I like Caesars Palace. It’s big…but somehow cozy, so I had no problem asking for a belated birthday gift, a trip to the new (since September 11, 2012) Caesars Palace buffet, called “Bacchanal.” The word was that a $17 million investment in the 25,000-square-foot buffet had resulted in something spectacular.
Our observations are in the accompanying video, but overall I would say that the buffet was a visit worth making, just as trips to other high-end Las Vegas buffets are also memorable. In 1999, after getting married in Las Vegas, my new husband and I “splurged” by going to the Bellagio Buffet — large, delicious and lovely. These days, special excursions might also be made to the spectacular Wynn Buffet or the M Resort or Cosmopolitan Buffets. We have also twice visited and enjoyed the very high-end once-monthly Sterling Brunch at Bally’s, also a buffet, but there, the waiters call you “sir” and “madam”.
Why pay $50 each (the approximate Bacchanal price with tax for dinner Monday through Thursday) to be your own waiter or waitress at a buffet? Because most of us like to choose, and if the selections include high-end products like roasted duck and Wagyu beef, that’s very special. (Frankly, I wasn’t familiar with Wagyu beef, but I found this description of Wagyu beef online: “Wagyu American Kobe-style beef is bred from the line of Wagyu cattle in Japan famous for its exquisite quality. Steeped in Japanese tradition our Wagyu Kobe beef is bred for incredible marbling and flavor – highly sought after by steak connoisseurs the world over. It’s all-natural with no artificial ingredients or added hormones. So you know you are experiencing a delicacy of the highest degree.”
A “slider” of Wagyu beef was one of my Bacchanal buffet selections, and I must say the very thick small burger on the small toasted bun was juicy and delicious. That experience alone (and my subsequent research) might have been worth my $50, but I also had a wonderful chili verde, tasty and tender broccoli with cheese, very cheesy mac and cheese, glorious prime rib, crab legs (the thin ones) and … couldn’t resist….multiple desserts.
Our tea came in a beautiful teapot designed for the restaurant by the restaurant design firm, Super Potato. I talk about the salt and pepper shakers on the video — beautifully designed, but available only on request because they easily fit in a pocket or purse. Honey and lemon for the tea are also available only on request. I wasn’t fond of a piece of fried chicken I tried — dry with cold sweet potato fries. But other offerings took up the slack.
For local Las Vegans who regularly receive two-for-one coupons to their local casino’s buffet — where chicken is served 15 different ways — a trip to Caesars Palace for the buffet may be a great special events outing. Las Vegas visitors might enjoy several visits because each would produce a memory. The folks at Harrah’s offer a one-day buffet ticket called “Buffet of Buffets” for $47.99 which gives a visitor entry to any or all of six buffets (at Paris, the Rio, Planet Hollywood, Flamingo, Harrah’s and…Caesars Palace) for 24 hours. However, the ticket plus an additional $15 is required each time when visiting the Bacchanal Buffet. Wine is not included with a Bacchanal Buffet ticket, but bar service is available if paid separately.
Because we arrived at around 4 p.m. on a Thursday before the normal dinner crowd, we were given a table very near one portion of the buffet. Two people serviced our table, Josefina and Francisco (sorry, I didn’t get last names), and they were quite good in terms of granting our beverage wishes and clearing the small dishes as we made return visits for more food. We tried to find out what “typical” tips were for two people, but Francisco would say only, “It’s up to you.”
Dress is casual; the decor is contemporary. Upholstered chairs of several different designs are comfortable. The dinner “crowd” begins to come between 6:30 and 7 p.m. Weekends are more popular than weekdays. Weekend dinners are $5 more than weekdays.