Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | 12:01 a.m.
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.
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With top accommodations, first-rate entertainment, high-end shopping and a slew of acclaimed chefs, the Palazzo has positioned itself as one of the most luxurious resorts on the Strip.
More than 3,000 all-suite rooms start at 740 square feet and are decorated in a modern, yet classic, Italian style. Each room features a sleeping area, with a king or two queens, and a sunken living room area with floor to ceiling windows.
A cathedral ceiling tops the Palazzo casino, while a second 80-foot dome brings natural light to the property's lobby. The 105,000 square foot casino features more than 2,000 slots and 80 table games but lacks the stale smell of cigarettes, as the property is LEED certified with smoking off limits in most of the Palazzo — including 50 percent of the casino floor.
Dining at the Palazzo is among the best of the Strip, starting with Wolfgang Puck's CUT. Chef Simon To serves up authentic Chinese cuisine at Zine, while Sushisamba combines Brazilian and Peruvian flavors with Japanese techniques. At LAVO, club-goers can dine on Mediterranean dishes before heading upstairs to the bath house-inspired nightclub.