I’ve written extensively about the dramatic upscaling of that once tawdry Sin City institution, the Las Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet. Now the evolution has gone a step further, with the city’s first ever Chef’s Table within a buffet.
I’ve been covering the Vegas food scene for more than 15 years, and have visited more than three dozen times. For most of those trips, with the exception of some stunning Sunday brunch versions (especially Bally’s Sterling and Jasmine in Bellagio), buffets remained mainly a bargain excuse for mediocre gluttony of chafing dishes and peel your own shrimp.
That changed dramatically with the opening of the food centric Cosmopolitan casino resort, which added its Wicked Spoon buffet, featuring cooked-to-order stations, elaborately plated small plate portions, and a full scooped-on-demand gelato bar, with a blaring absence of communal serving vessels such as giant salad bowls and chafing dishes. The Wicked Spoon concept was followed by a revamp of the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, which went the same fancy presentation route, and added elaborate dim sum, sushi, raw bar and charcuterie stations, along with cooked-to-order dessert soufflés.
The next shot in the escalating buffet quality war was just fired by theBellagio, again raising the bar in Vegas all-you-can-eat with this V.I.P. private table experience. “Buffets represent the ultimate indulgence, and the Chef’s Table is our way of offering the attentive service of a fine dining restaurant with the variety of offerings afforded at a buffet,” said Bellagio Executive Chef Edmund Wong via a release. “Our culinary team is very focused on creating one-of-a-kind experiences for our guests. Our goal is to engage guests with this blend of luxury, chef interaction and entertainment.”
Edmund Wong, Executive Chef at the Bellagio Casino Resort in Las Vegas, serves guests at the new Chef’s Table within the hotel’s buffet.
Upon arrival at the Bellagio Buffet, guests bypass the main line and are escorted to the Chef’s Table. A team of chefs welcomes the group with an assortment of seasonal fruits, house-baked fresh breads and canapés displayed on the table. Next, they review a specialty menu focused on seasonal ingredients, which typically includes artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, caviar, salads prepared tableside with fresh dressings, premium meat carvings such as lamb and prime rib, and a chocolate dessert fondue presentation with fresh fruit, brownies and marshmallows. Many of these dishes are prepared tableside, while guests can also sample everything that is normally on the huge buffet.
The Chef’s Table experience is available nightly via reservation, costing $54-$60 (special pricing at holidays) and for parties of eight or more.
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