Italian cuisine flourishes at Giada in Las Vegas

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I’m a big fan of Giada De Laurentiis, such a big fan that I signed up for his newsletter, which sends recipes and stories to your email. But if you’re in Vegas and don’t want to wait until you get home to have a bit of Giada in your life, book a spot for brunch (or dinner) at his namesake restaurant.

This venue was De Laurentiis’ first restaurant in Vegas and, indeed, anywhere, when it opened in 2014. The decor and cuisine capture the legacy of The Food Network star – during his early childhood, she spent a lot of time in her filmmaker grandfather Dino De Laurentiis’ Italian restaurant and her later years in Southern California. You’ll find light colors and comfortable seating surrounded on two sides by large windows overlooking the Strip and Flamingo Road. Framed posters are scattered in homage to the most famous films of his famous grandfather.

If you have booked for a weekend brunch, fabulous! The brunch menu offers a range of delicious cocktails and breakfast dishes with a Californian twist, such as lobster mince with fried eggs or Benedict salmon, with wilted spinach, poached eggs, piquillos and a prosecco Dutch. The Sunrise polenta waffle is garnished with béchamel sauce, fried eggs and pancetta. Brunch also offers more hearty options, from chocolate chip pancakes with hazelnuts to grilled cheese with lemon pesto and heirloom tomatoes. Having eaten this sandwich several times over the past few years, I can attest to how delicious it is.

And having also dined here a few times, I can approve both the Calabrian chilli bucatini and the cacio e pepe. But you can’t go wrong with any of the pasta. If you are a lobster fan, try the ravioli. And Giada’s signature lemon spaghetti is made with shrimp, mascarpone, lemon and basil, now it really feels like it represents California.

If you need a meatier starter, try the Italian-style, cacciatore-style fried chicken; the pomegranate glazed branzino; 28-ounce bone-in Tuscan rib eye with fried egg or crab and scallop risotto.

For a lighter dinner, try the salmon with ricotta cavatelli, beans and Meyer lemon. Finish it off with the crushed and fried lemon potatoes.

If you notice a trend in lemon dishes, it’s true – the menu is generously anointed with citrus, even down to Giada’s most iconic dish – the lemon ricotta cookies. You can choose from several desserts to finish your meal, from sorbets and ice creams to the decadent crunchy chocolate and hazelnut cake. But get yourself Giada’s favorite cookies and an espresso, and you know your night will end well.

The Cromwell, 855.442.3271

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