Las Vegas is known for many wonderful things, and one of those is buffets. Paying a fixed price to stuff your face so full of food that you expand 3 pants sizes before waddling off full of buttered crab and regrets. We chose the Cosmopolitan buffet "Wicked Spoon" , due to the high rating and acclaim it scored online, but it is a bit of a walk to get there, hidden at the far end of the hotel away from the retail and bar area.
The line to get in was reasonable, and the price is around $45 per person, with the potential to get bottomless wine or beer for about $51 per person. Mind you, the prices flex from lunch to dinner, and weeknight to weekend. This would be a typical weekend price. They also have the option of bottomless cocktails or mimosas for brunch, but, sadly for me, this is not a dinner option.
The buffet is fairly large and modern looking with lots of warm brown and gold colours, and the stations are laid out horizontally spread out across the dining area, which means there is a lot to choose from. We were seated right beside the dessert station, so I had one eye constantly on all the delectable sweets. Oh, and speaking of large, their forks could choke a horse! The head of the fork stretched across my 4 fingers, it was so long!
The dishes in Wicked Spoon are prepared in small portions in individual dishes, so you don't worry much about taking a huge portion of something you don't like, blending weird flavours together on the same plate, and other diners digging their filthy paws into the food you want to eat. The food is switched out often, and since the hygienic sit time for food is 2-3 hours, this is a plus. The individual portions are a definite bonus, and allows for creative plating and design, which makes the food look much more appealing, in my opinion.
The first food stations are salad and seafood. We picked up several shrimp dishes to sample here, such as shrimp ceviche, raw shrimp that marinades in citrus juice and spices, which had a zesty kick and it was well seasoned with the right amount of salt. Sadly, their version of shrimp and grits left a lot to be desired, with lackluster spicing. The grits were rubbery like old oatmeal and had almost no flavour. Neither my husband nor I finished this small bowl of food, and chose to set it aside. The highlights of this section were the goat cheese salad with a fruit compote and roasted nuts, and their sweet beet salad, which you can see in the first picture below. The goat cheese salad was a particular pretty bite, and beautifully balanced with the mild, slightly musky cheese and the sweet, honey-flavoured nuts.
The next station was meats and side dishes. They had a cutting station with juicy prime rib, hulking portions of beef ribs, tender lamb shoulder, and sausages. Not what I would call an exceptional selection of meats, but the portions were generous, and the meats were cooked to pink perfection. Looks can be deceiving, though, as it was all terribly underseasoned and tasteless. Meat needs salt, and my portion had none. Meat station's saving grace, though, is their individual palm-sized portion of seared steak served in a tiny frying pan. It had lovely, tender pink meat cooked medium with a sticky reduced, oniony sauce on top. Very tasty. If you're the type to get excited about mac and cheese at all, prepare to be completely disappointed. The spicy mac and cheese was poorly executed from start to finish. No salt, rubbery texture, and about as spicy as a shoe. My husband's face fell at the first bite, and pushed it sadly away. Mac and cheese shouldn't be dry, but it was, and it tasted of nothing. The potato choices were all fine, and their smooth mash was particularly lovely paired with the lamb. Avoid the brocollini at all costs, though! The lonely veg was found at the end of the counter all alone, and I understand why. No one wants to be its friend. It tasted like concentrated bitter evil with a garlicky aftertaste. It was inedible.
Onward to dessert!!! I'd been waiting for this all meal and was sure to save room for all manner of sweets, puddings and chocolate. Our experience? Disappointing. It's hard to make truly bad desserts, but Wicked Spoon did a fine job of it. Everything just.....LOOKED better than it tasted. I will say that they make a heavenly chocolate chip cookie, though, and I could have eaten a million of them. Even the chocolate-dipped strawberry tasted of fake, waxy chocolate, and the other desserts used far too much sugar to taste the actual ingredients. The mousses were far too soft and runny instead of being light and airy. They were also quite grainy in the mouth. Their mini cheesecake cups didn't taste of cheese and lacked any sort of texture with everything, again, being too bland and soft like baby food. Their plating is absolutely beautiful, and I love the decorative chocolate pieces and flecks of gold and silver, but the taste, for us, just wasn't there. Obviously, I was let down. You can sprinkle gold on crap, but in the end, it will just be glittery crap. Even their gelato was flavourless. I chose a tiramisu gelato that tasted very much like an inexpensive version you'd find in a gas station with stong, fake-tasting coffee flavour lingering in the mouth afterward. I can recommend their mini chocolate cones, cookies, and carrot cake for sure.
To sum up, I believe that Wicked Spoon, at one time, stood at the top of the buffet game with all the bragging rights intact, but things seem to have gone downhill from the overwhelming praise this establishment received. I found the food to be average with ups and downs. Some of the food was good, mind you, but very little was excellent. Nothing stood out as being extraordinary and expertly made by skilled professionals. It was pretty food, but shallow. It's certainly quantity over quality. Perhaps we came on a bad day, but my opinion is that you should save your money and put it into a real restaurant where you will be equally as full, but receive a better quality meal, but be sure to check reviews first.
Hey there! My name is Lea, and I'm a Canadian Culinary student trying to survive chef life in Denmark. I want to share my journey, and some great food and experiences with others. I believe that anyone can be quite chefy!