Tuesday, June 3, 2014 | 2 a.m.
TV celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis, accompanied by husband Todd Thompson and family, hosted a VIP pre-opening party for her first-ever restaurant, Giada, on Monday night at new boutique hotel the Cromwell at center Strip.
Glowing in a gray cocktail dress with white bandage-like straps and matching gray-and-white pumps, De Laurentiis was introduced by Cromwell President Eileen Moore (a regional president for Caesars Entertainment) and reveled in the girls club of Moore, Giada General Manager Karie Hall and her at Caesars and its newest restaurant, one of the most anticipated openings of the year.
After the red carpet, guests ascended the escalator to the second-floor restaurant, where De Laurentiis talked about her long search for the location of her first restaurant and looked forward to her first paying guests when Giada opens to the public today. She has said that she wants Giada to feel like her California home, and the ambience of Giada is very home-like and comfortable.
The panoramic windows offer a breathtaking view of the Strip; they are retractable and were opened for a little while before the wind kicked up. During the three-hour celebration, Giada, who described the opening of the restaurant as “surreal,” happily greeted guests, posed for photographs and checked on the food with Giada chef Kurtess Mortensen, who donned a brown chef’s jacket.
Guests enjoyed red and white wine, basil lemonade, a cocktail titled Hannibal, small lamb chops, spring pea tortellini, charcuterie, tray-passed oysters, meatballs, deep-fried risotto and bacon-wrapped dates and a dessert station featuring De Laurentiis’ signature lemon ricotta cookies, chocolate chip cookies, mini lemon bundt cakes, palmiers and much more.
Attendees included Larry and Camille Ruvo, Luxor headliner comedian Carrot Top, Planet Hollywood President David Hoenemeyer, nightlife impresario Victor Drai, chef Jet Tila, Las Vegas Magazine Editor Jack Houston, Vegas Magazine Editor Andrea Bennett, Vegas Magazine Publisher Josef Vann, Las Vegas Sun Editor at Large John Katsilometes and Las Vegas Sun celebrity journalist Robin Leach, who attended the celebration directly from McCarran Airport after a long flight home from Macau.
Giada is open from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For information or to make reservations, call (855)-442-3271.
Don Chareunsy is senior editor for arts and entertainment of the Las Vegas Sun.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
Follow Sun A&E Senior Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.
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