05 Jan Special of the Day~ Fine Dining in Las Vegas at GIADA Vegas
Life is short and fragile, it turns out, and there are no guarantees. So get after it, I say.
My personal bucket list is peppered with restaurant experiences I have read about, dreamed about and drooled over in the recent past. And so, when we caught wind of our daughter Mackenzie’s plans to run a half marathon in early December with some members of the CMR cross country team in Laughlin, Nevada, we jumped at the chance to go watch her.
I had been dying to go to GIADA Vegas, Giada De Laurentiis’s restaurant in The Cromwell Hotel on Las Vegas Boulevard since I excitedly read of its opening in 2014. So, as soon as my sweet husband Mike made our airline reservations, I quickly scrambled to confirm our dining plans at GIADA Vegas.
Admittedly, celebrity-chef-owned restaurants are a dime a dozen in Las Vegas, but the truth is that GIADA Vegas is not to be missed. I would recommend dining there to any food enthusiast with Las Vegas travel plans in their future.
The winning combination of GIADA’s warm, welcoming ambiance, dazzling décor, exquisitely prepared dishes presented with elegant panache, and top-notch service combined to create an incredible culinary experience I will never forget.
Our charming waiter Valentino could not have been more attentive throughout the evening, and when a slight delay in service happened as a result of accommodating an unusually large party, GIADA Vegas Restaurant Manager George Catacalos appeared at our table to apologize profusely.
Favorite bites of ours included the chicken Marsala meatballs, the spaghetti with lemon, shrimp and basil, the Tricolore salad with kale, prosciutto and figs, and the lobster ravioli with white asparagus tips and tarragon, but honestly, we thoroughly enjoyed everything that was graciously delivered to our table.
And just when we thought we could not eat one more bite, in rolled the decadent dessert cart. Our kind server suggested we try a luscious Lemon Ricotta Cookie, and I instantly fell in love with these melt-in-your-mouth treasures bursting with fresh lemon flavor. As luck would have it, a GIADA goodie box filled with individually-wrapped-and-sealed cookies arrived with our bill as we were getting to ready to leave, the perfect farewell favor for a girl like me.
If you go, call to make a reservation and request a table by the windows so you can watch the Bellagio fountains, or get a table in the front across from the cooks so you can watch them making pasta and cooking, or if the weather is warm enough, you may want to dine on the outdoor patio.
3595 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
With sincere thanks to George Catapoulos, GIADA Vegas Restaurant Manager, comes this week’s Special of the Day~ Fine Dining in Las Vegas and Giada’s recipe for Lemon Ricotta Cookies. Bake these now. They are to die for. Happy baking!
Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze
Show: Everyday Italian Episode: Care Packages
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 15 min
Serves: 44 cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 (15 ounces) container whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 lemon, zested
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.