Buddy V’s Ristorante
Strawberry Lemonade – Take Home Souvenir Glass
Croissant, Pain au Chocolat, Mini Blueberry Muffins, Focaccia, Blue Cheese, Pecorino Cheese, Parmigiano Cheese, Salami and Prosciutto
Tiramisu, Red Velvet Cake, Coffee Cake, Biscotti, Cannoli, Italian Cookies
Mac n’ Cheese Carbonara, Chicken Parmesan, Orecchiette & Italian Sausage, Roast Vegetable Frittata
Cheesy Garlic Bread, Meatballs in Sunday Gravy, Spicy Italian Sausage, Smoked Applewood Smoked Bacon
Panettone French Toast with Maple Syrup, Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream, Zeppole with Raspberry Compote, Nutella and Whipped Cream
Warm Crespelle with Raspberry Compote, Nutella and Whipped Cream, Pudding with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream, Dragon Fruit, Grapes
Having enjoyed dinner shortly after opening with friends in town from Phoenix, the plan to re-visit Buddy V’s at a later date somehow getting lost in the constant shuffle of Las Vegas’ restaurant landscape, recent rumors from a trusted source suggested that the All You Can Eat Sunday Brunch pairs a good price to food better executed than it needs to be, something each day more difficult to find in the Casino properties of Sin City.
No doubt still a hot-spot amongst tourists, the restaurant itself just under capacity by noon as the line at Carlo’s Bake Shop continues to snake out the door at all hours of the day, it was just past 11:15am that one adult and a child checked-in at the hostess podium to be quickly led to a tight two-top adjacent the open kitchen, food displays tempting on all sides as the décor of rolling pins, whisks and ingredients continues to impress without making the environment feel like a ‘theme’ restaurant in the least.
Half-expecting service to be sub-par, most of the full-time Buffets in town generally better suited to this style of dining than a place converting the dining room into a free-flowing event once a week, it was with greetings from a young man who poured water and occasionally returned to clear plates or refill Coffee that instructions were given to “get started whenever you like,” a quick perusal of the options that are mostly laid out on the tableside menu showing a decent variety, though certainly not the same multitude of options as the Hotel’s AYCE space.
Obviously focusing on Italian American classics and Buddy’s interpretation of the topic by way of long-time Chef Brian Forgione, it was with a plate of Charcuterie, Cheese and Baked Goods that the meal got underway, the 9-year old happy to see Peel n’ Eat Shrimp offered, but confused as to why the Salami did not taste like the version offered at Von’s, the quality theoretically superior and not nearly as processed but nonetheless lacking in flavor while the Prosciutto, Blue Cheese and Pecorino were all good specimens, though the Focaccia was nearly inedible and hard enough to make one wonder whether it had been baked the previous day.
Modestly impressed by the Croissant as well as two mini-Muffins, a Pain au Chocolat entirely forgettable as a result of too little filling, the decision to investigate the Cake Boss’ desserts early was well served by a pot of Tiramisu that would rival any in town, the Red Velvet Cake also quite tasty with a most base and tangy frosting while the Cannoli was much like that across the way, already feeling the sog of being pre-filled and generally underwhelming.
Batting about .500 on Italian Cookies, the Almond Cluster and soft Chocolate far better than the dried Butter rounds topped in Sprinkles or Jam, it was with patience that a fresh pan of pasta was waited on as part of plate three, the Mac n’ Cheese Carbonara far too heavily salted to be appreciated for any sort of subtlety while the small Breasts of pounded Chicken Parm and Orecchiette with Italian Sausage were better balanced if not particularly memorable, the surprisingly light Roast Vegetable Frittata offering some evidence of a kitchen that is capable of doing ‘high volume’ right.
Far more impressed by the Garlic Bread than the Focaccia, crispy and fragrant with just melted Mozzarella or when used to scoop up Grandma’s Meatballs and Sauce that takes no short-cuts en route to a fresh Tomato flavor without any added sweetness, choices from the carving station including Spicy Italian Sausage and Smoked Applewood Slab Bacon are well-displayed and prepared properly, the youngster at the table also fond of the Maple-Glazed Ham and sticks of housemade Beef Jerky procured from the DIY Bloody Mary Bar.
Going back to the sweet stuff for plates five and six, the common occurrence of dirty stacked plates and an empty mug at this point almost more amusing than it was an annoyance, fans of Bread Pudding would be well advised to save room for Dessert as the version served hot from a steamer with Caramel Sauce and Whipped Cream is a custard-laden masterpiece that far outperformed Panettone French Toast that is a bit dry along the edges, a better investment for the sweet tooth being the dainty Crespelle served with Nutella, Pureed Raspberries and Whipped Cream…or perhaps a bag of piping hot Italian Donuts offered with the same trio for dipping.
TWO AND A HALF STARS: Charged $36.95 per adult and $10.95 for a child, a price not inclusive of tax or tip, the question of whether Buddy V’s Brunch is ‘worth it’ comes down to whether one prefers quality or quantity as well as an understanding of celebrity Chef branding, the recent Buffet upgrades at Wynn, Cosmopolitan and Caesar’s seemingly a better value with superior service, though certain items and the chance to sample several of Buddy V’s Signatures without investing in a full lunch or dinner seems worth it for fans or those looking for a family-friendly alternative to Grand Lux Cafe while staying at the Venetian.
RECOMMENDED: Roast Vegetable Frittata, Bread Pudding, Tiramisu, Italian Sausage, Grandma’s Meatballs.
AVOID: Focaccia, Mac n’ Cheese Carbonara, Pain au Chocolat, expectations of prompt refills.
TIP: The Brunch Buffet is offered 10:30-2:30 on Sundays only, the information regarding Saturdays on the Buddy V’s site below incorrect, as is the price of $34.95. More accurate information can be found via the Venitian or Opentable while limited options from the lunch menu are available for those not wishing to partake in the Brunch.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.