My wife and I were looking for a quality seafood buffet for lent. I did some searching and contacted several of the Twin Cities food critics. They all replied that they knew of no seafood buffet worth mentioning and that buffets provided dry and less than desirable results. They missed this place. I am somewhat critical of quality and service and Lake Elmo Inn delivered on both. I don't mind paying a premium price ($50) for good food and service, however I thought it was worth every penny. We had a 7:30 reservation. Arrived 35 minutes early as we came from out of town. Nowhere within half a block to park so that is always a good sign. Host staff greeted us pleasantly and promptly informing us it would be just a few minutes and pointed us in the direction if the coat room and/or the bar area. We were seated promptly in less than 10 minutes. The restaurant was full. Server was very tentative. Checked back periodically throughout meal but not too often as to be annoying. Food was exceptional. There were two or three chefs monitoring the status of each dish and restocking them appropriately. There was never an empty dish-hot or cold. Immediately if something needed attention, it was attended to promptly. A chef was literally standing there watching over everything and communicating needs to other staff. They had prime rib-real prime rib not just a beef roast of the garden variety as others do. We didn't have any because of lent but I would have enjoyed that. It looked prepared perfectly as prime rib should be. Plenty of HUGE shrimp on the cold side. Good quality smoked salmon. Maybe not as good as mine ( I make my own) but good. Oysters galore. Not of the best quality but acceptable and as many as you want. Hot foods were good. Shrimp, scallops and crab legs. All in all had a very pleasant experience and would highly recommend. My only small complaint-there could be some dessert offerings included. The desserts I did see being served looked very good. I would visit Lake Elmo Inn again if in the area.
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