Fast forward to 2013 and our much wiser return trip to the Bellagio buffet, surprisingly our first since that virgin voyage. The $37.99 gourmet dinner price (Fridays and Saturdays) didn't phase us this go round. In fact, we found it less expensive than expected. And, we fully planned to eat more than that in snow crab legs, beef wellington and helpings from the Kobe beef carving station.
But, first we had to have our priorities in order. Gluttony was still high on the list but we'd pace ourselves being all grown-up and responsible now. Enjoying a cocktail or two between pasta plates and spoonfuls of creamed spinach ought to be just the trick to force us to take some much needed breaths between bites. Once our eyes caught site of the all you can enjoy unlimited bevarage special, though, our overindulgent goals were modified.
Choice of unlimited Bloody Mary, Carta Nevada sparkling wine, Bellini, Heineken, Dos Equis or Stella Artois for the low, low, low price of $10. How can one pass up that deal when a single drink will go for the same at most bars on The Strip? It would be an insult not to order the add-on.
We opted for the Nevada-named
champagne sparkling wine not from Nevada and have to stand up and applaud the Bellagio servers who made sure those glasses were never less than half full. Attentive without being forceful. Unlike unlimited upgrades at some other buffets, not once did we find ourselves painfully searching for our waitress after sitting bone dry for several minutes.
After the third or fourth plate (who's counting), it was time for dessert. Making our way counter-clockwise this time uncovered another food station we immediately kicked ourselves for not remembering earlier. A couple months back the Bellagio buffet announced the addition of unlimited caviar to the gourmet dinner buffet.
The caviar station serves American (black), Ikura (salmon roe - orange, front) and Tobiko (flying fish roe, reddish left). While it is a buffet, only three servings at a time may be ordered. We recommend a sampler of all three on the first trip before narrowing down to your favorites on the second
third and fourth. Each spoonful is served on a cracker-sized pita-style bread with condiments such as red onions, egg yolks and egg whites available as add-ons. The Tobiko was by far our favorite with a bit of mysterious, but satisfying crunch and a touch less saltiness than the others. We should warn you that the egg yolk was poured on more liberally than the red onion we preferred.
The caviar station is located near the bar seating. Between unlimited cocktails for ten dollars and excellent caviar included in the $37.99 price tag, don't be surprised to spot us sipping sparkling wine between running to and from a bar stool to stock up on three more orders of caviar. Sides of kobe beef and crab legs are just a bonus at that point.