For more than three decades, the Seafood Buffet at Deer Valley Resort was beloved by local diners and visitors alike. It was an all-you-can-eat affair with various hot and cold serving stations, but the main attraction was fresh seafood, both cooked and raw, chilled on ice. Then COVID came along, which made buffet dining quickly kaput.
Last year – in October of 2022 – Deer Valley launched Cast & Cut, an a la carte, fine dining, white tablecloth, steak and seafood restaurant. I reviewed Cast & Cut last winter and it was very, very good. But many Deer Valley guests still longed for the buffet dining experience that Seafood Buffet offered, as well as the value. Even priced at $125 per adult – which is the cost this season – the buffet is a bargain. Why, I could eat a hundred bucks worth of fresh oysters and crab legs, alone.
So, a couple of weeks ago Cast & Cut – which the Resort’s Vice President of Food & Beverage, Jacob Musyt has called “the evolution of the Seafood Buffet” – reopened as Cast & Cut | Seafood Dining. To be honest, it’s the best of both worlds. And, judging from the happy guests who’ve been filling the eatery since it opened last month, they are plenty happy to have the Deer Valley Resort buffet dining experience back.
Pacing is everything at an all-you-can-eat buffet, and that’s especially true at Cast & Cut | Seafood Dining, because the options are so plentiful. I counted more than a half-dozen food stations including a soup station, paella station, a grill and carvery, poke bar, and stations called From the Garden and From the Sea. There’s also a lavish dessert bar.
At Cast & Cut | Seafood Dining, I like to start with Deer Valley’s sustainable seafood, including a few freshly shucked Minterbrook oysters from Gig Harbor, Washington, dipped in homemade mignonette. I usually also partake of Dungeness crab legs and/or Alaskan king crab with clarified butter – sourced directly from fishermen and suppliers in Alaska, as well as a handful of poached shrimp and some scallop crudo. In addition to classic mignonette, there’s tartar sauce, Dijon remoulade, blood orange mignonette, sauce Louis, and more in which to bathe your crustaceans.
Next stop for me would be the poke bar. On the night we visited the poke options included salmon and ahi tuna poke, and I’d probably follow up with a visit to the Grill for an ahi tuna taco with mango salsa, and then a few steamed mussels and clams.
Then I’d head for the chilled smoked salmon, thinly sliced and festooned with a smorgasbord of fixings, including capers, minced red onion, hard-cooked egg, cucumbers, and much more.
In addition to the bounteous buffet, Cast & Cut | Seafood Dining offers full bar service, curated by the talented Josh Hockman, Deer Valley Resort’s Beverage Director. It includes craft cocktails such as Bubbles e Bitters, a Framboise Martini, Cast & Cut Sidecar, and others. There’s also a good selection of wines by the glass or bottle and a surprisingly robust offering of beers on tap and by the can or bottle.
Lovers of Spanish cuisine will want to swing by the giant paella pan for the seafood paella with clams, mussels, stone crab claws, chorizo, and saffron-scented bomba rice.
I’m not sure if the Carvery selection of roasted meats changes from week to week or month to month. When we visited Cast & Cut | Seafood Dining there was scrumptious herb-crusted Prime rib with a choice of béarnaise sauce or house demi-glace, and a roasted bone-in elk leg, accompanied by white wine mushroom sauce or caramelized onion jus. Be sure to get a scoop or two of the decadently creamy mashed potatoes to enjoy alongside.
Other tempting buffet items include pastas, stews, soups, chowders, gourmet salads, dishes like blacked ahi tuna, calamari, and tempura firecracker shrimp, as well as charcuterie, artisanal breads, decadent side dishes, and so much more.
If, by chance, you’ve actually “saved room for dessert,” you won’t be disappointed in Deer Valley Resort’s stupendous selection. Desserts range from Deer Valley chocolate chip cookies, truffles, and homemade fruit tartlets, to raspberry cornettes, decadent chocolates, and of course, Deer Valley’s famous Chocolate Snowball, just to name a few.
Adding to the enjoyment of the endless array of tempting flavors at Cast & Cut | Seafood Dining is a stellar staff, running the gamut from bartenders and outstanding servers like ours – Carla Good – to the friendly and informative crew at each of the restaurant’s food stations. We’re not calling it “Seafood Buffet,” but with Cast & Cut | Seafood Dining, high-end buffet dining at Deer Valley Resort is back, baby, and it’s better than ever!
Photos by Ted Scheffler
Culinary quote of the week: “Sunday Dinner: It’s not just a meal – it’s a cornerstone of civilization.” R.W. Apple, Jr.