Jun 16, 2015


a restaurant review


fork and knife

The Cromwell Hotel
3595 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89109

I am no chef and I really don’t belong in the kitchen. I am clumsy and my food experiments are edible 50% of the time. There should be a sign in my kitchen that reads: EAT AT YOUR OWN RISK. (I tell myself my culinary handicap is really just a consequence of trying to veganize everything). I have literally lit an oven on fire.

Years ago my friends and I got together weekly for dinner. I was never “allowed” in the kitchen – it was a safety call voted on by the masses. One night, I decided to prove I could cook so I browsed FoodNetwork.com for a recipe. I ended up printing out a recipe by Giada de Laurentiis, and then setting the oven on fire.

Nowadays I have a little more finesse in the kitchen, a little blood here and there, but no fires. I mostly make simple dishes and vegan baked goods. I leave the complicated stuff to the pros – like Giada.

Giada has been my favorite Food Network Chef since I started watching the channel. I can’t eat 95% of the dishes she makes (meat & cheese are staples in her dishes), but I love watching how easy and clean she makes cooking look. She’s an Italian illusionist, I bet. I also love how she refuses to conform to the American dialect when pronouncing ingredients. The exaggeration of the Italian IPA pronunciation of “mascarpone” is the secret, I suppose.

Last Saturday (6/13/2015), Tony and I were able to taste the food I’ve been salivating over through the TV screen for years. We had dinner at Chef Giada De Laurentiis’ restaurant, GIADA.

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Normally I find Italian food to be heavy and saucy. This was not the case at GIADA. Everything was remarkably fresh and filled with flavor. It really felt like Giada prepared the dishes on TV and then handed us the plates to taste. (Note: our server told us she was there the night before, we missed her!!).


top left: Margherita pizza (mahr-ge-ree-tah peet-suh) with herb roasted roma tomatoes & basil

top right: Roasted baby beets with strawberry vinaigrette & toasted Sicilian pistachios

bottom left: Limoncello (limonˈtʃɛllo) for dessert, an Italian classic

bottom right: Spaghetti (spah-geh-tee) shrimp, lemon & basil

The only non-vegan dish was the Spaghetti, it contained shrimp. Everything else was customized to contain no meat or dairy. The chef was very accommodating and the menu even included vegan options. Much appreciated!

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I found the entire dining experience delightful – two thumbs up, 100%, A++, 5 stars. I am beyond thrilled that Chef Giada now has a place to share her food with her fans.

Thanks, Giada! I will be back!


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