- Right as you walk into the dining room, find this piece of art with Giada's artwork.
- Looking out toward the bar area.
- More artwork from Giada's grandfather's movies.
- The insanity of the first night at Giada.
- Another look at the dining room.
- One of six lights in the dining room. It reads, "Taste a little bit of everything and not of lot of one thing."
- Your first introduction to Giada is a tour that starts at the antipasto station.
- The pasta station is constantly rolling new raviolis, bucatinis and more.
- Next, the bread station, where a flatbread, grissini and focaccia made in tiny crocks are baked.
- Here, the pizzette station, with a wood-fired oven.
[Photos: Susan Stapleton]
Giada De Laurentiis came flying out of the gate with the opening of her very first restaurant in the world last night at The Cromwell. The pint-sized Food Network star darted about the dining room in a black chef's coat, black pants and platform sneakers as the very first guests streamed in to the second-floor enclave, taking up all of the nearly 300 seats. She made a point to stop at each table, sometime multiple times, even though her media event took place the night before and she had an early call time for a live remote on the Today Show.
"Did you at least take a nap?"
"No. It's been a long day. My daughter is sick so I spent some time with her this afternoon. She flew back to California with Todd today. This only happens once," she said on one of her stops.
Guests are taken on a tour of the space before sitting, first seeing the antipasto bar, where chefs ladle up peppers and mushrooms from the extensive menu; the pasta station making spaghettis and bucatinis as fast as they're ordered; the bread station, where flatbreads, grissini and focaccia in tiny crocks are cooked up; and the pizzetta bar and its wood-fired stove. See the full menu here.
Each table receives a plate of basil, capers, lemons, pink salt and peppers for flavoring dishes, although they're not needed.
The room has a very airy and spacious feel. Sitting in front of one of the cantilevered windows overlooking the busiest intersection in Nevada and the Bellagio fountains, the noise doesn't cascade in as one might expect. In fact, even with music (at least two Police songs and REM on the soundtrack) and the buzz of conversation never overwhelm.
In the main dining room, six lights with the phrase, "Taste a little bit of everything and not a lot of one thing," emblazon and give diners a direction for ordering. Nothing is overdone here, using a light hand and a lemon flavor, giving even the most Italian of dishes a feminine and distinctly California tone.
Giada's touch is found everywhere, from almost antique looking red water glasses to her name or just "G" emblazoned on the menus, napkins and plates. On the walls find movie posters such as Barbarella from her grandfather Dino De Laurentiis' production days.
The rose-gold dessert cart was not in service quite yet, but soon. Expect lunch to begin in about two weeks and brunch in perhaps two months.
For now, the restaurant is open from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Good luck getting a reservation.
Until then, the only time you won't feel like you're in Giada's own home is when the check arrives. That you have to pay.
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