Though he’s best known as the Cake Boss on TLC, Buddy Valastro has a savory side too, which he thankfully has decided to share at this restaurant at the front of the Shoppes at Palazzo. The menu is rooted in his family’s original recipes, with favorites like a deep, hearty lasagna, steak pizzaiola, and his mother-in-law’s shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta. It doesn’t have to be Sunday to enjoy the gravy, a rich, chunky red sauce chock full of sausage, lamb, and meatballs, that tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day, served in a bowl over rigatoni. Go full on family-style for brunch, for an all-you-can-eat extravaganza that includes salumi, frittatas, eggs al forno, carbonara, and traditional chicken parmesan. As you can imagine, desserts are strong here, with bites like warm Nutella cake, and traditional cannoli crusted with pistachios and filled with sweet pastry cream. But half the fun of the showcase bakery across the hall is the windows into the pastry kitchen, where crowds watch cooks make and fill Valastro’s signature “lobster tail” puff pastry cone with custard cream and fruit.
- Rick Garman