Growing up in Southern California, my family and I use to visit Las Vegas pretty often. It was a 4 hour drive away (3 hours if we were brave enough to drive 90 mph the entire way), nice hotels were relatively inexpensive, and there was enough entertainment for everyone. And then there were the buffets. There were two hotels that had my favorite buffets; the Rio and Paris. The Rio had an international theme and so there were stations from various parts of the world; Mexico, Italy, China, etc and the food was ok. The best part about this buffet was the seafood. There was counter of ice full of oysters as far as your eyes could see (I exaggerate but you get the idea.) They had steamed lobster, crab, and shrimp. It was a seafood lovers paradise. Paris on the other hand had good quality food. The stations were french themed and you had a choice of roasted meats, crepes, and the most amazing desserts I had ever seen in Las Vegas. Oh the memories...
There aren't many all-you-eat-buffets in DC (other than some Indian Restaurants.) But it just so happens that there is a wonderful buffet that can be found in Georgetown that gives you variety as well as quality. Seasons Restaurant in the Four Seasons in Georgetown serves a Sunday Brunch that could bring a seafood lover to their knees.
I had the fortune of attending a brunch to celebrate the restaurant's 1 year anniversary on Twitter thanks to my friend ArugulaFiles. It was a great experience to talk to the chefs who come up with and cook the cuisine. This summer, they are concentrating on Kansas BBQ and Italian dishes. The BBQ station is great. There is brisket, ribs, potato salad, and more BBQ sauces than you can find at the Soviet Safeway. The seafood counter is where I did the most damage. There were raw oysters, steamed shrimp, Mini crab & vegetable salad with an avocado puree, Seared scallops with Fava Beans salad and tomatoes, Maine Lobster Rolls, and lots more.
There are several of things that sets this buffet apart from other buffets I have eaten at. First, you can get food from the buffet but you can also order brunch dishes to be made fresh from the kitchen. Eggs Benedict is my regular brunch dish and so it was nice to be able to order it and have it served fresh while I enjoyed items from the buffet. My only criticism was that the egg was overcooked and was not runny enough for me but the hollandaise sauce was delicious.
The second thing was this kitchen happens to have an herb garden and 90 percent of the herbs they use is from their garden. One of the chefs took Arugula Files and I out to the garden. Its a modest garden but it was kind of cute how the chef seem kind of proud of it. The last thing that really makes this place special is the Chocolate Room. The buffet has a room that is entirely devoted to desserts. When you first enter, there is a chocolate fountain to your right with all of the fixings; marshmallows, strawberries, pretzels, brownie bits, etc. Then you are confronted with a table of more desserts than I can ever list. It was an amazing beautiful room.
I'll be honest that this is not a Thrifty DC Cook kind of brunch. The buffet brunch costs $80 per person. This is a place that I would take someone special for a very special meal. I would also only take someone who loves seafood and who can sit for four hours because that is how long I will be sitting there the next time I go to this brunch