just before christmas, i was lucky enough to venture to vegas for a much needed getaway with some lovely ladies from my last job. we had agreed to ahead of time to do one calm night and one wild night. our calm evening was definitely memorable because we had the most magnificent dining experience at giada.
for all of my fellow food network lovers, dining at giada was just as dreamy as you think it would be. i was especially excited to experience this with annie – she has all of giada’s cookbooks, loves a good italian meal. today is her birthday so this post is in honor of her. happy birthday, annie!!!
i cannot go to an italian restaurant and not have burrata. the burrata crostini was served with a kale salsa verde and toasted pine nuts. it was absolutely divine.
next, i had an arugula salad. it definitely had a little something special since it was combined with candied lemon, crispy pancetta and parmigiano-reggiano. it was a simple salad but absolutely decadent. for my main course, both amanda and i had the ravioli which comes with lobster, candy stripped beets and preserved lemon butter. our waitress suggested we get the lemon potatoes as a side to share and dip them in the preserved lemon butter sauce. it was absolutely to die for.
annie got giada’s signature lemon spaghetti and was in heaven. the presentation was just stunning.
michelle and vicky split bone-in tuscan ribeye and salmon paired with roasted broccolini. to say they were pleased with their choices would be a gross understatement. everything was seasoned to perfection.
more cocktails were consumed than i care to count and every single one was amazing. my favorite was probably my drinkable dessert. giada’s take on affogato included a bailey’s gelato they make in house. i am still dreaming of it.
our experience was seamless from start to finish. there are few things that compare to an amazing meal with even more amazing women.
if you are in vegas, be sure to make reservations via opentable at giada – the cromwell las vegas. you will be so happy you did.
in honor of thirsty thursday and me having intense vegas withdrawals, i thought you all would love to hear about a bar you must visit if in vegas, especially if at the venetian. i went to the dorsey cocktail bar for the first time last december and knew i had to make a reservation for my mom and i for labor day weekend.
one of the reasons i fell in love with the dorsey is because it reminded me of one of my favorite movies of all time – beauty and the beast. as a child, i also said if i could be any princess, i would choose belle. and while i loved her yellow dress and the relationship she had with the staff members of the castle, what i envied most was the library. as an avid reader, there was nothing more captivating. and strangely, the first time i walked into the dorsey, i felt like i was in a sultrier version of the beauty and the beast library. what made it better? the craft cocktails they serve and on this most recent visit, the bomb ass dj that was spinning everything from lauryn hill to ja rule to biggie to megan the stallion.
during covid, a reservation is highly recommended and the minimum is two drinks per person and one appetizer per two people. trust me – you will want more than just that the second the first sip hits your lips.
felecia and i ordered the following cocktails: spicy flamingo, sunflower and easy street. the spicy flamingo is kind of like their spin on a spicy watermelon margarita – who doesn’t love watermelon with a little kick? don’t be deceived by the name sunflower – that drink came with the perfect punch since it is gin based with absinthe but balanced perfectly with floral and citrus notes. easy street is named perfectly because the cucumber and vodka is super smooth and goes down easy.
something i loved was how the bartenders did not take offense to modifications to a cocktail. my mom is definitely a vodka girl and made an adjustment to the spicy flamingo to have it made with vodka instead of tequila. it did not disappoint.
there is ample space to spread out and be comfortable – this was especially crucial during covid. the music is played at a volume where you definitely enjoy it but do not need to yell to have a conversation. and for people like us who like to stay in the venetian, is there anything better than getting buzzed downstairs and just taking an elevator back up to your suite? absolutely not.
when planning your next vegas trip, make a little reservation on opentable beforehand and thank me later.
over the weekend, i took a much needed road trip to vegas with my mom for an early birthday celebration. on saturday, we were lucky to have hillary join us for the day as we adventured to the most magical place in vegas – the vanderpump cocktail garden.
it is like stepping into the most beautifully lit forest. the experience was outstanding and the garden certainly had the lisa vanderpump touch. an added bonus? i have never seen a more efficient line/check in process. every single person working there was friendly, knowledgeable and aesthetically pleasing. and of course, the food and drinks were to die for.
if you are familiar with villa blanca, you probably already know and love the goat cheese balls. well guess what? you can get them here, too! we also did the crispy chicken sliders and the truffle potato puffs. not only was everything fresh and decadent, it was the perfect size to pair with a cocktail.
speaking of cocktails, our waitress, ashley, was able to answer all of our questions. she also returned in the blink of an eye with the most amazing drinks for us to try. my mom and i both went with the “please her, caesar!” and hilly had the “puff the magic dragon” – both were insanely delicious. my drink was vodka and champagne based while hilly’s drink was mezcal based. there truly is something for everyone.
both ashley and brandon (another employee at the cocktail garden) were just delightful. we felt right at home. when brandon realized he was in the company of a fellow virgo, he asked my mom what her favorite spirit was. when she replied with vodka, he brought these amazing shots for the table with an edible flower that numbs your mouth a bit and enhanced your tastebuds. my mom was SHOOK. she said that in all of her years of drinking, she has never had drinks this delicious or unique.
it was the perfect way to kick off a week of celebrations and we can’t wait to go back.
have you been to the cocktail garden? if so, what did you get?