Entering the Cosmopolitan from the sky bridge on the strip, it is immediately apparent that this hotel is geared towards the “in” crowd. It makes sense when considering the name, but to be honest, doing research for this assignment is the first time I have any exposure to the resort. Gauging by the people I see as I make my way to the Wicked Spoon, I would say they are doing a good job trying to be cool.
The décor of the hotel is ultra-modern chic. I spot a few of the standard Vegas tourist, and they appear more than a little out of place with their white graphic tee shirts and blue jeans. The signs that lead the way to the Wicked Spoon are clearly marked and plentiful, which is reassuring considering I have never stepped foot in the Cosmopolitan before today.
I walk past walls covered with large black and white prints of classic Las Vegas era celebrities dressed in performance garb. In the middle of one of the halls, a giant robotic high heel shoe is displayed. The hall just before the entrance to the Wicked Spoon has a couple of strange projector style interactive art exhibits, that when looked into by passers by, show a strange filtered grainy image of the end of the room. I do not know what the point of all this is, but I kind of like it.
I turn a corner and find the front of the Wicked Spoon before me. The ultra modern theme of the hotel is not surprisingly carried over to the buffet. Warm light emits from translucent columns, and dark wood and metalwork abounds. It is before 9 a.m., and luckily for me, there is nobody in line in front of me.
Daily brunch is available at the Cosmopolitan from Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will only set diners back $25.00. Weekday dinner is served Sunday to Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for $38.00 per person and Weekend Dinner on Friday and Saturday runs from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for $41.00.00. Weekend brunch, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. costs $41.00.
After paying the cashier, I only have to wait for less than a minute for a host to seat me. We walk through the dining area, and I am seated at my table. A young, cute waitress with a pierced nose and a cool haircut approaches my table. She greets me with a warm hello and a smile, and asks me if I would like anything to drink. I order my standard coffee and water before making my way to the buffet. The waitress reminds me to pace myself, and chuckles when I thank her, but assure her this is not my first rodeo.
While the entry free at the Wicked Spoon the highest for a weekday breakfast buffet from any I have visited, the offerings are varied and of the high quality. An island on one end of the buffet displays an assortment of bread and toasters so that guests have warm toast, toasted to their personal preference, which I think is a nice touch. The island also features cured meats, cheeses, and other charcautrie, as well as a few fruit salads, and vegetables as well.
The long standard buffet starts on one end with fresh made pancakes and French toast, a Mexican station, mini ramekins filled with bangers and mash, and an omelet bar. Moving down the line, the carving station has slab bacon, ham, Italian sausage, and prime rib. Various breakfast dishes flank the carving station, and include egg dishes like scrambled eggs, and eggs with veggies. Potato and vegetable dishes are also mixed about. A wood fire oven turns out pizzas, of which four different types are on display. The Asian portion of the buffet has sushi, Chinese, and Thai food. The sweetest part, the dessert island, has ice cream, gelato, sorbet, pastries, custards, cakes, and cobblers.
Having taken reconnaissance, I begin as I usually do with a protein heavy first plate. On the first round, I grab a link of apple wood chicken sausage, a basket of “wicked” fried chicken, a fat slice of slab bacon, and my all time favorite, eggs Benedict.
I return to my table and a large cup of very hot coffee is waiting for me. The coffee is pretty good. It is one of the better cups I have had at a Vegas buffet. It is also a very large cup. I am grateful for this as I am a bit of a coffee fiend, and I will kill off my first cup as soon as it is cool enough to drink. In this case, I put down half the cup before starting in on my first plate.
The “wicked” fried chicken is surprisingly good. I am reluctant to try fried chicken at buffets, because four out of five times it takes like fish due to shared oil. The fried chicken at the Wicked Spoon does not suffer from this issue. The light and crispy coating has a wonderfully complex flavor featuring a mixture of herbs and spices.
The apple wood smoked sausage is tasty. The casing has a nice snap, and the filling is sweet, lean, and has a slight herb flavor. The slab bacon is fantastically rich, but is a little too much for me to finish off. Essentially, it is a layer of fat, meat, fat, meat, and fat. This bacon is so very good, but so very bad, if you get what I am saying.
The eggs Benedict are also of high quality and execution. The egg is still runny when I cut into it. The Hollandaise sauce is the right consistency with no gross skin. It tastes amazing. The ham is the perfect amount, and the English muffin is toasted to perfection.
On the next round, I am intrigued with the house made maple sausage and grab a patty. The omelet bar is not too crowded, so I order an omelet with “the works”, which here turns out to be quite a statement. I toast up a slice of sour dough and grab a few slices of pineapple to round out the plate.
The omelet bar at the Wicked Spoon does not mess around. Choices for ingredients include standards like onion, peppers, and tomatoes, but then go above and beyond to include ingredients like prime rib and lox. My omelet has bacon, sausage, prime rib, lox, onion, spinach, red and green peppers, tomatoes, avocado, and goat cheese. Yes, my omelet has goat cheese. They also have feta, cheddar, and mozzarella. One would think this would be too much in one omelet, but I have to say, the way the cook layered the ingredients meant I experienced three omelets in one. As I worked my way across the dish, what began as a bacon and sausage omelet, worked into a prime rib, and finally a lox omelet. The goat cheese really added some richness to the dish when paired with the avocado.
The house made maple sausage is a patty, not a classic tube link of meat, and on first bite it becomes clear that this house made patty is of much finer quality that what can be bought at the store. The sausage has a smoky maple flavor, and a nice sausage bite. The sourdough toast is toasted to my preference, due to the toaster stations. The pineapple is flavorful, which is nice, as sometimes buffet pineapple can taste like nothing.
After a detailed reconnaissance lap around the dessert bar, I cannot help but be tempted by the “pumpkin flan”. The cold case full of ice cream, gelato, and sorbet also catches my attention. I end up with a couple of scoops of ice cream. The pumpkin flan piqued my interest, as I am a fan of both traditional flan, and pumpkin pie. Ice cream is another highly regarded food in my opinion, and I decide on a scoop of pistachio and a scoop of mint chocolate crunch.
The pumpkin flan is simply marvelous. The texture is not quite flan, as it does not have the right jiggle; it is simply too firm, I suspect due to the pumpkin. The flavor however is spot on. Paired with the caramelized marshmallow garnish, this is one of the better buffet creations I have experienced.
The ice cream is of high quality, the butterfat is high, and the mouth feel is great, but the flavors were a little off for me. The mint of the mint chocolate crunch is a little more toothpaste than refreshing. The pistachio had a good pistachio flavor, but has a few ice crystals in it, which means it has been around for a little bit.
As I push my plate away, the waitress returns to check on me a final time. She jokes that I have not finished my dessert, and that I look as if a little extra ice cream would do me some good. I respond that I am sweet enough, and thank her for her attentive service. She bids me a good day, and I make my way out of the Wicket Spoon, pleasantly impressed with the restaurant. The décor, the friendly staff, the varied selection, and the quality of food offered are all top notch. I can say I would return to this buffet on my own time without hesitation.