I just spent some time in Vegas and with the multitude of restaurants available to choose from it can be a conundrum as to which places are worth trying. There’s something for everyone and Vegas is now a world class dining destination with top chefs striving for centre attention.
Some of my personal favorites have been the Picasso restaurant at the Bellagio with authentic Picasso paintings throughout the restaurant (as you can imagine this really adds to the whole ambiance), Joe’s Stone Crab at Caesars Palace, Mon Ami Gabi (a classic French Bistro at Paris where they serve you warm fresh baked french bread in paper bags), Mizumi sushi at Wynn, Carnegie Deli at the Mirage (where size counts as much as quality), Satay Thai Bistro & Bar on Paradise Road (excellent Pad Thai & Panang Curry) and now Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan hotel (this is the sparkliest hotel on the strip).
One late afternoon turned into early evening with 3 others eating at Wicked Spoon (I did stop for a break once in a while before getting up to fill my plate again) because guess what? It’s a buffet! Wait a sec…it’s not your typical traditional style which has been around for decades and which nearly every hotel offers. You know the ones that offer the regular salad fare, carving station with sides and desserts.
The wicked Spoon buffet at the Cosmopolitan hotel has turned tradition on its ear. It’s a fine cut (pun intended) above. Here you don’t need to worry about filling up on one thing too quickly or accidentally getting a large helping of something you don’t really like. Most items are served in a reasonable portion on a small individual plate or in a tiny individual metal saucepan. And since they’re of gourmet quality, chances are you’ll probably like everything.
Much like any buffet, the Wicked Spoon is divided into sections, beginning with a salad area. But don’t expect the traditional bowl of lettuce with dressings and toppings, though. Instead you’ll find items like Italian panzanella bread salad, chickpea salad, hummus and pita slices and a nice selection of cheeses. There’s a traditional carving station, serving things you’d expect like prime rib and pork, but you’ll also find out-of-the-ordinary items like roasted bone marrow, turkey wellington, meaty beef ribs, lamb and bouillabaisse which included giant gulf shrimp. Sidenote: the Southern fried chicken served in their little individual frying cages was delish.
There are a wide variety of side dishes to accompany the meat. Don’t miss the truffled scalloped potatoes. Other choices include “angry” mac and chesse, which has a smoky, chipotle flavor. Vegetables include a delicious brown butter roasted cauliflower and a ricotta creamed spinach.
An Italian food station is filled with a variety of pizzas and pastas you’d see in the finest Italian restaurant including an asiago gnocchi in lamb ragout; a goat cheese ravioli; and a tomato and asparagus risotto.
The last station is an Asian food bar that offers items like orange chicken, Korean barbecued ribs in kimchi, sushi and cute tiny Chinese takeout containers filled with just the right amount of rice or noodles.
With all of the amazing food choices at the Wicked Spoon, it is hard to pace yourself and save room for dessert, but trust me, you must. The dessert bar features an impressive and colourful array of treats including enormous chocolate-covered strawberries, red velvet cookies and pastries galore. For those with health concerns, there is a large case of sugar-free desserts.
I heard that the gelato bar is an absolute must-try offering a wide variety of flavours including strawberry balsamic and salted caramel peanut. But at this point I really did not have room for one more morsel…and I LOVE gelato. This was the buffet to end all buffets (at least for now).
Photos: d. king