By Cheryl Radkiewicz
The Sands Casino in Bethlehem recently celebrated three great events: The Annual Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival, the opening of Buddy V’s Ristorante, and the opening of Emeril’s Fish House. There’s so much to tell about all three, so I decided to start with Buddy V’s.
Buddy V’s is named for Buddy Valastro, known as “The Cake Boss”, who is also sharing his Italian roots through his menu. Kim Canteenwalla, chef partner of Buddy V’s Ristorante, is the former executive chef of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi. The Montreal native has helmed restaurants and resorts around the world including Cambodia, Indonesia, Dubai and Thailand. Chef Kim is renowned as a “visionary artist” in the food and restaurant community. This most personable gentleman was a delight for the audience during his food demonstration and thanks to him, I’m able to share the menu from Buddy V’s with my readers.
Antipasto offerings include: Tomato and Basil Soup topped with Grana Padano Cheese and Focaccia Croutons, Grilled Cheesy Garlic Bread with Melted Mozzarella and Fontina, Macaroni and Cheese Carbonara featuring smoked mozzarella, fontina, egg, pancetta and sweet peas, My Wife’s Eggplant Parm (crispy eggplant, tomato, mozzarella and parmesan), Aunt Nina’s Mozzarella en Carozza (Jersey City style fried mozzarella, crostini, tomato ragu’ and genovese pesto), Calamari Fritti (lemon pinwheels, anaheim peppers, tomato aioli), and Grandma’s Meatballs (beef, veal and pork, marinara, parmesan) All range from $7-$13. Also available for table is Buddy’s Salumi & Cheese Board: Genoa Salami, Spicy Capicola, Prosciutto San Danielle, Gran Padano, Tuscan Pecorino, Gorgonzola Dolce, olives, pickled vegetables, grilled Italian bread.
Salads include Caesar, Panzanella and Buddy’s Caprese and range from $12-15. Pizzas varieties include Classic Cheese, Margherita, DelRustico, The Forager, Spinach and Artichoke, Classic Clam, Pepperoni and Buddy’s Favorite, a combination of Italian sausage, Grandma’s meatballs, Molinari pepperoni, cherry peppers, ricotta, mozzarella and provolone. Prices range from $14-16.
Sandwich offerings are : Chicken BLT, Smashed Meatball Sub and Creekstone Farms Angus Burger. These are accompanied by Tuscan fries. Prices are $15-16.
Pasta varieties are: Pomodoro, Bolognese, Meatball, Madeline’s Whole Wheat Penne, My Dad’s Bucatini Carbonara, Lisa V’s Linguine & White Clam Sauce, My Mother-in-Law’s Capellini Shrimp Scampi, Chicken Rigatoni “Alla Vodka”, Orecchiette & Italian Sausage, Cheese Ravioli, Nonna’s Lasagna Al Forno and Valastro Sunday Gravy. Prices range from $16-25.
There is also a great selection of seafood, chicken, pork, veal and beef dinners beginning with Grilled Salmon with Mediterranean chickpea and artichoke salad, roasted tomato vinaigrette, balsamic for $24 to Surf and Turf, lobster tail, filet of beef with broccolini and garlic butter for $46.
Now, let’s talk dessert…..Buddy’s Lobster Tail, custard cream filled pastry shell with seasonal fresh fruit; Italian Birthday Cake, Rosolio liquer sponge cake, cannoli filling, chocolate pastry cream, toasted almonds; Lisa’s Warm Nutella Cake, chocolate sauce, hazelnut praline crunch, salted caramel ice cream; Butterscotch Creme Brulee, vanilla marscapone cream, pecan cocoa nib shortbread; Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake, vanilla cookie crust, lemon cheesecake, raspberry sauce, lemon mousse and vanilla meringue; Cannoli, cinnamon pastry, sweet ricotta cream, cocoa drops and pistachios; Tiramisu, marsala marscapone cream, chocolate espresso cake and lady fingers; and an assortment of homemade ice creams and sorbets. Most popular of these according to Chef Kim are the Italian Birthday Cake and the Tiramisu. Desserts are prepared by Pastry Chef Sarah Polles.
Plans are currently underway to feature a Sunday Brunch at Buddy V’s.
Here are some of Chef Kim’s favorites from the restaurant:
Veal Chop Parmesan:
12 oz. pounded veal chop, pounded, breaded
3 oz. Mozzarella/Provolone mix
1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
3 oz. Marinara sauce
4 oz. Spaghetti
3 oz. Pomodoro Sauce (recipe follows)
Cook chop in a hot saute’ pan with oil (sunflower or grapeseed, due to high smoking point) until well browned. Once chop is cooked through, season and top with marinara and cheeses. Place in broiler until cheese is bubbling and browned. Follow recipe for Spaghetti Pomodoro. Then place cooked spaghetti in one corner with the chop leaning against it. Garnish plate with shredded parmesan and chopped parsley. Note: Chef Kim adds that in lieu of veal, one can use chicken or pork.
8 oz. spaghetti pasta
2 Tbsp. Parmesan, grated
12 oz. Marinara sauce
1 can roasted tomatoes
1/2 oz. butter
1 Tbsp. Parmesan, shredded
1 Tbsp. Basil, torn
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Basil leaf (fried, to garnish)
As you cook pasta in boiling water, heat marinara and roasted tomatoes in saucepan with butter. Once pasta is heated through, add pasta to sauce and toss in pan, season to taste. Plate pasta and garnish with parmesan and fried basil leaf.
Buddy V’s Cannoli:
2 Artuso Cannoli Shells
7 oz. Cannoli Cream (see below)
1 Tbsp. toasted pistachios
2 tsp. cocoa drops
1/4 tsp. chocolate drizzle
Powdered sugar (as needed)
1 oz. chocolate caramel sauce
Pipe cream into shells. Garnish with pistachios and cocoa drops. Drizzle chocolate and powdered sugar. Pour sauce in ramekin.
1 lb. Impastata cheese
1/2 lb. ricotta cheese
1/4 lb. sugar
Cinnamon powder (to taste)
1/8 lb. cocoa drops
Combine Impastata, ricotta, sugar and cinnamon in mixer with paddle attachment. Once combined fold in cocoa drops.