SOUTH VENICE — When Chris Taranto and silent partner Ben Bigelow took on Venice breakfast institution Bud’s Restaurant, Taranto couldn’t help adding his own home-style scratch cooking to its menu.
“I didn’t want to keep doing the same old Bud’s routine,” he said.
Taranto makes his own delicate Caesar dressing, a beefed-up list of burgers, chicken parm sandwich, soup of the day including gumbo and breakfasts like bananas Foster French toast with butter rum sauce and Nonna Bianca’s stuffed Nutella pancakes. His breakfast Benedicts, with homemade Hollandaise, now welcome a San Fran Benedict with avocado and tomato, a Country Benedict on biscuits with sausage gravy and a Creole Shrimp Benedict that speaks for itself.
Every first Sunday of the month, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they have live-jazz brunch and a New Orleans menu where Taranto tries out new concoctions that might make their way onto the growing regular menu.
Six months in and Taranto couldn’t help but transform the place’s name and interior as well. After weeks of 18-hour days working on the redo, he reopened Jan. 10 as Mitch’s Kitchen.
Which begs the question.
Taranto explained, “When our family came over from Italy, Ellis Island chopped their name down from Miceli to Mitchell. I learned how to cook from watching my grandfather, whose nickname was Mitch, in the kitchen.”
Those who remember the original Bud’s diner-style food will be pleased that not everything on the menu is new. Due to popular demand, Taranto has returned liver and onions to the Mitch’s Kitchen bill of fare.
Mitch’s Kitchen ($), 941-485-6092, 789 U.S. 41 Bypass South, is open for lunch and all-day breakfast, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Saturday and from 7:30 a.m Sunday.