I chose to partake in the brunch at the Giada Restaurant because I have cooked her recipes and adore how they are so deliciously simple. She seems like a kind person and upon meeting her she was truly a delight to talk to. She was engaging, sincere and a now I understand the term “cute as a button”. As usual for me, because apparently, I am easy to talk to at times, we had some off the record moments regarding her event coming up around me the following weekend. I did have to confess that I had never attended said event because it was a little “packed” for my comfort level. I also, laughed at the comment because, after all, I was in Las Vegas of all places and I did not feel that it was too crowded. After years of enjoying her coaching on The Next Food Network Star which happened to be the show that launched one of our local chefs, Guy Fieri, into stardom then absorbing delicious recipes she creates on her cooking shows on the same network, I couldn’t wait to get a taste of what her restaurant would showcase.
The restaurant is located inside The Cromwell Hotel on the strip, close to Caesars Palace and Bally’s. The layout of the restaurant is friendly and open with the added pleasure of windows that provide the option to catch a breeze when one should arise. There was a sweet lady with her best friend that had attended the Uncork’d weekend for multiple seasons, but never missed a chance to dine at one of the Giada options and had many of her fantastic books signed by the author herself. I was a little late to that idea as I was so focused on the event, I never thought to bring one of my books to have signed. Well, there may be more options in the future, right?!
As the doors opened there were welcome cocktails offered and passed around for the first part of the afternoon. Nothing makes my heart swoon for brunch like the sight of bottomless mimosas and I was delighted to also see strawberry frose as well. I had to be mindful to not induce myself with the attack of brain freeze as I spied the funny look on my husband’s face that one was upon him. Located around the bar were hors d’oeuvres to snack on as you mingled, took photos and enjoyed the warmth of all the fellow people just happy to enjoy the event offerings.
Placed around the restaurant were some items that Giada stated were from her private collection and freshly made pasta along the inside of the bar. Viewing the plating is part of the things I always enjoy and over the years I have begun to understand the full meaning of eating with your eyes first. Some of the initial passed bites were sweet ricotta crostini, bacon wrapped dates (because everything IS better with bacon), slices of margarita pizza among other items. After a few pictures and moments of laughter we finally decided to find our seat and enjoy the window views.
The menu had me the moment I spied the courses. During the brunch everything was served family style per table which encouraged lively conversation. It turned those that were strangers a moment ago to the comfort of an engaged cousin, aunt or uncle. The first course contained a variety of options. There was a caprese salad, sweet ricotta crostini, truffle salami, or rosemary scone on the savory side while providing the sweet option of the pastry basket assortment including fruit danish or chocolate croissant monkey bread. I immediately lost my husband to the croissant while we reconnected the moment, we decided the truffle salami was the best salami we had ever tasted. We wished we could have bought these in abundance to bring home with us, but it will just linger in our food flavored memories clothed in gratitude.
The second course included the lightness of a romaine salad with torn rustic croutons, fried capers and citrus vinaigrette and the more robust pesto cavatelli with roasted mushrooms, asparagus and peas. One of my observations during this brunch was that this experience reminded me of how we occasionally eat at home. I love the discovery of vacations, but there is nothing more endearing then the universal moments of feeling at home wherever you may be located. I found myself feeling love for that, near to my home, wine option as I chose the light and lovely Chateau St Jean Winery Bijou Rose to pair with my first two courses. I found it very approachable and was glad that my husband agreed.
The third course contained all the things that bring my husband joy during breakfast dining. This course was lobster hash with potatoes, bacon, peppers, tomato, onion confit and eggs with toast. I have yet to make it at home as I am not the largest fan of eggs, but that portion aside, this was a delightful dish with just a perfect amount of seasoning. This is all the things most people enjoy about breakfast and it is highly recommended by my husband should you choose to enjoy a brunch at this restaurant.
The final and fourth course was the dessert course. I had a moment where I wondered who has dessert for brunch. I laugh as I realized this year, I will be enjoying truffle making with Christina Tosi for this year’s event. Apparently, I like desserts with brunch, it just took Las Vegas to show me my hidden desires. The dessert was aptly named, Italian Death by Chocolate. This luxurious desert included a chocolate fudge brownie, chocolate sorbet, Lucini olive oil, sea salt, whipped cream and Italian Amarena cherries. Chocolate is my husband spirit food for sure and I took great delight in his blissed-out grins during this brunch.
Throughout the meal Giada graciously signed menus, spoke with every table and along with the spokesperson for Bon Appetit shared gratitude for all those attending. We were all sent home with a small bag containing her signature lemon ricotta cookies. As we departed, we realized that we had a large coursed dinner that same evening and I told my husband at that moment, no matter what we think we wanted to do that day we would be walking everywhere all day. The only time we got off our feet was for a small costume change before that evening’s dinner. I would gladly return to this restaurant during any of my stays in the lively city of Las Vegas.
Next up: Vegas Uncork’d Day 3 Continued – Dinner at Guy Savoy