Giada Las Vegas: What You'll Be Eating (Photos)

By Lesley Balla  |  June 24, 2014

With its big debut this month, Giada De Laurentiis' new Las Vegas restaurant, Giada, is everything she said it would be. There are incredible sweeping views of the Strip and the Bellagio fountains from most seats in the house. There's lemon chicken, pea crositini and drinks named after movies her grandfather, Dino De Laurentiis, produced. The restaurant was built on the second floor of a former parking garage. From the antipasti bar to the open floor-to-ceiling windows, it's an anchor to the new Cromwell boutique hotel. With its natural woods, cream-colored furniture, photos and imported tiles around the space, you truly get the feeling that you're in the celebrity chef's own home, which is exactly what she was going for.

It was one of the biggest openings in Vegas this summer, and practically sold out when the reservation lines opened. That's because De Laurentiis herself has such a rabid fan base. People want to see if they can finally get a taste of her spah-geh-tee that they've been watching her prepare on countless Food Network shows for years. There's even a photo booth to take a keepsake picture and post directly to social media. Who knows, maybe Giada will even be there and get in the booth with you.

As she's mentioned, De Laurentiis can't be there all of the time, but she has been at the restaurant making sure things are running exactly how she wants them to be — even if that means compromising with the Caesars bigwigs who own it. She doesn't want this to just be a restaurant with her name on it. Every herb, pasta twirl and truffle on top of her pizzettes is done according to her vision. Hopefully it can stay that way. Take a look around below.

  • A sampling from the antipasti bar, including caponata with balsamic and toasted pine nuts; wood-roasted mushrooms with marcona almonds and ricotta salata; sweet baby peppers with goat cheese; and pea-pesto crostini with prosciutto.

  • Specialty cocktails are named after some of the favorite movies that De Laurentiis' grandfather, Dino, produced. There's the Hannibal, made with Botran Reserve Rum, Maurin Quina, fresh lime, blood orange, mint syrup and a Chianti float. Whether it goes well with favas is yet to be seen. There are others, like the Barbarella, made with Tanqueray #10, orange spice ginger beer, fresh lemon and basil foam, and the Flash, named for Flash Gordon (ah-ahh!), with Jameson Black Barrel, Amaro Braulio, fresh lemon and egg white. Most are priced around $15.

  • De Laurentiis has created a menu of traditional Italian dishes with a lighter California twist — exactly the kind of thing you see her create on TV or read about in her cookbooks. Here's a chicken cacciatore, only it's a whole roasted chicken carved tableside and served with a cacciatore-style sauce.

  • Every pasta dish has a pronunciation next to it on the menu so you, too, can speak Giada. Pastas are made in-house, and the sauces are deliberately on the lighter side, like the bucatini (boo-kah-tee-nee) with Calabrian chile pomodoro and fresh ricotta. 

  • Vegetables aren't the regular boring sautéed greens you find on a lot of Italian menus. Here zucchini is served scapece-style with spun golden potatoes and pomodoro sauce. If the farrotto with favas and morels is on the menu, get it, and the peas with pancetta.

  • The 28-oz. bone-in rib-eye is finished with lemon — one of Giada's personal favorite flavor profiles — along with a sunny-side up egg and arugula.

  • Credit: Giada

    Here's the light and breezy dining room with views over the Strip. The windows open: a rarity for Vegas hotel restaurants. 

  • Can't stay for dinner or just want to grab a drink? The bar is right in the center of it all.