I arrived in Las Vegas late Thursday night…and it was made even later by the LONG wait times for Lyft/Uber from the airport. Like really long. I had been trying to get a ride without success for 15 minutes when I heard someone say that their ride would arrive in 60 minutes!!! What? No thank you! And while I am actively boycotting US taxis, I still needed to get to my hotel. I had an 8:30 reservation at Giada’s for dinner.

I switched from Lyft to Lyft XL (still less than the taxi prices) and BAM! “Your driver is arriving in 10-12 minutes.” Okay, phew. Once I was on my way, I was fairly certain that I would be on time for my dinner reservation, but if I had waited for a regular Lyft/Uber, I would have certainly missed a great meal!

On arriving at the host stand, I was asked if I wanted a table or bar seating. Since I am solo for this dinner (The other half of Sibling Revelry arrives tomorrow), I was fine sitting at the bar. I knew I wanted to try the tasting menu ($120) and I was hoping that they had a wine pairing with it, but it was not listed on the menu:

However, in chatting with Molly behind the bar, she said that they would of course pair three wines and a cordial to complement my choices for an additional $70. I agreed and we were off!

For my first course I chose the Arugula Salad and Molly paired that with a glass of Prosecco ($17).

Fresh arugula with a lemon parmesan dressing. The description reads “candied lemon” but I never found any of that. The arugula was certainly fresh, and who doesn’t like giant pieces of parmesan but the real star of this dish is the crispy pancetta!

It was amazing, and I told Molly that it should hands down just be sprinkled on everything! The prosecco was a nice contrast with the lemon and cheese so overall, this course was a win.

For my next course, the pasta course, I knew I wanted to try the Cacio e Pepe. This dish is usually presented swirled out of a giant cheese wheel in an elaborate and awesome presentation. However, due to COVID, they are not doing tableside presentations at the moment, so mine was simply delivered in a bowl. Still, its the taste that counts, right?

Molly paired this dish with a Vermintino ($18), a little sweeter wine than I would normally drink, but with the bite of the pepper from the pasta dish, it made a nice pairing.

The dish was lovely! It is a smaller portion that you get on the a la carte menu, which is fine…There are four courses to get through after all! The dish was creamy and cheesy with an afterbite of black pepper. Perfectly cooked pasta is a must in this dish, and Giada’s came through on that beautifully.

For my entrée course I chose the petit filet, without the additional $45 lobster tail. The menu description says this was to be served with loaded sweet potato, escarole and and Amarone-maple gastrique. Molly paired this with the Leviathan Cabernet Blend ($25) which was a perfect choice for this course.

I ordered my filet medium rare, and it was cooked perfectly. It also had just a hint of grill smoke which was a nice surprise and a brilliant complement to the sweet potatoes. Okay, the sweet potatoes…when I hear “Loaded Sweet Potato” this is not at all what I was expecting. HOWEVER! Nestled inside that lovely smooth mash was…MORE OF THE FRIED PROSCUITTO!!!! It was a lovely little treat mixed in.

By now I am getting full. As is true on most tasting menus, the portions are all smaller than if you were to order them a la carte, but still…its a lot of food! Couple that with the fact that I am not a dessert person to begin with and you can see why I chose Giada’s Signature Cookies…to go.

For this pairing, Molly asked me what cordial I would prefer, so I chose Limoncello ($17). I do not drink that very often but it seemed appropriate for the setting. This dish is served with two lemon ricotta cookies and two chocolate chip cookies. I dutifully tried one small bite of each, for research purposes of course! The chocolate chips were melty and delicious, but FYI – Limoncello is a terrible pairing with chocolate! The lemon ricotta cookies were light and very tasty and an excellent pairing with the Limoncello! They were also very good with my coffee the next morning!

My final thoughts on the tasting menu at Giada in the Cromwell Hotel in Las Vegas: It was an excellent meal for a very fair (Vegas) price. Molly behind the bar timed every course perfectly which is one of the benefits I think of sitting at the bar, the bartender can see where I am in the meal at all times and can fire the next course when appropriate. All of the food was well prepared and delivered at the appropriate temperature for the course. My water was kept full by the support staff and my space at the bartop was cleaned and reset after every course.

Overall the restaurant was under half full, as per the restrictions on dining venues in Las Vegas at the time. There were three other parties at the bar eating dinner, but the size of the bar allows for adequate spacing for that many.

The space itself is lovely, and if you are looking for someplace with a view, the window tables can’t be beat! My one tiny gripe…I wanted to get my father a t-shirt from the restaurant because he has a HUGE crush on Giada. When I stopped at the host stand to ask, they told me that they only have kids sizes in stock. What? The Cromwell is an adults only (21+) boutique hotel/casino. Why would you even stock kids sizes? Oh well, sorry dad!

My total bill came to $203.75 before tip. Pricy? Yep. But I wanted to try it and I felt like it was a fair price for the amount of food / wine I got, especially on the Strip in Las Vegas. I would certainly go back again, I would even get the same tasting menu again…unless they are doing the pasta cheese wheel swirl thing, then I’m getting that!

Next up in Las Vegas? estiatorio Milos in the Venetian. Its a Greek place in the Venetian that opened just this week! Michael won’t land until after lunch time and we are planning on meeting an old friend later at the Venetian so it’s an opportunity I can’t pass up! Plus, it’s another tasting menu!

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