3595 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Dining date: 1/24/15
Giada De Laurentiis’ first restaurant was one of Las Vegas’ biggest openings of 2014 and part of the new Cromwell hotel. De Laurentiis is one of the biggest celebrity chefs out there, and this being her first/only restaurant was sure to be hotly anticipated and draw visitors from all over. Seven months after opening, I was one of those people.
Wine and cocktails are displayed via a beautiful iPad display. Wines had bottle images and tasting notes; cocktails had vibrant full color images and complete ingredients. Loved the information.
Flash (Flash Gordon) Jameson Black Barrel, Amaro Braulio, fresh lemon, egg white
The Destroyer (Conan the Destroyer) Clase Azul Tequila Reposado, fresh tangerine, orange and basil, basil ice sphere
Unfortunately the cocktails just were not very good and didn’t even look closely like their iPad image. The drinks were rather dull and one-dimensional; we stuck to wine for the rest of the meal.
Bread service is kind of exciting here, centered around a rosemary focaccia hot out of the oven. Lemon-thyme flatbread and parmesan breadsticks completed the bread variety along with an impressive array of condiments.
Cacciatore Tartufo buttery with aromas of truffle, pork
Gorgonzola Dolce with raw pear honey
We ordered one salumi and one cheese to begin the meal. These were both good.
Clams Casino with herbed bread crumbs & crispy prosciutto
I was expecting to see clams broiled on the half-shell, but this dish came out as a steamed broth-based dish. Many of the ingredients I expected were here including the bread crumbs, proscuitto and parmesan but the broth-based version didn’t work for me. The broth was dull in flavor and any texture that the crispy breadcrumbs and proscuitto would’ve provided quickly turned into a soggy mush in the broth.
Spaghetti shrimp, lemon & basil
This was a Giada signature item. Housemade spaghetti was tossed in a lemon-scented cream sauce but strands still stuck together more than I would’ve liked. Two large shrimp were cooked perfectly, but that couldn’t quite justify $34 of a dish.
Risotto crab & scallops
The crab flavor was subtle in this risotto, though a piece of lingering shell reminded us there was, indeed, crab in here. Scallops were cooked perfectly and the risotto was strong as well, though I couldn’t justify the $32 price tag on this one either.
Rack of Lamb mustard crusted with spinach, raisins, walnuts & herbed gremolata
Our lone entree was this lamb rack which might’ve been the best item we ordered all evening. The lamb was cooked just right with a flavorful crust and both sweet and earthy complementary flavors.
Not being very impressed with the savory side of the menu, we skipped on dessert.
Giada presented a meal that was about as expected. The food was fine, not exactly memorable for being very good nor very bad, but the pricing included a celebrity chef premium. Worth a try for big fans of De Laurentiis but that’s about it.