Let’s get this out of the way first: Giada DeLaurentiis is Kitchen Royalty. No matter that she is the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, or the gorgeous daughter of Italian film stars, or a global TV celebrity with her own show on the Food Network called Giada at Home. Let’s focus on her food and incredible talents, shall we?

Giada DeLaurentiis is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, with early experience cooking in the restaurants of such luminaries as Wolfgang Puck’s Spago. Now a celebrated chef in her own right, she opened her signature restaurant Giada at The Cromwell Las Vegas in 2014 to rave reviews. We had heard amazing things about her simple California-inspired Italian cuisine, and had to try Giada Vegas for ourselves.

The interiors of Giada Vegas are gorgeous with fantastic views of the Strip.

The kids love pasta, and my Sicilian family would be proud to know I make pasta often from recipes they taught me while growing up in their kitchens. My mom was an amazing home cook, making Italian dishes based on her own memories passed down through generations. Plus we’ve been to Italy and sampled the real thing from the Old Country. Suffice to say, we know what good pasta tastes like.

Giada Vegas did not disappoint – on pasta or really on anything else. Everything was spectacular: four thumbs up from the 2DadsWithBaggage crew.

Kitchen

As we entered the restaurant, we were stunned by the gorgeous open kitchen and display of delicious baked breads sitting out to cool. Beside the fresh loaves was an array of delicious meats and cheeses, which are some of the kids’ favorite appetizers. The chefs were preparing dishes on display for guests to view, which always adds a bit of theater to any dining experience. With the bar nearby, it made for a very welcoming scene.

Fresh baked breads and crackers waiting to get in my belly

Decor

The room is perfectly positioned, radiating from a rounded corner that seems to jut out over the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo Road. We settled into our raised booth looking across towards Caesars Palace and the Bellagio fountains. And here’s the thing: the lighting in this restaurant is PERFECT. Everyone is lit so perfectly that you are just required to take selfies. Honestly, I could live inside this light for the rest of my life and think I was looking damn good.

Selfies were required when the lighting is this good, as Triton demonstrates here.

Food

And the food, oh the food. We started by feasting on delicious homebaked breads, along with a platter of cheeses and sliced Italian salumi. We also sampled Giada’s sumptuous chicken marsala meatballs with roasted wild mushrooms, as well as salads of romaine torn croutons, fried capers & citrus caesar vinaigrette, and a traditional caprese with burrata cheese, arugula & heirloom tomatoes.

The lemon spaghetti with shrimp was out of this world

For dinner, I dined on Giada’s signature spaghetti with shrimp, lemon & basil  – and it was spectacular. I mean spectacular as in craving-it-afterwards-I-had-to-go-back-again-a-few-weeks-later. As in, I googled the recipe for Giada’s lemon spaghetti with shrimp recipe and tried to make it at home. That is saying a LOT. It was that good.

Triton enjoyed his filet with morel mushrooms, white asparagus, parmesan potato cake & salmoriglio (a sauce of lemon, rosemary, garlic and thyme). The girls slurped down their bucatini pomodoro with fresh ricotta, adding orzo meatballs for good measure.

Really a delicious meal – we cannot wait to go back. And back again. Nice work Giada! You would make my Sicilian Nana proud.

Josephine Brushia, my Sicilian Nana, in whose kitchen we all learned to cook the foods we love to this day.

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