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Giada Is Coming to Baltimore

A sneak peek at Giada's new restaurant, opening next month in Charm City


I'm starting to think there's something addictive about opening restaurants - just after we finished working on Pronto at Caesars Palace at the beginning of this year, I've thrown myself into opening a new restaurant in Baltimore, a brand-new project that's been flexing all my creative muscles! I always find something inspiring about traveling to a new city and exploring its food traditions; in working on GDL Italian, which will open in May at the Horseshoe Casino, I've had the double thrill of learning about Baltimore's deep culinary roots and being able to use them in my kitchen in the very same day. It's been such a pleasure to chat with local chefs (and eat lots of delicious new food, of course!), and it's expanded my creative outlook in exciting new ways.
Lemon and Pea Alfredo
Lemon and Pea Alfredo
I love that Baltimore has such a deep connection to the ocean; living on the coast myself and having drawn lots of inspiration from the food of the Italian coast, I really relate. And seafood just speaks to the way I like to eat best, using fresh, bright flavors that won't weigh you down. When GDL Italian opens its doors, you'll definitely find some gorgeous local seafood on the menu, especially those Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. But I've also had lots of fun discovering completely new-to-me ingredients, like Old Bay seasoning. Old Bay isn't something I've cooked with before, but it's such a big deal here that it absolutely has to be part of our kitchen toolkit this time around. I love the challenge!
Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese
Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese
And it wouldn't be a Giada project without plenty of pasta! We've dreamed up some twists on Italian classics that fit in with my lighter, California-tinged fare, like a sweet onion carbonara that gets its sweetness from deeply caramelized onions, and a vegetable bolognese where meaty dried porcini mushrooms stand in for the usual ground beef. Because we're opening in the springtime, I'm especially in love with the vibrant lemon and sweet pea alfredo.
Sweet Onion Carbonara
Sweet Onion Carbonara
More than anything, I'm thrilled to be given another opportunity to share my food with people face to face. Opening a restaurant is always a bit of a gamble, and there are definitely some nerves coming into play as we get close to opening day. But I'm so proud of the work we've done so far, and excited to keep learning from this great city over the coming months. I hope the people of Baltimore will come give us a try.

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