We're talking made-to-order chocolate and vanilla soufflés, home-smoked ribs and chefs who've worked in top restaurants.
Caesars Palace's revamped $17 million buffet, tentatively set to open in Las Vegas Sept. 10, is billed as the Strip's biggest, with 524 menu items. Caesars researched other Vegas buffets and says it will dish up more dishes. Don't expect troughs of reheated eats: Executive chef Scott Green says 80%-90% of the food will be made at buffet stations in front of the customer.
Some months ago, I asked readers to submit suggestions for the buffet's new name, and regret to inform you that "Vomitorium," "Eat Tu Brutus" and "Grubis Maximus" did not make it.
Reader Mary Riggins came closest with "Baccus Feast." The buffet's new name is "Bacchanal" instead of the old Lago. The idea is over-the-top indulging. But the decor will be modern and homey, including serving stations fronted with shelves holding hundreds of jars of pickled foods and other edibles. "No togas, no Roman columns," Green says.
There will, however, be the must-have Vegas buffet standards: prime rib, cocktail shrimp and crab legs. But look for contemporary touches that have worked well at nearly 2-year-old The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas' award-winning Wicked Spoon buffet: clever containers such as mini iron skillets for lasagna, and fried chicken and cute wire fry baskets holding chicken and waffles at breakfast. Red velvet pancakes with sweet cream cheese are on the breakfast menu. Espresso drinks will be offered, too.
Green likes to think of Bacchanal not as a buffet, but as "nine litttle restaurants operating under one roof," he says. Four of the buffet's six chefs have worked at Michelin-starred eateries.
The 590- seat culinary orgy will offer more than 20 kinds of bread baked fresh daily (including the same bread that Caesars' pricey Restaurant Guy Savoy serves.) Vegetarian and gluten-free items also will be offered.
"The major focus is the quality of the food," Green says, such as sliders fresh-cooked on a mesquite-burning grill. Planned prices are at the top of the Vegas buffet food chain, as you might expect: breakfast, $19.99; lunch, $24.99; dinner, $39.99.