“C’est La Vie.”
The first thing I see when walking to the elevator that would lead us to Giada’s restaurant, inside the Cromwell in Las Vegas.
That phrase, meaning “Such is life,” or “That’s life,” incorporates part of my family name. My grandmother’s name was Lavie(rest in peace Mama, and happy birthday!), and this is something we still say today to bring us fond memories of great times.
This was a good sign, immediately.
If you have never watched Giada De Laurentiis on TV or do not know who she is, definitely look her up – her way of cooking italian is refreshing, just as her food tastes and the energy that you get in her restaurant the moment you enter.
Large rooms with large windows that give views towards the Bellagio fountains and the strip made our dinner quite enjoyable, as the fountains and the lights of the street hold a certain type of magic when they are taken in. There is also a patio where you may dine, the picture of Giada on the restaurants website features an image of her standing and waving from it, making the locale a very appealing spot for lunch.
The service was absolutely amazing and each member of the staff who assisted in bringing the dishes or beverages was so friendly and knowledgable. Their Sommelier was also very attentive and ready to help with whatever she could! They all trained with Giada herself before the restaurant opened, giving them the insight towards what feeling Giada wanted this extension of herself to have. I believe that’s a super imperative trademark when beginning a venture like this – give it your flare, and help people transmit that to others by training them yourself. 🙂
After enjoying a Campari on the rocks with a splash of soda, our Prosciutto Tasting came to the table.
This included prosciutto di Parma, lamb prosciutto and duck prosciutto. YUM. The duck prosciutto was something I personally had never had, and let me tell you… It was full of flavor. The best flavor. I could have eaten another portion of the entire prosciutto tasting and been happy! The lamb prosciutto also has a nice, warm, not too gamey flavor.. Simply a richness to it. The dish was served with a honey dijon mustard and a regular dijon mustard to go with the toasts provided.
Artichoke Aranchini with pomodoro and basil aioli came to the table shortly after, and these were delightful as well. Surprisingly they were Vegan!! There are many vegan items on the menu, and many gluten free items on the menu, providing options for non-meat/gluten-free eaters who would love to enjoy some italian. They have small indicators next to the items to demonstrate whether they are “Giada Classic”, “Vegan”, or “Gluten Free”. Very awesome if I do say so myself.
Because these were vegan, they were light and not too filling. The pomodoro was robust and a hearty tomato sauce, pairing perfectly with the artichoke and basil aioli. The texture of the arancini was spot on – crispy on the outside, nice and soft on the inside. The artichoke was a nice spin on a traditional rice arancini. Loved it.
Then we went with a Giada Classic, the Spaghetti. This dish usually comes with shrimp but we opted out of the shrimp and just kept it lemon, basil and capers.
This…. THIS was so delicious, yet so simple. Remember how I said Giada makes her recipes a bit more on the refreshing side? Well this is most certainly one of those recipes. The lemon with the basil always go hand in hand, but throwing in those capers gives it a little bit more of a briny taste – of course I’m sure with the shrimp it would have taken it to another level but even without them, it was fantastic. The slight addition of cream to the sauce rounded it off just right. And once again, the texture of this entire dish was perfect.
My favorite thing that we ate this night? Super difficult to decide between all of them but, I think I would have to say the duck prosciutto!!!
Grazie mille Giada, for a wonderful, satisfying, fulfilling dinner.