Pumpkin Muffin / Banana Nut Muffin / Spiced Pear with Mascarpone and Nuts / Traditional Museli
Chocolate Glazed Doughnut with Jimmies / Sprinkle Doughnuts
Bananas Foster French Toast – Battered Brioche, Ambros Banana Whiskey, Caramelized Bananas, Berries
Mango Pancakes with Apple Glaze / Sage Fried Chicken with Bacon Waffles and Spicy Maple Syrup / Sticky Bun
Currant Scones / Butter Scones / Lemon Curd / Mascarpone Cheese Blintz with Apple Glaze / Sea Salt Brioche
Pork Sausage Links / Chicken and Apple Sausage / Egg White Frittata with Tomatoes / Chilaquiles / Farro with Roasted Fall Vegetables and Dried Fruits
Blueberry Coffee Cake / Iced Lemon Loaf/ Croissant / Honeycomb / Pain au Chocolat / Apple Danish / Apricot Danish
Bread Pudding with Chocolate and Vanilla Anglaise
“Hidden in plain sight” at Four Seasons Hotel, Veranda has long been recognized as one of Sin City’s best Brunches, and on Saturday morning as a party of three the ground-floor Restaurant located on Las Vegas Boulevard’s south end was found busy as ever, though not all was so great as memory serves.
Now twenty years old, and to this day a far more reserved environment than the sprawling Buffets of Casinos inhabited by “Vegas Baby!” bachelorettes chugging Mimosas, it was after ten minutes at the hostess’ stand that patio seating was procured, a crowd of ‘Boomers predictably present alongside Europeans with many lingering over Coffee and conversation for hours.
Accessed this time from Four Seasons’ Valet, the $22 charge validated by Veranda saving a lengthy walk from Mandalay Bay self-parking, it was once seated that a pleasant waiter approached offering Drinks, Coffee and Juice complimentary with the $42 Buffet or at-cost with a substantially truncated list of a la carte options.
Recently doing away with dinner service and Chef Joel Ott, the focus now Breakfast and Lunch plus weekend Brunch, it was after a sip of Orange Juice deemed ‘very acidic’ by those drinking that a first look was taken at Veranda’s spread, several familiar items quickly noted though the highly recommended Nutella Croissants from February have been replaced by Spanish Tortilla with Pork.
Losing the “Italian” theme across all but a few Pizzas and Pastas on the Lunch menu, and apparently content to keep a low profile inside the gaming-free luxury resort, plate one consisted of starters including two types of Muffins plus chilled fruit, the former highlighted by fluffy Pumpkin topped with Pepitas while the latter used a similar blend of spices to accent Museli and Poached Pears topped with Nuts plus Mascarpone.
Getting to freshly fried Doughnuts quickly this time, first with Sprinkles and later rolled through Cinnamon-Sugar, it was from the a la carte menu that Bananas Foster French Toast was added, the $22 tag undeniably a bit steep though otherwise it would be difficult to find any fault in crustless Brioche with locally-made Banana Whiskey Syrup and Fruit.
Surprised to see Mango Pancakes, though the Fruit flavor was subtle and better enjoyed with Apple Glaze intended for Blintzes that were under-filled in comparison to past visits, there also seems to have been a change in the Waffles served as a base for Sage-fried Chicken, the Bird still delicious with or without Syrup while the Waffles themselves were dry even after being replaced by a fresh batch.
Impressed again by bite-size Sticky Buns, and also by buttery Scones intended to be eaten with tangy Lemon Curd, it is unfortunate that Sea Salt Brioche also memorable from February was remarkably dry, though the Lemon Quickbread with Icing offered a tremendous upgrade on Veranda’s prior Lemon-Poppyseed Loaf.
Finding both styles of Sausage enjoyable, as too were Chilaquiles, those seeking lighter options will likely be impressed by Egg White Frittatas with Tomatoes and Mozzarella while the Farro with Roasted Vegetables tastes like a Thanksgiving side-dish with sweetness added by Raisins and Apricots.
Smartly taking one last look at the Pastry cart, several styles of Viennoiserie performing well with the Pain au Chocolate standing out, it was after a wedge of Blueberry Coffee Cake that Bread Pudding was liberally topped with Anglaise, the top layers still some of Vegas’ best while the Chocolate-lined bottom was unfortunately soggy to the point that it could have been consumed through a straw.
THREE STARS: Up from $39 to $42 per guest over the past nine-months, Veranda has additionally done away with Dinner to focus on Brunch and Lunch, though offerings have been truncated with few noteworthy improvements, several unlabeled items and a few disappointments in comparison to past visits.
RECOMMENDED: Sage Fried Chicken, Chicken and Apple Sausage, Chilaquiles, Spiced Pear with Mascarpone and Nuts, Butter Scones, Lemon Curd, Sticky Bun, Pain au Chocolat, Pumpkin Muffin, Iced Lemon Loaf, Bananas Foster French Toast.
AVOID: Bacon Waffles, Sea Salt Brioche Muffin, Mango Pancakes, Orange Juice.
TIP: Breakfast is offered 6:30am until 11:00am from Monday through Friday and beginning at 7:00am on Weekends while the Brunch Buffet runs 8:00am until 1:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays only. Please note that the French Toast is not included on the Buffet and costs $22.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.