Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

With a name like the Wicked Spoon, how can you resist?
My selections for my first plate of dishes.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
There is no lunch buffet at the Wicked Spoon. This satisfies the Vegas diet serving brunch for those early risers who prefer to eat at 7pm but also satisfies a good majority of guests who wake much later after a long night of fun and still crave some breakfast food up until early afternoon.

I always viewed Vegas buffets as the ultimate-all-you-can-eat destinations to stuff oneself so one can skip a meal and enjoy more time gambling or attending other diversions on the Strip. Other resorts such as the Bellagio and Wynn feature upscale selections with finer ingredients albeit in the luxury environment. The Wicked Spoon has changed the rules and the other Las Vegas hotels are taking notice. Reports are this restaurant in The Cosmopolitan's West End Tower is becoming a foodie destination.

The restaurants itself is modern with obvious unique touches to the decor that is evident throughout the hotel such as unusual light fixtures to luminous columns. Many buffets feel like an oversized cafeteria atmosphere but the Wicked Spoon is a sophisticated dining room. Tables of various sizes can accommodate almost any party size including those wanting to sit on barstools with backrests along long high tables giving these diners a clear view of the entire dining room. From parts of the restaurant you can't even see the buffet stations. This is a clever design feature that satisfies those who want to see the food stations as entertainment but also those who prefer a more private dining experience away from the high foot-traffic.
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After this second plate of scrumptious choices, I was satisfied.
Gone is the cafeteria atmosphere replaced by a sophisticated dining room.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
For brunch, the lines are long and patience is a virtue. But once in the dining room guests are not corralled together but generously spread out. A server takes my drink order (coffee and orange juice) and water is served from your own bottle set on the table.

Purveying the several buffet stations and I see what makes the Wicked Spoon unique. Most of the dishes are prepared in personal serving sizes of tiny pots, pans, bowls and saucers. For example the fried chicken comes in miniature fry baskets and Thai noodles served in a mini version of the classic white Chinese take-out container. There is no self-serve ice cream station but a fully-staffed gelato bar featuring a colorful choice of flavors.

The effect of design and food represents a sophisticated buffet. There are no huge bowls of food that look glorious when freshly placed at a station and later looked picked over once the crowds descend. The entire buffet looks sparking and appetizing. Like other Vegas buffets the selections are vast and this one covers Asian, Latin and Italian cuisines in addition to classic American favorites. Some may be turned off by the pre-portioned dishes but no one is going to say take one or say you can't go back. It's encouraged to return as often as you like.
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The unique decor of The Cosmopolitan is carried into the Wicked Spoon.
An example of buffet selections served in personal sized pans.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)
The portioned dishes does keep your food choices separated on plate and they encourage guests to taste more of the food selections rather than just pigging out on a select few. It's a buffet with a rationale to savor each dish.

My initial choices are comprised of an eggs benedict, fruit crumble, birds nest soup, a refreshing orange flavor gelatin and potatoes au gratin. Many of these dishes are made in view of the buffet stations and the fresh taste of each dish is evident.

A misunderstanding caused my table to be cleared when I returned with a second plate but the server quickly re-set my table with a cloth napkin, silverware and drinks. She apologized more than once but I let her know I still enjoyed my meal.

My second plate was traditional brunch plate of fruit in yogurt, omelet in a single-serving pan, sticky fun, bacon, apple sausage and salmon, cream cheese on a toasted bagel. The only disappointment was the bagel which was like eating wood. Much as I wanted to take another survey of the buffet and try another set of dishes, my good sense told me to stop.

I highly recommend the Wicked Spoon for your next Vegas vacation.

The Wicked Spoon is located on the second level of The Cosmopolitan's West End Tower.
Daily Brunch Mon-Fri 8am-2pm ($22)
Weekend Brunch Sat & Sun 8am-3pm ($29 includes one Mimosa or one Bloody Mary)
Daily Dinner Sun-Thu 5pm-9pm ($35)
Weekend Dinner 5pm-10pm ($35)

The Asian buffet includes sushi and salads prepared for one.

The food it not piled at stations but are displayed generously making such
 plates of strawberry short cake stand out.
Two lines at a peak brunch time: one to pay and one to be seated.
(above photos: TheHopefulTraveler)


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