My sister and I decided to end the year on a high note by going out to Vinoy Park in St. Pete to walk and Pokémon Go. We also decided to try the brunch at The 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House.
From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 400 offers a Brunch Buffet that costs $24.95 per person with $4 Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Screwdrivers. It is worth every penny and not even the most expensive buffet I’ve been to!
First off the food: They has a very solid spread that starts with a cheese platter and various salads like fruit, caprese, couscous, and more. There is a small selection of baked goods that I’m sure were fine, but let’s be honest that’s not what you’re at a buffet for. Next are the hot plates. From breakfast staples like bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, and eggs Benedict it moves to higher end fair like blintzes, chicken cordon bleu, stir fried vegetables, roasted pork loin with garlic mashed potatoes. There’s a seafood bar with loads of cocktail shrimp, a soup (ours was a seafood chili), and another offering (ours was smoked salmon crostinis). There’s a carving station with spiral ham and roast beef, a made to order omelet station and to finish it up a desert room with seasonal selections.
Most everything I tried I loved, as did my sister. There are some downsides to buffet style food: the blintzes are great fresh but can get a bit weird after sitting a while. When you pass through before they’ve filled a tray you can be stuck with some dregs which isn’t exactly pleasant. And our eternal struggle: the necessity of cooking meat to suit the largest number of people. The roast beef, for example, was more well done than we tend to like beef (we’re medium rare people), but it was still delicious, especially topped with their horseradish cream sauce.
And the complaint about dregs in trays? Not a huge worry because the staff were incredibly attentive about keeping the food filled and fresh. In the rare moment when a tray was emptied you could detour to your table to deposit your current dish and swing back out to grab a bit more and odds were good the tray would be full again.
The cocktails: I’m not a huge drinker and since we’d spend the day walking around I decided to refrain, but my sister holds her alcohol a bit better than me so she had a mimosa. From observation I can tell you they give a generous pour of champagne in the glass and because they do use a half-way decent champagne (which is about as decent as champagne should get for a mimosa, honestly). I didn’t have one, but the table next to use ordered several Bloody Marys and they were well turned out and had the distinct lightness of color at the base that only comes from a solid pour of vodka.
The atmosphere: The restaurant has a nice, classy feel with elegant decor. The restrooms were clean and well maintained. The service was prompt and attentive throughout the meal, but our server didn’t hover or make us feel rushed.
We’ve eaten at The 400 before for lunch while in the area and it was very good, but if there was any question about why you should try The 400 I’d say the answer is Sundays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.