Pain au Chocolat / Passion Fruit Baba au Rhum / Apple Turnover / Strawberry Danish / Apple Cobbler / Chocolate Donut / Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
Pineapple Carrot Rum Cake
Smoked Trout Mousse, Goat Cheese, Cream Cheese, Chive Cone / Quince Paste / Dates / Fruit and Fig Cake / 4-month Gorgonzola / Triple Cream Brie / Soprasetta / Genoa Salami
Banana Pecan Pancake / Cinnamon Pullman French Toast / Cream Chantilly, Pure Maple Syrup
Blue Crab Fried Rice with XO, Basil, Green Curry / Spicy Salmon Roll / California Roll / Tempura Roll / Five Spice Pork Belly with Hoisin Sauce / Teriyaki Chicken Thigh / Yakitsoba with Stir Fried Chicken and AO Nori
Congee, Chinese Sausage, Green Onion, Crispy Shallots, Chinese Donuts
Angry Mac n’ Cheese / Wicked Fried Chicken / Squid Ink Spaghetti, Fresno Chilis, Chives, Bottarga / Slab Bacon
Grilled Wheat Cake with Shrimp Ebi Yaki / 5-Spice Duck Wing over Rice
Red and Yellow Beets, Truffle Oil, Arugula, Minus 8 Vinegar / Sweet Polenta, Roasted Pears, Mascarpone / Goat Cheese Lavender Panna Cotta / Sticky Buns with Caramel Sauce
Chocolate Chip Cookie / Peanut Butter Cookie / Oatmeal Raisin Cookie / Chocolate Coffee Rice Crispy Treat / Tart au Citron / Salted Peanut Caramel Gelato / White Chocolate Coffee Gelato
Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcake/ Molten Chocolate Cake
Bacon, Egg, Cheese Panini / Pea Risotto with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes / Chicken Apple Sausage / Carne Pizza – Salami, Mortadella, Coppicolla, Buttermilk Blue Cheese / Wicked Pizza – Fingerling Potato, Bacon, Goat Cheese, Sundried Tomato, Onion
Apple Donut / Cherry Danish / Banana Nut Muffin / Caramel Candy Bar Gelato / Pistachio Gelato
Strawberry Balsamic Gelato / Nutella Gelato / White Chocolate and Apricot Mousse Cone / Exotic Berry Cream Puff / Oreo Coated Strawberry / Heath Bar Strawberry
Coffee Torte / Chocolate Bundt Cake with Raspberry Sauce
Chocolate Pistachio Mousse Cake
Cinnamon Pullman French Toast, Maple Syrup, Cream Chantilly, Dates, House Granola
Having not attended a proper Vegas ‘buffet’ since September of 2007 it was actually an inquiry from a blog-reader regarding my recommendations for an upcoming trip that led me to ‘discover’ The Cosmopolitan’s Wicked Spoon, a brief e-mail to the hotel’s concierge landing me access to the VIP line plus an eye-opening tour of the facilities by the culinary team. Located in the West Tower with ornate chandeliers, ample glass, and plenty of shine it would be easy to say that Wicked Spoon is the ‘nicest’ buffet in which I have dined but with expansive size as well as selection – over 150 items offered at $38 for brunch – it would be equally fair to suggest the immaculately clean space also represents one of The Strip’s biggest “bangs for the buck” as a team of chefs spread across several open kitchens work diligently replenishing each station with ornate small plates at a speed that would put all but the most seasoned short-order cook to shame. Expeditious and friendly in service with purified water on the table and good coffee refilled nearly every time a plate was cleared it was with a focus on variety that I explored the various stations of Wicked Spoon and although not every dish was a success I’d say 85% of the sixty-six items I sampled were at least good while a few far exceeded expectations. Starting sweet then veering savory and subsequently switching back-and-forth as new plates emerged from the kitchen items such as the fresh fruit pastries immediately showed the strength of the pastry department and while chocolate options proved a touch heavy handed the gelato selection was stunning, the ‘white chocolate coffee’ and pistachio both on par with Art of Flavors in terms of texture and nuance. Moving past disappointing Italian and Asian fare aside from swoon-inducing sweet polenta, well accompanied congee, and caramelized pork belly as well as duck it was on to more brunch-oriented offerings that I turned and while both the benedict and slab bacon shined the macaroni and chicken were merely decent – clever titles aside. Largely skipping salads aside from the impressive beets but impressed by fruits, cheese, cereals, and charcuterie it was finally at the three-hour mark that I’d finally filled up and having already once sampled the delightful custard soaked Pullman it was to creativity I turned; two slices of the buttery cinnamon bread buried beneath a mountain of house-whipped Chantilly cream, Maple Syrup, Dates, and Granola far outperforming any ‘designer’ French Toast you’d pay $15 for elsewhere in the city.
FOUR STARS: Unable to compare Wicked Spoon to other Vegas buffets given my relative inexperience with the genre I can only say I was stunned by not only the quality of the food but the passion behind the project. In a world of “China Buffets” and Golden Corral’s where neither presentation nor preparation seems to matter, let alone freshness or sourcing, Wicked Spoon chooses to function like a proper small-plates restaurant with sparkling cleanliness to compliment a trained Chef’s vision.
RECOMMENDED: Grilled and Seared Proteins, Fruit Based Baked Goods, Polenta, French Toast, Cookies, Gelato. An eye on the preparation stations for what is coming out fresh is highly advised.
AVOID: Pizza, Pasta, Sushi, Drinking too much and looking foolish like the folks at the table next to me.
TIP: Early arrival or making reservations is highly recommended as the line trumped an hour by 10am. Fans of good music will be well advised to pay attention to the soundtrack – Radiohead and Pink Floyd playing prominently throughout the meal.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor