I know it's only January, but I already miss the holidays! So today, while there's still snow on the ground - making me feel all warm and cozy inside - allow me to reminisce about my amazing Christmas Eve dinner buffet at the Four Seasons in Dallas. Nice buffets are often hit or miss, but this one hit all the right spots and then some.
It was in Cafe on the Green, already a beautiful spot with views of sprawling greens, and I'd be lying if I didn't think to myself, "Wow, this would be a gorgeous place for a wedding." I mentioned that to my father, and he said, in the nicest way possible, something to the effect of "Dream on." And so I will dream! ;)
The first thing I noticed about the buffet was the dessert room. Not just any dessert room. A dessert room full of holiday displays of adorable winter settings - all made of chocolate and candies and other edible delights. It took my breath away. I felt like Reese Witherspoon in the opening scenes of Sweet Home Alabama, where Patrick Dempsey takes her to a Tiffany store, gets down on one knee and says, "Pick one." Except I'm luckier - because I didn't have to just pick one... I pretty much picked everything.
Did you see the chocolate fondue tower? Yeah. Even the food labels were made of chocolate, written with even more chocolate.
I was so distracted by the desserts, I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the other food setups, except for the kids station.
You'll be happy to hear that I actually did eat some substantive food.
Boom. Christmas in my stomach, without the hassle of preparation or cleanup. I loved the crab claws and cocktail shrimp. Fresh, plump, delicious. I took a couple of broccoli florets from the salad station for good measure. You know, to be healthy. The best part was the combo of the turkey+dressing+gravy+homemade cranberry sauce. All of it was spot on, with perfect texture and moistness. None of it tasted like it came from a buffet.
After a couple of plates of that, I tackled the desserts. Started out with this plate of goodness:
Clock-wise from top left: apple quince purse, chocolate pecan tart, fudge brownie with caramel dipping sauce, blueberry tart, raspberry macaron, madeleine with fig dipping cream. A strawberry pavlova fills out the center of my plate. I included a close-up of the pecan tart... because hello, who doesn't love gold-dusted food? Every single thing on my plate was absolute quality and delicious.
And also, I love pavlovas. I've loved them ever since my friend Jen made a spectacular chocolate pavlova years and years ago.
This one was also pretty wonderful - light, airy, with just the right amount of sweetness.
My second plate of happiness:
Clock-wise from the top: coffee panna cotta, pistachio mousse and tuiles, cognac pear tart, and caramel cream puff. Again, everything was a winner! My favorite of the night was the pistachio mousse and tuiles. The mousse was nicely light and flavorful, and the crisp of the tuiles was a perfect complement.
My third plate:
By this time, I was keeling over with fullness, but I couldn't pass up the chocolate fountain, or the creme brûlée, or the pretty cheesecake and chocolates. I just couldn't. And yet again, my stomach found this plate to be thoroughly enjoyable.
My point is, every once in a while you gotta treat yourself to a room full of dessert. And if you make it to the Four Seasons in Dallas, you won't be disappointed. I'm already looking forward to next year's Christmas Eve buffet.
4150 North MacArthur Boulevard
Irving, Texas 75038
Irving, Texas 75038