BG Bistro brings Bulgarian flavors to Las Vegas

Updated January 28, 2018 - 5:21 pm

BG Bistro bills itself as “the only Bulgarian restaurant on the U.S. West Coast,” and as a standard bearer, it’s doing a fine job.

Bulgaria shares borders with Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia and Macedonia. Just as foodways have a tendency to ignore geographic delineations, Bulgaria and its neighbors have over the centuries shared hints of their cuisines.

An example was a starter of yogurt and feta dip ($6.95), which owed a little to all of its neighbors. BG Bistro has a set menu and a long list of specials available each day, and this dish was on the latter.

What sounded like a commonplace bowl of dip turned out to be four scoops of rich, creamy Bulgarian yogurt with copious chunks of Bulgarian feta (slightly saltier than Greek) and enough garlic to ward off a vampire — not a bad thing. The crowning touch was a sprinkle of finely grated orange zest, a refreshingly astringent counterpoint. Thick, well-toasted slices of bread were an effective vehicle for consuming it.

Also on the specials list was musaka ($10.95), which may bring to mind the Greek moussaka, and the question of which came first (with Turkish cuisine in there) would be hard to settle.

There’s no eggplant in the Bulgarian dish; this had sliced potatoes layered with ground lamb and a tomato sauce with the customary warm seasonings, and a baked topping of yogurt in place of bechamel. Because potatoes have a more neutral flavor than eggplant, the spotlight was on the earthy goodness of the lamb.

Two classic dishes from the standing menu were stuffed red peppers and kebapcheta.

The first was a starter of small, tender red peppers ($7.75), coated with a prodigious crunch that was an effective contrast to the melty feta mixture that oozed from within.

And kebapcheta ($7.50), the sausages that hold a prominent place in Bulgarian cuisine. These are casing-less links, the meats finely ground and formed into long cylinders and grilled. As is traditional, they were served in a trio, a juicy mix of beef and pork with a beguiling and ethereal wisp of cumin.

Other sides are available but the customary fries were hot and crisp and graced with shredded sirene cheese, a little less crumbly than the feta.

Service was pleasant and well- intentioned if a bit inattentive at times with the two affable servers not quite coordinating, so that entrees ordered from one were a surprise to the other, although it all worked out in the end.

One caveat: There are separate entrances for the bar and the dining room, and it’s easy to wander into the wrong one by mistake. The bar is bright, noisy and pretty smoky. But the dining room is decorated in muted colors with accents of stone and wood, soft music (Sinatra and light jazz) and framed classical art. A couple of TVs were broadcasting sports, but the volume was low. That enabled us to notice that there was plenty of Bulgarian conversation going on, and expatriates in the house usually are a pretty good indication of authenticity.

Those expats were no doubt pleased when BG Bistro opened this summer, but it’s a great addition to Las Vegas dining in general.

Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like