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Jazz brunch at Wynn Country Club mini report

Discussion in 'Restaurants & Buffets' started by lmondun, Aug 3, 2013.

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  1. lmondun

    lmondun Low-Roller

    Sep 27, 2010
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:

    Someone suggested that I copy / paste a couple of the restaurant experiences from my recent trip report in this forum too so it would be easier for people only interested in that info to find it. So, here's a recap of a recent meal at the Jazz Brunch at the Wynn Country Club for a party of two couples over age 50:

    It's about 11:30 on Sunday, time to head over to Wynn for the jazz brunch at the Country Club restaurant, which features food from the former executive chef at the much-missed Commander’s Palace branch in Vegas. We love New Orleans, particularly the food. We’ve been known to trek 45 miles through freeway traffic from our SoCal home to Downtown Disney just to eat at a Brennan’s restaurant there. This brunch had been on our Vegas to-do list for at least a couple of years.

    You can see Wynncore clearly from the north-facing Strip-view rooms at Mirage, where we stayed, and it looks so close, so we decided to walk over instead of taking a cab. Well, even a short walk is mighty damned uncomfortable in business casual attire in 100-degree noontime Vegas heat, even when you cut through Venetian and Palazzo along the way. By the time we arrived at Wynn, I had to excuse myself to swing by the restroom to wipe the perspiration from my brow.

    Despite the fact that our reservation is quickly found, there’s a delay in seating, so I scan the premises. The buffet is laid out near the entrance on a semi-circle of tables surrounding a small band playing New Orleans-style jazz. The 18th hole (I presume) of the golf course beckons just beyond the floor-to-ceiling windows of the Country Club. Neatly dressed servers are bustling about, and the tables are set up nicely with crisp white cloths. It's not full, but at least every other table has someone there. Patrons are dressed up and chowing down enthusiastically. The food choices look great, with plenty of Big Easy-style options and other delights, including crab legs, Cajun crawfish and a potful of gumbo. It’s not a huge spread, but it’s big enough to include a carving station despite the jazz band situated a few feet behind. I like the setup, thinking it seems a little less like a Vegas buffet and more like what you might see at a catered dinner party.

    After a few minutes, we are seated by one of those attractive young Asian women who seem to have displaced most of the blond sorority girls as receptionists at upscale Vegas restaurants. Our table is near the rear of the restaurant. It’s an adjoining room, so we can’t see the buffet itself from there, which adds to the ambiance. The walls are lined with photos that I presume were taken at the golf course during a bygone era. A youthful Bob Hope is featured in several.

    Alas, this mostly pleasant experience was not quite perfect. After the five-minute wait for seating, we wait at least another five minutes before anyone offers water or coffee. Then another five before our server shows up with a menu of additional items. He runs through the options in a businesslike manner. We order a serving of shrimp and grits, and one of brioche French toast, which we are told will be delivered directly to the table but are included in the price of the brunch. Then we help ourselves to the spread, which is on par with Sunday brunches we’d tried previously at Bellagio (Jasmine) and Mandalay Bay (Veranda). Among the items I tried was two servings of the best fresh "fruit cocktail" ever, a nice slice of perfectly cooked beef tenderloin and a light and tasty miniature strawberry shortcake.

    After about 40 minutes, we realize that the grits and French toast have failed to materialize. It takes us another 10 minutes to get the attention of a server (the one assigned to our table has become distracted in a long conversation with patrons at another table). Once we report the missing items, they show up at our table promptly, and both are quite tasty, though in smaller portions than we had anticipated while making our choices at the buffet tables. Eventually, a server stops by to apologize and explain that our original order had been mistakenly delivered to someone else. So, apparently, someone else dining at the Country Club that Sunday believes grits and brioche toast are served routinely to everyone who goes there.

    Rereading the previous section, I realize it probably sounds more negative than it actually was. It’s a buffet brunch, after all, so most of the patrons are simply grabbing their own food and the servers are mostly just there to push the champagne, clear dishes and pour coffee. But it was an unusually flawed performance for a Wynn restaurant, at least in my experience, particularly at a place where a buffet for four without alcohol totaled more than $300.
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