Giada’s Italian Cucina offers something special

The kitchen staff at Giada’s Italian Cucina in Henderson are so skilled, they can even make escarole taste good.

Oh, save your e-mails. I’m sure your sainted mother made excellent escarole — just as I’m equally sure the escarole everyone else’s mother made was lifeless and soggy and cooked to the point where it was bitter. Am I right?

For that reason I almost didn’t order the Pappardelle Rustico ($13.95) at Giada’s, but see, I’m a sucker for pappardelle. I love those broad, velvety ribbons of pasta that so softly slide around the plate and across the palate, acting as vehicles for light sauces and textural contrast for chunky items, both of which characterized this dish. Fresh, slightly crunchy chunks of escarole — so right-from-the-garden good that they seemed to have a very, very light hint of anise — were tossed, along with chunks of tomato and slices of finely grained Italian sausage, in a mixture of garlic and olive oil. The dish was "rustico" indeed, a reflection of the simple goodness of country-style cooking, in Italy as elsewhere.

Which is not to take away from the far more citified chicken Gorgonzola ($16.95), which was a special that evening. A large breast of chicken had been rolled around a filling that seemed to consist almost solely of Gorgonzola cheese and wrapped in bacon. It might sound like sodium overload but it wasn’t, since the chicken was equal to the task of neutralizing the saltiness of the other two and their assertiveness played well off of the bland meat. And the crunchy bacon was a great textural contrast.

Dinners at Giada’s include the house salad — there’s something you don’t see so much anymore — and this one was quite nice, with mixed greens and tomatoes and olives and pepperoncini for zip. I’m not big on oil-and-vinegar dressings and that’s what this was, but it was well balanced and complemented the salad so well that I was almost a believer.

There was plenty of zip, as well, in our starter of Italian Nachos ($7.95), which had their own complement of pepperoncini, as well as more of that finely grained sausage (cut julienne this time), plus pepperoni and mozzarella and a spirited marinara. We’d had Italian takes on nachos before, and they usually involved a base of fried pasta squares or something. In a border-bending touch this one was piled atop corn tortilla chips, which seemed a little incongruous at first although we eventually decided we liked it, especially with the kicky peppers.

And we liked the olive-oil-and-red-pepper spread that was served with our mini-loaf of bread, piping hot out of the pizza oven.

And the service was team-style, even though this is a small, family-owned place. A guy we took to be the owner did much of the serving. He seemed a little melancholy on the evening of our visit, as he wandered through the quiet place.

Giada’s simply has yet to be discovered. With quality like this, he should be melancholy no more.

Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at 383-0474 or e-mail her at hrinella@reviewjournal.com.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas
Bellagio's New Conservatory Brings Italian Summer To Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
Kari Curletto of Las Vegas put over 500 hours into making her toilet paper wedding dress. (Courtesy Kari Curletto)
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France
The Real Crepe In Las Vegas Serves Authentic Crepes In The Style Of Brittany, France. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
New Marilyn Musical Brings Screen Icons Life To Strip
Paris Las Vegas hosts musical bio featuring new, old tunes. (Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
Vegas' hottest concerts of the summer
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas
We Taste-tested The Best Doughnut Shops In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
5 must-see bands at Punk Rock Bowling 2018
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s
Gabi Coffee & Bakery Is Like A Korean Speakeasy From The 1920s (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
Five must-see acts at the Electric Daisy Carnival 2018
The "13 Reasons Why" mustang cruises down the Las Vegas Strip (Courtesy Netflix)
4 fun and fascinating museums in Las Vegas
U2 in Vegas through the years
U2 in Vegas through the years
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food
Dirt Dog In Las Vegas Makes Crazy L.A. Street Food (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Black Tap In Las Vegas Makes This Instagram-ready Golden Knights Shake (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre Premieres Until December
‘Until December’ debuts at ‘Ballet & Broadway’ season finale (Carol Cling Las Vegas
Celebrate The Golden Knights With Knights-inpired Latte Art (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single
Yodeling Boy Mason Ramsey Signs With Atlantic Records, Debuts First Single Ramsey, who shot to fame after a viral video of him yodeling at an Illinois Walmart surfaced, just debuted “Famous.” “If I'm gonna be famous for somethin'/I wanna be famous for lovin' you/If I'm gonna be known around the world/I wanna because of you, girl” Mason Ramsey, “Famous” It’s been quite the rush to stardom for the 11-year-old, who appeared on The Ellen Show and performed at Coachella earlier this month. “I’d been to Nashville a few times before, but never thought something like this would happen. It’s a dream to sign with Atlantic and Big Loud.” Mason Ramsey “I loved recording ‘Famous’ and can’t wait for everyone to hear it.”
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala
Steve Aoki, Pitbull And Other Stars Make An Apperance At The "Keep Memory Alive" Gala. (Janna Karel Las Vegas review-Journal)
"Hamilton" Fans Line Up Overnight At Smith Center To Get Tickets
"Hamilton" fans line up overnight at Smith Center to get tickets. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 concerts to see in Las Vegas this week
You can visit the speakeasy in The Mob Museum's basement... if you know the password
6 new foods hitting movie theaters in 2018
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl!
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Welcomes New Baby Girl! The 45-year-old actor posted an adorable photo on Instagram, celebrating his newborn baby girl, Tiana Gia Johnson. Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram Dwayne Johnson, via Instagram This is Johnson’s second daughter with his girlfriend, Lauren Hashian. His oldest daughter, Simone Garcia Johnson, came from his previous marriage. Johnson and Hashian first announced they were expecting another child back in January. Congratulations!!
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like