. [indicates sizes] You'll probably be seeing that in a Tito's ad soon ... I might have to change to Tito's.

I love Tito's.

I do too! I didn't know I did until I did my commercial for Tito's. We're going to have to develop a Tito's drink. It's corn. I didn't know it was corn until I started talking to the Tito's people, and then I got into it and I told them how much I liked this stuff. Then I did the commercial, which is hysterical.

And Snoop Dogg's reaction to it!

Wasn't he great?

It was so funny.

He's so great. I didn't ask him to do that — he just did it. I love him for that. He's spontaneous. But I do spontaneous things for him too. We have a Super Bowl commercial coming out. It's funny.

Speaking of that ad, is dry January something you do?

I don't drink a lot. I'm not a big drinker, but if I'm here sitting at this bar, Lemon Drops are delicious at this bar. The Martha-tinis are delicious. For dessert, I would opt for a Martha-Rita because they are really good, and they're good for dessert if you're going to drink. Again, in moderation, you can have whatever you want.

Do you have any current trendy cocktail obsessions right now?

In the fall, we were doing my bourbon sours with apple cider that I make myself. My granddaughter is now my cider maker. She comes up and grinds all the apples and makes the cider. That makes a big difference. I freeze it, so I always have fresh apple cider in the freezer. If you freeze it, it's fresh all year.

We're in Vegas. It's safe to say hangovers are pretty common here. When you do have a lot of martinis, do you have a go-to hangover dish or hangover cure?

I don't have any of those. I have not had a hangover since I went to visit my fiancé at Yale. That was the last time I had a hangover.

That's fabulous.

I drank gin instead of vodka, and that was a big mistake.

The queen of hosting on dinner party memories and dining with her bestie, Snoop Dogg

A lot of people who have visited this restaurant say it feels like stepping into a dinner party at your house. You've had many, many dinner parties over the years. What comes to mind when I ask you about the most memorable dinner party that you've ever hosted?

I've had quite a few, but one was ... Well, I had all the scientists from the institute at Princeton come to my house — the Institute for Advanced Studies. That's where the professor [who] developed the atom bomb [worked]. That was way long ago, and they still remember it. I keep bumping into some of these elderly professors, and they keep remembering that they came to my house and had this extraordinary dinner. It was quite a crowd.

I've had beautiful dinner parties in Maine. I did a great dinner at my house in East Hampton on my porch for about a hundred people to celebrate Dom Pérignon. It was so fantastic. Every celebrity that was in East Hampton was there sitting on my porch eating couscous with champagne. It was fantastic. They set up a giant tent, a big round tent on my lawn, and inside [it told] the story of the making of the wine. I had a circular lawn and they set up this big, very expensive tent. It was fun.

You've had some high-profile guests at the restaurant. It was awesome when Snoop Dogg came and surprised you at the grand opening. What is Snoop Dogg's favorite thing on the menu?

He ate roast chicken. Snoop has a very pedestrian [appetite]. He's not experimental. When we had our show together, it was very hard for him to eat things. He would not eat caviar ... He likes very — not ordinary, I wouldn't say ordinary — but well-made food. He has a cookbook that's been a bestseller. If you read the recipes, you'll see there's nothing wildly gourmet about it.

The Bedford by Martha Stewart is now open at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. For the latest updates and inspiration from Martha, keep up with her on Instagram and her website.

This interview has been edited for clarity.