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May 23, 2015

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‘Cake Boss’ star and pastry chef Buddy Valastro to open Italian-American restaurant at Palazzo

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TLC

Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s “Cake Boss.”

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Elizabeth Blau of Blau & Associates with business partner Jason Lapin, center, and husband Kim Canteenwalla at Honey Salt, a new restaurant at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd. in Summerlin, on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.

Cake Boss

Buddy Valastro, one of America’s top pastry chefs, is opening an Italian-American restaurant at the Palazzo this fall. The handsome star of TLC’s top-rated “Cake Boss” hails from Puglia, Italy, and will move into the former space of First Food & Bar that was occupied by chef Sammy DeMarco until two months ago.

It is situated at the border of The Venetian and Palazzo by the bridge walkway from Treasure Island and near Barney’s. The deal marks the first on the Strip for Las Vegas restaurant consultant Elizabeth Blau, who was hired by Steve Wynn for his F&B operations at Wynn and Encore.

Elizabeth and her husband, former Society Cafe at Encore chef Kim Canteenwalla, own Honey Salt in Summerlin, and that restaurant is expanding. I’m told that Kim will work as a consultant and collaborator to Buddy so the duo can ensure that “it’s very Italian-American” from first order to last course. Incidentally, Kim and Elizabeth celebrate their 10th anniversary next month.

Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro Jr. was at the Palazzo last year for the filming of “Cake Boss.” His new restaurant will move into space owned by General Growth shopping centers, and the news comes as the annual convention RECon, sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers, wraps today at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Buddy promises that the menu at his new restaurant Buddy V’s will feature “beloved recipes passed down by my mother, grandmother and aunts. … People always think of me as a baker, but beyond the bakery, food has always been at the center of my family’s life,” he added. This is his first restaurant venture, and New York design company Celano will design the 11,000-square-foot space.

The Venetian and Palazzo President John Caparella said in a news release: “We are thrilled to welcome Buddy as the newest celebrity chef. The vision of Buddy and his team is to create a restaurant that will bring many of us back to an Italian Sunday dinner with the family. It’s the perfect fit for us.”

Buddy, who will be a highlight of the upcoming Venetian and Palazzo Carnevale celebrations, said in addition to entree highlights such as Sunday gravy, steak pizzolo and Lisa’s linguine and clams with lobster, his impressive dessert selection will include his timeless treats of zeppole, cannoli and his signature lobster tail pastry.

Carnevale, a celebration of food, art and culture, is set to run Monday through Sept. 8. It also is expected that when the Palazzo hosts the Epicurean Affair on Thursday, an official announcement will be made that New York celebrity chef Daniel Boulud also will open a new restaurant there. Inside rumors are that he will take over the Valentino space on The Venetian casino floor, which Piero Selveggio and Luciano Pellegrini are leaving later this summer.

Chi mangia bene, vive bene — he who eats well lives well.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach.

Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe.

Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.

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