You know you're in for a unique dining experience at Cravings in The Mirage the moment you get in line. Located in the heart of the casino, between the Brazilian-style steakhouse Samba and Onda Wine Lounge, the fashionable buffet boasts a backlit glass wall with multiple flat-screen monitors along its entry. And this is just a prelude of what's to come!
Internationally renowned designer Adam D. Tihany has upped the ante of the Las Vegas buffet here. When you step inside to be seated, you'll discover an expansive room with a truly contemporary atmosphere. It features zebrawood accents and terrazzo floors inlaid with onyx. A striking metallic ceiling installation was imported from France.
The sophisticated interior is matched by the far-reaching culinary options. There are 11 different food stations spread around the perimeter. The kitchens are all visible so guests can see the dishes being made. In fact, Cravings defies a common buffet downfall by freshly and frequently preparing its foods throughout the day.
Start at the wonderful charcuterie station with a huge assortment of crackers, meats and cheeses as well as fruit and bread knots. It's situated next to a create-your-own salad stand that is fantastic! A staff member is there to provide advice on the ingredients as well as to toss it up.
Next, you'll want to tackle some of the stations representing different regions of the world. At the Chinese one, you can load up on Asian mixed vegetables, sweet and sour pork, crab Rangoon, fried rice and vegetable chow fun. There's a sushi station with such delights as edamame, tuna nigiri and spicy salmon hand rolls.
Continue your gastronomic journey at the Latin station. Texas chili, tortilla soup, fried plantains, chicken tamales and smoked pork chops are here to feast upon. At the Noodles station, another chef is on hand to cook up made-to-order soups. You can pick your base (wonton noodle, beef pho, barbecue pork or roast duck) and ingredients so it's personalized to your taste.
You'll be shouting "that's amore!" at the Italian station, which is packed with typical and unusual treats. In addition to hot-out-of-the-oven pizza with an array of mouthwatering toppings, you'll come across cheese ravioli in a sage brown butter sauce, Caprese salad, osso bucco and garlic broccolini.
Three other superb stations include the fishmonger for cioppino and grilled Atlantic salmon, the raw bar for split Alaskan crab legs and shrimp ceviche, and the BBQ for home-style macaroni and cheese, cornbread, buffalo chicken wings and St. Louis-style ribs.
Plus, there's a carvery for traditionalists. Watch as prime rib and roasted turkey are expertly sliced before you. You can pair the succulent meats with beloved accompaniments like gravy, beans and broccoli.
Of course, the final station at Cravings -- like an exclamation point -- is the dessert station. One point of interest is the little gelato stand. Homemade flavors include vanilla, blackberry sorbet, sugar-free orange and a divine tiramisu. You'll see trays of freshly baked cookies (including chocolate chip with pecans) regularly unloaded. Other sweets are sure to catch your eye -- like banana cream pie, German chocolate cake, lemon roulade, macaroons and peach crumble piled high with as much whipped cream as you want!
Attentive servers will deftly pace a parade of glasses filled with your favorite soft drink or fruit juice at your table. Or there's a cocktail bar at the back of the dining room where you can order wines, beers and mixed drinks for an additional charge.
Cravings is at the forefront of a buffet revolution in Las Vegas. Unlike most all-you-can-eat extravaganzas, it offers guests a truly modern selection of dishes that they can customize -- all within a spectacular backdrop.
-- By Renée LiButti