Poor-minus cuisine. I don't know why I had any hopes a buffet would be otherwise.
Instead of the BELUGA (too good to be true!) caviar that the reservationist over the phone indicated was available at the omelette station (which one can sample without the omelette), it wasn't even Iranian caviar. It was American -- and PADDLEFISH. I had asked the receptionist to confirm the beluga nature of the caviar, so this misinformation was a serious mistake on the part of The Plaza.
I arrived in a good mood, for I had done some very productive shopping for clothing during the morning after having started reading a very interesting book.
Mumm Gordon Rouge champagne (included in the buffet price) was offered, as well as all-you-can-drink wine that included a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and a Beringer Chardonnay (very artificially and oaky in a negative sense).
I began with two platters containing: limp, unappealing oysters (Wellfleet) with cocktail sauce (mignonette unavailable); various smoked fish (terrible smoked trout; peppered mackerel, etc.); mediocre herring; average-plus smoked salmon rolled into the shape of a little rose; marinated anchovies (appropriate); several heapings of the Paddlefish "caviar" (too bitter in the aftertaste; obviously not Iranian sturgeon caviar); white asparagus (bad); devilled eggs (sadly, among the betterr items of the buffet); leeks with black truffle vinaigrette (very poor); little terrine cross-sections with a small amount of foie-based item inside (passable). In sum, the "cold" items in the buffet were not good.
"Cold" items not sampled included: various hams and cold cuts; smoked mussels; crab claws; large shrimp with cocktail sauce; various seafood-based terrines; haricot verts salad; various pieces of raw vegetable; roasted veggies, including mushrooms (many were button).
For my third plate of food, I picked poached egg with salmon pastrami, freshly made omelette with a blue from the Basque region, duck confit in wine sauce with mini onions and green grapes (not bad). Not sampled: fried fish; meatballs with a penne-like pasta; fresh maple syrup and french toast; breakfast-type hot items such as sausages and bacon; a beef dish in a braised or stew-like preparation; chunks of salmon and other seafood in a cream-based sauce; a carving station item of pork stuffed with something (possibly prunes); and other items.
Finally, I sampled some blackberries, a bit of lemon tart, a little bit of vanilla cake with a caramel layer, some fresh strawberries and oeufs a la neige.
The food is very poor. I do not plan to revisit, particularly given the $75/person price (wine included; before tax and tips). I caution against a visit to Palm Court for the Sunday brunch buffet.
However, I note the dining room team member assisting me was nice, helpful and professional (Jessie).
The decor of Palm Court is rather gawdy, although other diners might veiew it as grandiose, I suppose. The ceilings are high, and the inside room in which most of the buffet items were placed had nice (wood?) carvings along its ceiling. Lots of marble and gold. Even the palm trees were gawdy looking, for they were in pots that had ugly pink flowers littering the soil underneath them.
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