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Giada At All Tastes: From Vegan To Carnivore, What To Order At This Las Vegas Restaurant

Last updated: July 11, 2014 at 1:12 pm. Posted by in Celebrities, Las Vegas Restaurants, The Cromwell. 14 Comments on Giada At All Tastes: From Vegan To Carnivore, What To Order At This Las Vegas Restaurant.

 

Top toque: Giada De Laurentiis at Giada before her big opening. Photo by Erik Kabik.

Top toque: Giada De Laurentiis at Giada before her big opening. Photo by Erik Kabik.

Open a little more than one month, Giada De Laurentiis’ groundbreaking restaurant, Giada at The Cromwell has certainly made an imprint in the Las Vegas restaurant scene. With tables booked out weeks in advance, the bubbly Food Network star and admitted perfectionist has been working hard to ensure everything runs flawlessly. She relentlessly tastes dishes, visits tables, engages with guests and asks their opinions. In doing so, De Laurentiis has swiftly separated herself from the entire pack of A-Z list chefs and restaurateurs in town. Everything is impeccable.

She trains staff her way, and it’s clear in their immaculate delivery and consistency. Dining at Giada is a full on experience and will probably double in demand once lunch service begins on July 16. Waiters not only recite menu highlights, but can relay in detail the “Giada”-style thought processes behind the dishes, as well as little-known food factoids and suggestions on ordering flow.

On a recent visit, my team and I banded together for dinner at Giada; this group of misfits featured none other than a pescatarian, a pregnant vegan, a carnivore and a vegetarian. It’s not surprising that despite our high maintenance dietary restrictions, we still ordered upwards of 20 dishes (many of them from the antipasti menu), and devoured them all, leaving us Thanksgiving-style stuffed. I chose to pair cocktails with my dinner while the two other shared a bottle of Willamette Valley pinot noir that brought out many of the flavors sprinkled in each succulent bite.

Topped with fresh ricotta, Giada's popular Bucatini has a spicy kick to it thanks for calabrian chili pomodoro sauce.

Topped with fresh ricotta, Giada’s popular Bucatini has a spicy kick to it thanks for calabrian chili pomodoro sauce.

The left side of the menu is all antipasti and pizzettes—with the idea being that you first order a few of these small bites for the whole table. It gels with De Laurentiis’ famous “I eat a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything” motto. Antipastis are broken down by genre, including vegetable, meat, seafood, cheese, salumi and crostini. The tiny, precious pizzettes, cooked in her prized pizza oven, are sliced in fours and give you a bite of Italian style pizza without filling you up. The right side of the menu features soups, salads, pastas, entrees and sides, with most meant to be shared.

Many dishes can be altered or made to correlate with diets, (yes, even gluten-free options abound) so here’s a breakdown on what to expect and what to order no matter what kind of diner you are.

CARNIVORE

Start off with the bacon wrapped dates, which will only leaving you wanting more. Dig into a few of the salumi options, which are mostly pork, such as the Cacciatore tartufo with aromas of truffle. As Giada always emphasizes eating a small portion of pasta right before entrees, try the Bucatini. While this must-try dish is meatless, it’s so flavorful that you won’t even miss the meat, and it provides a nice break between courses. For the main, everyone raves about the Sicilian roasted lamb and 28 oz. bone-in Tuscan Rib-Eye. If in the mood for more sharing, order the roasted Chicken Cacciatore. Meant for two, it’s presented tableside before being whisked away to be cut. Pair it with sides: the heavenly smashed potatoes with a hint of lemon and sweet corn with spicy Italian sausage.

PESCATARIAN

De Laurentiis is known for being one of the few that keeps her Italian dishes light. Instead of heavy sauces, creams and huge portions, she favors adding California cuisine twists and lots of citrus infusions. This makes her food ideal for pescatarians, who are basically vegetarians who eat some seafood. Don’t leave without ordering the mind-blowing risotto topped with crab and scallops. The spaghetti with lemon, shrimp and basil is one of her most famed dishes, so order that unless you’re feeling slightly more adventurous: the lobster ravioli is ultra-light, with bites contained in airy pasta pockets and drizzled in a light sauce. The seared salmon or branzino options are excellent main courses to try.

VEGETARIAN

The baby artichokes are beyond divine, and served in two ways on the plate: crispy and marinated. Topped with a slab of cheese, the wood roasted mushrooms are heaven, as is the crostini with feta, tomato, and a strawberry jam so fresh, you’ll hope they sell it by the jar.
Many vegetarians are known for their love of cheese, especially high-quality cheese. Giada’s dreamy selection hits all the right notes. Chunks of 18-month aged Parmesan come with wild-sage honey and the creamy burrata needs nothing but its topping of balsamic salt. There are several cheeses to try—I suggest a minimum of three. After you’ve downed these and the frequent favorite, the kale/Gorgonzola dolce/wood roasted mushrooms pizzette, dive into either the creamy artichoke soup or the farroto, which boasts a generous truffle essence among fava beans and pecorino tartufo.

VEGAN

The vegetable section of the antipasti menu is a vegan goldmine. Many of the items are vegan, including the herb and citrus marinated olives imported from Italy, grilled broccoli rabe and cipollini. The pasta e Fagioli soup can be made vegan, and any dairy, pancetta or prosciutto can be left off salads. Make your main course the pea pesto tortellini (did we mention all the pasta is made in house?), which has a vegan option. The wood grilled asparagus side is also a big winner. It comes with lemon ricotta for dipping but you can either have that left off or give it to another cheese-loving diner in your party.

Sweet finish
De Laurentiis is a self-proclaimed dessert fiend and advises diners at her restaurant to save room. Trust me, it’s worth it. You’ll see a stunning rose gold dessert cart rolling throughout the whole night, and will make mental notes about treats such as cakes, pie, eclairs and her famous lemon ricotta cookies. Choices rotate every night, but there’s always the dessert staple, house made gelato, or sorbetti for a vegan choice.

Make Reservations for Giada, located at The Cromwell Las Vegas.

You won't be able to say no to Giada's assorted desserts.

You won’t be able to say no to Giada’s assorted desserts.

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About The Author

A 15-year Las Vegas resident, Emma Trotter has worked in the media industry since 2006, with a focus on entertainment journalism and celebrity news. Holding a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism & Media Studies from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she has worked as a copywriter, editor, writer, reporter, blogger and produced several photo shoots for local lifestyle magazines. A true advocate of the city's diverse offerings and glitzy lifestyle, Emma has promoted Las Vegas extensively, whether writing about its top hidden gems, to exploring its rich, fascinating history or covering Las Vegas’s social scene and real estate, fashion, beauty, nightlife, dining and profiling the top influential executives.

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14 Responses

  1. mike meyers

    my wife and I like to go out for dinner on special occasions. the prices should be shown on your menu so people like us know if we can afford to visit your resturaunt.

  2. Emma Trotter

    Hi Mike, prices are listed on this menu, take a look. We would love to have you in! http://www.thecromwell.com/content/dam/dlv/Giada/Giada.pdf

  3. Marion Bremby

    Hello,
    My husband and I will be in Vegas 8-12 September 2014 celebrating his 75th birthday on 11 Sept and are planning to do that at Giadi’s. I believe I saw somewhere that you have a tasting, is that correct and do you pair with the tasting?

    Thank you,
    Marion

  4. Emma Trotter

    Hi Marion, yes there is an AMAZING tasting menu at Giada. If it’s just you and your husband, you have to both get it and then the chef will prepare all the antipasti to your liking, then you have a few choices for the other courses. It is outstanding, and you can do a wine pairing add on with it. Definitely a MUST and a fantastic birthday present. a tip though: MAKE YOUR RESERVATION NOW. I CAN’T STRESS IT ENOUGH, THEY ARE BOOKED OUT WEEKS IN ADVANCE, SO MAKE SURE YOU SECURE THE TIME AND DAY ASAP.

  5. LARRY

    WILL BE IN TOWN CELEBRATING WIFE’S 65TH BIRTHDAY ON SEPTEMBER 4, HOW IS BEST WAY TO MAKE RESERVATIONS AND WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE AT GIADA’S. LOVE YOUR SITE AND INFORMATION GREAT WAY TO PREPARE FOR COMING OUT IN THE FUTURE. ALWAYS LOOKING FOR NEW AND FUN THINGS TO DO IN VEGAS

  6. Emma Trotter

    Hi Larry, the best way to make reservations is to call way ahead. I would suggest booking your reservation today, as they sell out weeks in advance. 855-442-3271. As far as dress code, it’s definitely more on the upscale side. I would dress business casual or like you are going to a nice, fancy dinner. Definitely arrive very hungry and leave several hours for your experience, dont be rushing off after an hour. You will want to savor this moment!

  7. cici

    Hi, great review
    My husband and i already made the reservation for tomorrow, do you know how much will cost the tasting menu?? …. Just to compare with the regular…thanks!!

  8. Emma Trotter

    Hi Cici, I believe the tasting menu is about $120!!! Definitely worth it though, because you really get a feel for Giada’s style, dishes and the thought behind each one. Plus I think you get a signed photo

  9. Roberto Ferreira

    We are looking to experience your restaurant in early December and are interested in the tasting menu but would like more info on it.
    So there’s two of us so would it roughly be $120 for each or is the tasting enough for two people to share? Would we each get an entrée and share the other courses?

    Thanks

  10. Emma Trotter

    Hi Roberto, the tasting menu is $120 per person no matter what, but the the thing is if ONE person orders at the table, everyone else is required to. there’s no splitting it up. then each table gets antipasti dishes to share, their own pasta, their own entree and sides for the table to share. Then of course dessert as well. it’s definitely worth the splurge, i can tell you that! also, be sure and book your reservation soon as she fills up very fast. thank you for reading, let me know if you have more questions.

  11. suzanne

    We are having Christmas Day lunch at Giada’s. We are driving in from So Cal to stay at Lake Las Vegas resort, what shall we wear? Christmas can be a little fancy, but we will have driven 4.5 hours. Any suggestions? And, will the menu be the same as typical lunches?

  12. Emma Trotter

    Hi Suzanne,
    That’s so exciting! Have you made your Christmas Day reservation yet? If not, please do ASAP as I’m sure it will sell out. Giada is definitely an upscale restaurant, so dressing to impress is always welcome but anything smart casual will do as well, as in most casino-hotels. As far as the menu, I am pretty positive there will either be a separate Christmas Day menu or at least some specials for the day. We haven’t found out yet, but will probably be doing a post on it when we hear!

  13. Kathy Prochazka

    Hello, I have watched Giada’s show for a long time. I will be in vegas in a couple of weeks for 3 days at Bally’s. I will be by myself as my husband passed away a few months ago and I want to get out of town. If I wanted to sit in the lounge on a weekday and have a little food and drinks do I need a reservation. I kind of like to do things without specific times especially if I am going to a bar or lounge. Let me know please. Thank you.

  14. Emma Trotter

    Hello Kathy, that should be completely fine. The bar and lounge are mostly done on first come, first served seating, but generally it’s not full on weekdays but can get busy on later evenings and weekends. You only need a full reservation if dining in the dining room.