The scene: Las Vegas loves shiny new things, and has long been an epicenter for buffet-style dining. After a month-long closure and total renovation, The Buffet at Wynn was recently relaunched with more than 100 new offerings, catapulting it up the list of hot places for visitors to eat. It was already widely considered one of the premier examples of the genre in the city, but now it is even better.
Recent years have seen the reinvention of the upscale Las Vegas buffet, especially at places like Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan and Bacchanal at Caesars Palace, which have changed the buffet presentation, eliminating chafing dishes and make-it-yourself stations like salad bars, replacing these with foods that are individually plated or made to order. There are more ethnic stations, and dessert has become a circus-like centerpiece. The Buffet at Wynn continues all these hot trends, and adds a few new wrinkles. On weekends, dinner is upgraded to “gourmet dinner,” and features an unusual rotating centerpiece like a whole roast pig. A showy open-fire Argentinean style grill was added behind the carving station so guests can see meat being cooked. There’s a surprisingly affordable “booze buffet” option. And the entire buffet, with hundreds of items, is completely nut-free. Allergies are big deal at Wynn, where even the pricey fine dining restaurants have special menus with detailed lists of allergens by dish, but here they simply cut out nuts altogether. There are also lots of sugar-free and vegan options, and chef staff are available to escort diners with special dietary needs through the spread.
Head honcho Steve Wynn is famously obsessed with design and details, and a lot of the refurbishment budget went to the look and feel of the place, which is bright, cheery and warm. Ceilings are super-high, colors are eye-popping with lots of bright orange, and even the furniture has been upscaled to look more like a “real” restaurant and less like a typical Vegas buffet. But the best design element is the breaking up of the large eatery into lots of smaller areas, even some set apart completely like the private dining rooms at fancy restaurants, creating a sense of intimacy that is the opposite of the cavernous all-you-can-eat aesthetic found around town.