Buddy V’s Opens at The Venetian, You’ll Feel Right at Home

Buddy Valastro, star of the TLC reality series, “Cake Boss,” has opened a new restaurant in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, Buddy V’s Ristorante.

Buddy's real first name is "Bartolo," and he's head baker at Carlo's Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Buddy’s real first name is “Bartolo,” and he’s head baker at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Buddy V’s is an Italian-American restaurant that seats about 370, and from the moment you step through the doors, you’re likely to feel right at home.

The design of the restaurant is intended to have the same feel as a visit to Valastro’s grandmother’s house. In fact, the entrance is done with metal and glass, inspired by a train station near his grandmother’s home.

Let's eat.
Let’s eat.

The welcoming restaurant has rustic wood flooring and distressed brick, leading us at one point to say to the brick, “Dude, you’re totally distressed right now, chill out.”

Big but cozy.
At 11,000-square-feet, Buddy V’s manages to be spacious, but cozy.

There are lots of traditional Italian flourishes, like checkered table cloths, bundt cake pan art and light fixtures fashioned from giant whisks and water jugs.

Nothing says Las Vegas like big jugs. And sometimes whisks, but that costs extra.
Nothing says Las Vegas like big jugs. And sometimes whisks, but that costs extra.

Buddy V’s has several dining areas, as well as section outside the restaurant (but still inside).

An "outside" seating area, for those who like to people-watch.
An “outside” seating area, for those who like to people-watch.

The bar area at Buddy V’s was like a giant magnet.

More cozy.
Our new happy place.

Of course, we had to try one of Buddy V’s signature cocktails. It was delicious, as expected.

Signature offerings include The Holy Cannoli, Buddy V’s Liquid Tiramisu, the Negroni Biondo, Buddy V’s Hoboken Sling and the one we tried, the Sicilian Pop. Most of the signature cocktails are in the $13 range.

The Sicilian Pop has 2Nite Blood Orange vodka, Pallini Limoncello, fresh sweet and sour and Aperol (an Italian aperitif).

You never forget your first time. Having a cocktail. At Buddy V's. Especially the Sicilian Pop.
You never forget your first time. Having a cocktail. At Buddy V’s. Especially the Sicilian Pop.

We had April as a bartender, and she knows her stuff. She even took the time to share something we’ve wondered about for some time: How do bars make those big, round balls of ice used in their fancy cocktails?

Come to find out, there’s a device that does it. You start with a big piece of cylinder-shaped ice, and it slowly melts into a ball. Magical.

Mystery solved.
Wait for it.

We realize we might be the only one fascinated by this, but if you don’t like it, get your own Las Vegas blog.

"I'm melting!" It's a quote from a movie.
“I’m melting!” It’s a quote from a movie.

In a minute or two, your ice ball is ready to go.

Buddy V's didn't even realize they had a free show.
Buddy V’s didn’t even realize they had a free show.

Ice balls are even happier with a Negroni poured over them.

We should probably get back to sharing photos of Buddy V's, right?
We should probably get back to sharing photos of Buddy V’s, right?

There’s an open kitchen, too, perfect for taking in the aromas of the Italian cuisine.

You have to be confident to work in an open kitchen. It's like someone standing in your cube, looking over your shoulder all day.
You have to be confident to work in an open kitchen. It’s like someone standing in your cube, looking over your shoulder, all day long.

The menu features traditional Italian fare, like “Valastro Sunday Gravy.” (Don’t call pasta sauce “sauce,” or you’ll give away the fact you’re not Italian. It’s “gravy.”)

Italian delights abound. Aside from the salads, antipasto and pizza, pasta dishes include Orecchiette & Italian Sausage, Chicken Rigatoni Alla Vodka, Lisa V’s Linguine & White Clam Sauce, Lobster Ravioli and others.

Main courses run the gamut of seafood (like Roasted Branzino), chicken (we can’t wait to try the chicken parm), veal (like the bone-in parm chop) and beef, including a $44 Surf & Turf with lobster tail, filet of beef, broccolini and garlic butter.

Check out the full Buddy V’s menus.

We're getting really, really hungry right about now.
We’re getting really, really hungry right about now.

Given Valastro’s success in the cake realm, it’s no surprise the dessert menu is expansive and tempting. One of his favorites is the Italian Birthday Cake, with Rosolio liqueur sponge cake, cannoli filling, chocolate pastry cream and toasted almonds.

This cake makes every day feel like a birthday.
This cake makes every day feel like a birthday.

Even though it’s large, Buddy V’s feels very personal and intimate. There are even photos of Buddy Valastro’s family on the wall. The vintage rolling pins are a great touch, too.

This is how Buddy V's rolls.
This is how Buddy V’s rolls.

Buddy V’s is across from the newly-relocated Rockhouse, on the second level of the Grand Canal Shoppes, next to Barney’s New York.

Buddy V’s opens as another Italian restaurant is about to close at The Venetian. Our friends at VegasChatter.com say Valentino will close Nov. 4, 2013. Read more.

A lot of thought has gone into this new restaurant offering, and it shows. Yes, we’ve got a lot more photos from our brief visit to Buddy V’s restaurant at The Venetian and Palazzo. Don’t get all worked up, they’re not in focus or anything.

Buddy V's Ristorante at The Venetian