Time To Dish: 12 New Tidbits We Learned About Giada At The Cromwell
Culinary powerhouse Giada De Laurentiis wowed guests at an invite-only sneak peek event of her upcoming restaurant, Giada, at The Cromwell Las Vegas boutique hotel. Yours truly was invited to the swanky soiree, held in a pool villa at Caesars Palace. An antipasti bar just like the one she will be featuring at Giada was set up, with ample samplings of her cuisine.
We noshed on citrus marinated olives, caponata marinated mushrooms with toasted almonds, cipollini agrodolce, marinated calamari salad, oyster crudo with prosecco mignonette, charred octopus with potato and fennel salsa. Aside from the prosciutto, bresaola, mortadella, calebrese, marinated mozzarella boconccini and Parmeggiano Reggiano, there were also three kinds of bread, including one baked with peppers and an olive bread. (Yes, we had all three…multiple times over.) Another cook beckoned us with De Laurentiis’ chicken marsala meatballs with roasted mushrooms and lobster arancini with calabrian chili pomodoro.
The Emmy Award-winning celebrity chef dished out tons of new tidbits about her anticipated restaurant, including new renderings and more information on how the whole project came to be. She admits that among her Food Network show and cookbooks, she was in no rush to open her own restaurant and looked at hundreds of spaces everywhere imaginable. The spot at The Cromwell was one of her last ones to tour, then a two-story parking garage that faced the Fountains of Bellagio. The entire project has been a labor of love for De Laurentiis, who has curated her passions and spirit into every detail. Most importantly, she wanted the restaurant’s interior to have a residential-like, comfortable vibe with living room-style furniture, feminine touches and attention to detail at every turn.
De Laurentiis says she has her fingerprint on every single aspect of the space, down from picking out the tile (imported Italian) to hanging art work from her personal collection to fighting for a homey fireplace inside the space. She’s also thrilled about being only the second female chef branded restaurant on the Strip. “My number one feeling is pure excitement,” she said. “I have no idea what this journey is going to be like, but I’m so excited.”
Here are even more fun facts to get you in a foodie frenzy for the opening of Giada:
• The opening date has been pushed back to the start of summer, with De Laurentiis aiming for June 4. “I really want this restaurant to open with everything being perfect,” she said. “Not that we open early and the windows don’t open or close, the staff isn’t prepared, the menu isn’t hammered out properly, we haven’t had enough time in our kitchen, all of that. I’m looking long term here, not just one big weekend.”
• Her favorite color, rose gold, will be prominently featured throughout the restaurant’s design. One of the stunning chandeliers at the entrance features hand-blown glass tinted in rose gold that gives off a sexy glow.
• Not wanting diners to walk right into a bar setting typical of most restaurants, she designed an antipasti bar instead. The sights and smells of it will be the first feature guests experience as they enter the restaurant and its lounge space. With a Carrara gold marble countertop, the custom bar boasts separate pizza and bread ovens and a pasta stand where chefs will be rolling homemade pasta.
• Going off her desire for wanting guests to learn something during their Giada experience, she’s had sayings engraved throughout the restaurant’s design. One of the swirl-shaped light fixtures above the seating in the lounge says one of her trademarks, “eat a little of everything, but not a lot of anything.”
• She uses fashion as a design muse. De Laurentiis said she incorporated prints inspired by Missoni and has always aimed for the restaurant space look to be “Armani crossed with Calvin Klein.”
• De Laurentiis was so adamant about using her prime location’s natural light that she had seven custom remote controlled hydraulic windows installed. They wrap the perimeter of the restaurant, with views of Bellagio fountains, Caesars Palace and Bally’s Las Vegas.
• Giada will be open daily for lunch and dinner—and yes, there is a brunch. A private dining room space will be available for larger parties.
• The barstools at the antipasti bar with featured a large letter “G” on the back of them.
• Think you’ll get away without ordering dessert? Not a chance. Beautiful dessert carts displaying her sweet masterpieces will be constantly rolling around, making them irresistible. “I want it to be like a moving pastry shop,” the self confessed “big dessert person” said. “Indulgence is it here. Begin with alcohol and end with dessert. Like this cart, I want to create experiences that have never been created in Vegas before so that I become a destination.”
• The restaurant, lounge and terrace will seat nearly 300 guests.
• De Laurentiis wanted to create several different types of experiences in different areas of her restaurant, so some of the tables will feature tablecloths, while some wont.
• She’s always adding more: “The oysters that you are tasting here today are brand new to the menu. We have a pizza oven and we are working on our pizza dough making sure it’s just right. My family makes a lot of pizza at home but I’ve never really made pizza on my show. Pizza has not been a big part of what I do because it’s hard for people to make good pizza in the oven at home, but now with my Neapolitan roots, we are going to start making it. I wanted to create a menu that was very much a Giada signature menu but a lot of California inspired, lots of citrus, light food but also very decadent food as well. I’m going to start doing a lot more vegan, and there’s a gluten-free pasta that I’m making. At the end of the day it’s an entire package experience. We are going to do chicken cacciatore tableside, we’re having full branzino, things that you wouldn’t see me do on the show because they are not friendly for home cooking. That’s the beauty of this restaurant is I can do those things now but still have the flavors that everybody knows me for.”