Debbie Hall
The Village Seafood Buffet -  Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino


Here is a question for you – when is dining at a buffet more like dining at a restaurant?  When the buffet is the Village Seafood Buffet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.   


The Village Seafood Buffet debuted over two months ago and it is truly a seafood lover’s dream come true with the freshest seafood prepared with cuisines from all around the world in a restaurant setting with a beautiful décor, upscale place settings, interactive Sushi Stations, Sommeliers and a Gelato machine that just defies your imagination.


The Village Seafood Buffet is under the direction of acclaimed Chef Richard Leggett, a man who is very passionate about his latest endeavor.  Chef Leggett was originally training to become an accountant when he explained that while on a date, he saw the joy a fine meal with the right pairings, atmosphere, preparation and presentation brought to people. He knew right then that he wanted to become a chef and began training.  Chef Leggett graduated from the Johnson Wales Culinary Institute and worked at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta and Victoria and Albert’s in the Grand Floridian Resort, then to Café St. Louis at Paris Las Vegas, before becoming the specialty room chef at the Village Seafood Buffet.  Chef Leggett’s career has covered everything from fine dining to breakfast to hamburgers and fries and coming from a fisherman’s family, he knew about creating the right feel for this new buffet.


“Some cultures and cuisines of the world, it is the techniques and styles that make them different as well as the different herbs and spices they use. Even in America, we have a conglomerate of flavors, so we tried to touch on all of it in our stations at the buffet,” said Chef Leggett.  


Over 200 tons of fresh seafood is purchased and delivered annually.  “Everything is flown in daily and we only use it for that day,” Chef Leggett continued.  “We want people to come to this buffet and have a restaurant feel.  We want to give them restaurant style preparation, so when people come in and sit down, it does not feel like a buffet and taste like a buffet.”  In fact, one of the most popular dishes, the lobster, is prepared fresh about every 10 minutes and the crab legs are already cracked to make it easier for the diners.  The selections are served in much smaller portions in stainless steel pots as compared to a typical buffet, enabling chefs to refresh the servings more often.


Just to give you an idea how much is purchased every month for the buffet, here are some items listed in pounds:


Crab Legs








Prime rib







Beef ribs







Olive oil






Green beans









Chow Mein noodles




Parmesan cheese



“With our year purchase the size that it is, this makes Village Seafood Buffet one of the largest buyers in the world,” says William Becker, Vice President of Food and Beverage, Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.


The global menu of Village Seafood Buffet includes featuring the essence of the Mediterranean, the vibrant cooking traditions in the Pacific Rim, the rich and flavorful creations indigenous to the Baja region, the exotic, eclectic flavors of South America with carving stations featuring six types of proteins that be made into succulent skewers and the diverse ingredients and cooking styles of North America.  


Yes, there is “comfort food” for those who crave it, including popcorn shrimp (for anyone who has ever eaten at Sizzler), hush puppies, and other traditional offerings as well as a salad bar, soup, and all sorts of vegetables.  The bread offered covers a variety of tastes from flatbread, sweet bread, salted, sourdough and just any type you would want with your meal.




Sommeliers will pair wines with the cuisine you have selected that bring out the best flavors in your selections.  “It helps to bring out that palate with the right wine pairing,” said Chef Leggett, “and you can order any wine. If you want a 1952 Boudreaux, we have that in our [Rio’s] wine cellar.”  In addition, the Rio beverage team developed a collection of specialty cocktails.  With fresh sushi remaining a primary component of the menu, the team created the “Coast to Coast,” a refreshing blend of gin, berry cognac, cucumber, fresh lemon and just enough ginger syrup to give a hint of Asian influence.  There are other specialty cocktails and a fully stocked bar.


To complete the experience, the Gelateria, otherwise known as the dessert station, showcases the custom-made silver rotating gelato display with 10 flavors and flambé station, as well as classic plated deserts including cheesecakes, cookies and crème brulees.  The Gelato flavors are never the same and the signature flavor is Elvis, which is peanut butter and banana.  Freshly brewed coffee is available to go with dessert as well as soft drinks and ice teas.


The décor includes visual enhancements including the grand entrance showcasing metallic pieces that depict the ebb and flow of the ocean tides, and the commissioned artwork from renowned artist Brad Holland prominently on display.  The Village Seafood Buffet features 13,000 square feet of bold new colors and design, emphasizing the cool hues of the ocean’s blues and ice-frosted whites.  Cuisine is presented in a clean fashion with stainless steel counters with food stations set up to mirror that of a seafood market.


A new sound system boasting crisp sound quality and new lighting special effects were added since sound and light are very important to the dining experience.  Attention to customer comfort is created with new tables including Viking tables that seat 15 to 20 guests, leather chairs and high back banquettes in various shades of metals, blues and purples, which add warmth and modern style and to the atmosphere.  Over 50,000 people are served at the Village Seafood Buffet per month and there is reason for that. It is an experience you just don’t want to miss.


Village Seafood Buffet is open daily at 4 p.m., closing at 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.  Price is $38 (plus tax) per person and $23.99 for children ages four through eight.  Children under three are free.


The Village Seafood Buffet

Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino

Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino

3700 W. Flamingo Road

Las Vegas, NV 89103




Celebrity Chef Connection posts a new broadcast every Wednesday by 5 p.m. at On the home page, click on the link [view current show] on the right-hand side and that will take you to the Current Show page where you can select how you want to view the show. The program is also archived. If you have any questions or comments contact Debbie Hall at [email protected] or 702-279-8116.

The above article is the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Vegas Community Online, its editors/publishers, and/or other Vegas Community Online columnists. VCO respects the right of each author to express their opinion. If you have an opposing viewpoint or would like to send feedback on any article, please send email to [email protected]; state the title of the article and your comments. VCO reserves the right to add any submissions to its feedback page.




Copyright © Vegas Community Online
 All Rights Reserved

Designed by MCM creative designs