Martha Stewart’s Simple Trick for Wowing Dinner Party Guests Entails Smashing a Potato With Her Own Hand (Yes, Tableside)
She is, after all, one of the world’s premiere domestic entertainers, so there’s no question the event would be epic. And while this exact experience will probably forever remain a pipe dream, I actually came pretty darn close to living it when I was invited to join Stewart for a chat at her Las Vegas restaurant, The Bedford. During our brief but fruitful sit down, I managed to snag some major entertaining tips from the iconic lifestyle guru—including her favorite low-cost, low-lift way to zhuzh up a seated dinner.
Stewart's unexpected dinner party trick involves, of all things, a humble potato. More specifically, it involves picking up a fresh-out-of-the-oven baked ‘tater with a hot glove and smashing it down onto a cutting board. “I’ve smashed potatoes tableside at home since I bought my house in Maine about 18 years ago,” says Stewart. “It’s a simple, actually scientific thing to do. It breaks up the fiber.”
The Bedford’s menu, Stewart tells me, is inspired by things she serves at home, so it had to feature her signature smashed potato. The restaurant’s version is a jumbo oven-roasted Yukon Gold potato finished with butter, salt and pepper, and served with creme fraiche, chives, and bacon lardons. For the truly decadent, Golden Osetra Caviar is also added. “It's utterly delicious,” Stewart tells me. “The fact that nobody's ever done it in a restaurant before is weird.”
“It's utterly delicious. The fact that nobody's ever done it in a restaurant before is weird.” —Martha Stewart
This smashing presentation is not the only tableside event featured at The Bedford, either, and Stewart tells me the others are fair game for copycatting at home, too.
The roast chicken, for example, is carved tableside. But even just serving The Bedford’s version sans fanfare would be enough to impress your guests—it’s seriously the most delicious chicken I’ve ever tasted. While the restaurant isn’t willing to part with the proprietary recipe used by its chef, they tell me the preparation is a two-day process, starting with a salt rub and finishing with an herb stuffing under the skin and a butter coating to roast. The finished bird is then served with an herb-roasted chicken jus.
Stewart tells me you can grab her favorite cocktail shaker and copy The Bedford’s tableside Martha-tini in your own home, too. “It's fun to see somebody shake and shake a martini, and then make fun of Tom Cruise—remember Risky Business?—doing the bartending,” she says. (Sadly, I am actually old enough to remember that movie, but Stewart tells me not to worry, because age isn’t *a thing*.) Tableside bartending is, of course, something she does at her own home—of which the restaurant’s dining room is a near-exact replica of.
All this talk of Stewart’s party-throwing prowess, coupled with my adoration of absolutely every word that comes out of her mouth, has me more desperate than ever to be invited over to hers. Of course, I’m far from alone in this desire, and Stewart’s depth of experience playing hostess is why she’s so confident in the continued success of The Bedford. “I thought, ‘This is probably a good way to entertain the public’,” she says. “Because everybody loves coming to my house for dinner.”
“I thought, ‘This is probably a good way to entertain the public’,” Stewart says. “Because everybody loves coming to my house for dinner.”
I bet they do, Martha. I. Bet. They. Do.
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