While prepping for Vegas, each one of us was looking forward to something different. My brothers were excited about beautiful women and nightclubs. My mom loves to gamble. My boyfriend was looking forward to taking time off work. My step dad couldn’t wait to get us kids together for four days. Personally, I was ecstatic about the incredible food in Las Vegas.
If you didn’t know, Vegas is a food mecca. Celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay, Buddy Valastro, Guy Fieri, Nobu Matsuhisa, Guy Savoy, Mario Batali, and Gordon Ramsay all have restaurants in Las Vegas (and that’s not even all of them). I was most excited to try Giada de Laurentiis’ resaurant called, of course, Giada.
I made a dinner reservation (it’s open for brunch as well) and basically didn’t stop talking about how excited I was to try her food for weeks. Giada is located in The Cromwell Hotel, which I had a view of from my hotel room. So I basically sat at my window dreaming of her food for the first 20 hours that we were there.
Once we arrived, I immiately loved the ambiance and decor. It’s modern meets rustic. All the decor, plates, and glassware are super modern; but the wood ceiling and accents, warm lighting, and neutral colors make you feel cozy and comfortable. The floor to ceiling windows allow views of Caesar’s Palace and the beautiful Bellagio fountain.
My family picked out drinks from the cocktail menu (on an iPad) and my step dad and I split a bottle of Chianti Classico. And finally: THE FOOD. I wanted to try everything, so we each chose an appetizer for us all to share. Here’s the appetizers we ended up getting:
- Marinated Olives
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Buffalo Mozzeralla with citrus chili pesto
- Parmesan~Reggiano with wild honey
- Mortadella Pizza Bianca
- Orzo Veal Meatballs
I don’t eat meat so I didn’t try the pizza or the meatballs but holy bologna everything else was out of this world. The Parmesan with honey, marinated olives, and buffalo mozzarella were the most incredible things I’ve ever tasted. Hands down. The honey was raw and chunky- it looked like it had just been carved from the hive.
Between the appetizers and the complimentary rosemary focaccia and Parmesan crisps, we were getting a bit full. At Giada, the menu is traditionally Italian with her own twists. Everything is moderately portioned and our waiter told us that, in the typical Italian culture, you order pasta as a prerequisite to your meal. I was getting full, perhaps it was the MANY margaritas I had consumed in the 24 hours I had been in Vegas thus far, so I ordered a pasta for my main course.
After much debate, I decided on the Spinach & Tomato Tortellini, “goat cheese and sundried tomato stuffed pasta, with artichoke & asparagus”. This dish was 12/10 out of this world. Of course, all her pasta is fresh and handmade. The flavor profile was unbelievably satiating, there’s no lack of flavor. However, I’m a Parmesan addict and typically eat my pasta with a 1:1 ratio of Parmesan to pasta. I hesitated to ask the waiter for some additional freshly grated Parmesan… I asked “you don’t think she’ll be offended, do you?” He whipped out a hefty block of Parmesan, grated a ginormous mound of cheese on top of my meal, and replied “she’d do the same thing”. I was in food heaven.
My boyfriend, Noel, ordered one of the signature dishes: the spaghetti (I made him pronounce it the true Italian way) with shrimp, lemon, and basil. I took more than a few bites of his meal and I will never be able to eat boxed spaghetti again. Call me a food snob.
Everyone raved about their meal. My brother even ordered the Whole Roast Chicken (meant for two people) and finished it. I repeat, he ate an entire chicken because it was so darn delicious.
Giada also offers vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free style dishes. They also have a dessert cart that they bring to your table so you can see all of the options (I love when places do this). We reluctantly denied dessert because we were already at the point of needing to be rolled out of there. I should have ordered cookies to go though… they looked divine.