CORE Kitchen Sunday brunch

A plate full of choices offered at Sunday brunch at CORE Kitchen. The dish includes an omelet with mushrooms, goat cheese and ham. On the side are caramelized onions, oyster mushrooms and arugala, along with turkey bacon and a potato taquito.

Thelma Grimes/The Explorer

When a resort like Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain offers a buffet, you expect the best. Their Sunday brunch buffet delivers.

David Serus, the new executive chef for the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, has created this new dining experience with a brunch buffet in the resort’s CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar, featuring a generous array of chef’s cooking stations, fresh seafood and hand-rolled sushi, a hand-carved meat selection, fresh fruits and vegetables, artisanal cheeses, charcuties to go along with morning mimosas and a pastry shop as the finale.

That was the description for the brunch buffet, but the question was, would it stand up to expectations once our table of four started digging in.

Starting off easy, we ate primarily from the fresh fruits and tasted some of the cheeses, and the house-cured meats.

After whetting our appetites, we drifted further down the line into the seafood selection. The shrimp cocktail was top notch. Perfectly sized shrimp, dipped into a cocktail sauce that had just the right amount of sweetness and zing from the horseradish.

The seafood station also had smoked bay scallops, mussels and oysters.

There was also a vast selection of traditional breakfast foods with everything from pecan-smoked bacon, turkey apple sausage to eggs benedict and a dish of chilaquiles, which is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish that consists of corn tortilla, salsa and eggs.

The eggs benedict was cooked just right with a right amount of sauce to go with the perfectly cooked egg.

My favorite on the breakfast line was the ricotta-cheese blintzes with berry compote. When it comes to blintzes, oftentimes the ricotta cheese can be too sweet. However, that wasn’t the case with this brunch. They were perfect for my taste buds, so much so, that I had seconds of this dish.

There is also a made-to-order egg station, where we had a perfectly cooked omelet filled with ham, mushrooms and goat cheese. The omelet was accompanied by a taquito filled, which was nicely crisp without being hard, and the potato Oaxaca filling was creamy, and went perfectly with the fresh pico de gallo.

The baked goods were also pleasing, with a chocolate croissant that left a six-year-old asking for more.

We tried to sample most of the selections, but admittedly with such a wide variety – it was difficult. No worries, we gave it our best shot.

The critic in me wants to say there were some problems, there was some sub par aspects of the experience, but there truly were not real missteps, especially when it came to the food.

Even though it was a serve yourself buffet, service was attentive, even to the point of being too much at times. We never saw the bottom half of our glasses, or cups as they were refilled continuously.

The dining room was also a perfect addition to the experience. It was open, quiet and made it good for family time.

While this buffet may not be an every week type of experience, it certainly is worth your attention, and we look forward to finding another excuse to go back.

CORE Kitchen’s Sunday brunch is $48 per person with one mimosa, or $60 for unlimited mimosas.

Given the quality of the buffet, we are looking forward to trying the menu service at dinner. If an establishment can reach this level of excellence through a buffet, then their regular service should be nothing less than outstanding.

CORE Kitchen & Wine Bar

At the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain – 1500 North Secret Springs Drive, Marana

Reservations at 572-3000

Sunday Brunch – 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Rating: ★★★★

Recommended Dishes: Ricotta-cheese blintzes with berry compote, cook-to-order omelets, eggs benedict, seafood bar.

Price: $48 - $60

What the stars mean: Ratings range from zero to four stars and reflect the reviewer’s response to the food, ambience, and service. Prices are taken into consideration.

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