Carolyn Proctor



Eating Las Vegas
Caesars Palace Sunday Brunch



The traditional Caesars Palace Sunday Brunch that we remember being held in the showroom has morphed into a grand Sunday Buffet at Café Lago.

Designed as a contemporary Italian lake setting, Café Lago overlooks the "Garden of the Gods" pool complex. You can dine inside in the aquatically themed dining room, or outside on a poolside terrace. Two water walls and a waterfall grace the entrance to the restaurant. Numerous booths on two levels, along with an acoustic tile ceiling that is recessed and divided, help absorb excess sound.

The ambiance is heightened by the music of David Osborne on piano and Danny DeMorales on bass. Selections vary in range from The Phantom to Nora Jones. The piano, a focal point in the center of the room, is the "Sinatra Steinway," the piano previously reserved exclusively for Frank Sinatra's concert performances at Caesars Palace.

Five cooking stations, with chefs preparing requests to order, highlight the 70-foot-long buffet. Omelettes are made to order, and there is a hand-carved, herb-crusted prime rib. Other entrees include sushi, shrimp lo mein, seared salmon in orange buerre blanc, and eggs benedict, all difficult items to maintain on a buffet.

Two types of fresh crab legs are presented: Jonah crab legs and Alaskan king crab legs. The latter are easier to manage, as the Jonahs require a mallet to break open and can be messy to eat—not something you'd want to tackle if you're all dressed up for a special Sunday brunch. The jumbo shrimp cocktail might be a better choice.

The center of the buffet is a massive dessert display: apple or peach cobbler, tiramisu, chocolate éclairs, strawberry or chocolate mousse, and an assortment of pies and tartes and éclairs.
Julie and Lee Sale from Manchester, England, recently celebrated his birthday (the trip to Las Vegas was Lee's present from Julie) at the Caesars Palace Sunday Brunch. When asked what he liked best about the Brunch, Lee said, "The champagne's fabulous."

"We love the piano," Julie added. "It makes the whole atmosphere." Café Lago, open 24 hours, doesn't take reservations. Sunday brunch is available from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at $20 per person without champagne, or $30 with champagne. We discovered it's more economical to order the brunch without champagne, then order a separate split of champagne.

What we'd go back for: Fresh squeezed orange juice, roasted porkloin with mango chutney, and David Osborne's piano artistry.

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