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Dining

Bagatelle refocuses as poolside cafe

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Bagatelle’s Benedict incorporates crab cakes and asparagus.
Photo: Adam Shane

Confession: I didn’t know what to make of Bagatelle when it first arrived in Las Vegas. A famed club and brunch destination that originated in St. Barths, it took over a large chunk of the refreshed Tropicana thanks to the One Group, the company that operates the successful STK at Cosmopolitan and is expanding with venues at the Palms. Bagatelle Las Vegas was billed as an opulent, modern supper club at night, transforming into a party-ready, beach-influenced brunch for weekends. It all seemed incredibly ambitious.

The Details

Bagatelle
Tropicana, 701-0200.
Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Clearly, plans have changed. Bagatelle is taking a more simple approach heading from spring into the busy summer season. There’s no dinner service now, and former STK sous chef Adam Hickman has taken over the kitchen to churn out comfortable brunch dishes that complement the sleek, white pool-club environs.

Cocktails are fun and tasty, particularly the Bloody Margaux, which gets its aggressive spice and tang from a house-made tomato mix and Belvedere Citrus. For something a bit more Bagatelle-ish, try the Calibri: Moët, St-Germain and Chambord.

Around the pool, there’s a menu of reasonably priced snacks, salads, wraps, sandwiches and flatbreads, appropriately anchored by the hangover helper ($12)—bacon, egg and cheese on a buttery croissant. If you’re dining for real on the spacious decks overlooking the pool and cabana space, the menu is a bit more refined, if still compact.

Entrées are champagne-friendly, like rich Nutella and berry-stuffed French toast ($18) or a lobster omelet ($35) crammed with sautéed spinach, white cheddar cheese and creamy avocado. There’s a solid caprese salad ($12) made with beefsteak tomatoes and brightened up with a bit of pesto, and an omelet version of the dish ($18) with lots of basil and mozzarella. My pick is Crab Oscar Benedict ($27), toasted English muffins topped with serious lump crab cakes, lightly charred asparagus, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce with a dense square of potato-onion hash on the side. It’s a decadent experience, what Bagatelle was always supposed to be about, even if things have been streamlined a bit.

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Brock Radke is Las Vegas Weekly's food editor and author of the Strip-focused column The Incidental Tourist. He has written ...

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