Buddy V’s Ristorante gives the feeling of being back in mom’s Italian kitchen

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This week I went to the Strip and visited one of my favorite celebrity restaurants, Buddy V’s Ristorante located inside the Venetian Las Vegas.

Buddy Valastro of TLC’s TV show “Cake Boss” has brought his Italian flair for food from New Jersey to Las Vegas. I have been a big fan of the restaurant since it opened but now that I have discovered the Weekend Brunch I’ll be visiting even more often.

Every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Buddy V’s offers their Brunch menu. They set up buffet style offerings throughout the restaurant and it’s quite a spread. I started with the antipasto table, which had a nice array of meats and cheeses. I enjoyed several different salamis and prosciutto along with a nice cheese selection.

They also had focaccia bread (my wife’s favorite) and cheesy garlic bread. I also enjoyed the gigantic peel and eat shrimp along with several different salads. Buddy V’s chilled pasta salad was very good and a nice cool choice on these hot summer days.

Now it was on to the main courses, and we had some choices to make as we had breakfast items and lunch items to pick from. When I think Buddy V’s, I’m going with his great Italian dishes. They had a very nice carving station that had maple glazed ham, spicy Italian sausage, smoked apple wood slab bacon and chicken apple sausage.

All were good but my favorite from the carving station was the spicy Italian sausage. My favorite breakfast item was the panettone French toast. This was like eating dessert for breakfast. I’ll admit I didn’t eat a lot of breakfast items because of the other items that were calling my name.

Let’s start with Grandma’s meatballs, which are some of the best in Las Vegas. Give me a hunk of bread, a plate of meatballs plus Buddy V’s sauce and I could make a meal. Next was Buddy V’s Chicken Parmesan, which is excellent.

I’m an “old school” Italian, so when it comes to sauce I’m really fussy. I compare everyone’s sauce to my mom’s and I can tell you this sauce is just as good. Also available was Buddy’s mac n cheese carbonara and orcchiette and Italian sausage. Both of these were good but my two favorites were the Chicken Parmesan and the meatballs. Those two items alone are worth the price of admission.

Buddy is more famous for his desserts. If you’re Italian you know you start with cannoli and these did not disappoint. Next up was the tiramisu, another Italian staple. There were biscotti, coffee cake, bread pudding, red velvet cake and fresh fruits.

Buddy also had platters of assorted Italian cookies that made me feel like I was back home in my mom’s kitchen as all my traditional Italian favorites were there. As good as all the desserts were my favorite was the fresh made zepploes. Most places serve greasy fried dough balls but these were more like a light cake ball.

I tried to get out of the manager what was in them but he wouldn’t give up the secret recipe. I will tell you there was a hint of lemon. These were my favorite on the dessert offerings.

For those who like to drink you can add bottomless sangria, mimosa, and Bellini’s along with beer and wine for just $14.95. Buddy makes sure the kids are not forgotten as they have an entire section devoted to them. The kid’s section has chicken fingers, meatballs, mac n cheese, pizza and chicken Parmesan. They also have old fashion candy on the dessert stand for the kids.

The best part of this brunch was the reasonable prices, especially for being in the heart of the Vegas Strip. The Brunch is $34.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids. Trust me when I say you will get your money’s worth. The staff was attentive and the food was excellent. I give Buddy V’s Weekend Brunch a rating of 3.75 forks.

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