A Mini Trip to Giada's Restaurant


Aug 17th, 2018, 09:11 AM
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A Mini Trip to Giada's Restaurant

Pals, N & D and I try to get together for a meal each month. Usually it is a lunch and we alternate between their Baltimore area home, and mine in Annapolis. This time we decided to get an early dinner at the Casino in Baltimore where Giada de Laurentis has recently (May 2018) opened a place, GDL.

If you are approaching Baltimore from the south on the BW Parkway (Rte. 295), stay right after Water St. exit. You will see signs (not huge, but there) for the casino “take next 2 right turns.” Everything is well-marked. If you reach Ravens Stadium, you have gone too far. Do a u-ie and come back. There is a signal for left hand-turn into the casino.

As a single woman, I often use valet parking but it wasn’t open on my 4:45 weeknight arrival. I managed to get a good parking place on the 5th floor very near the elevator. I took the elevator marked ‘Casino’ and GDL was on the right. Arrows point in the directions of restos and areas. I was surprised to see restos for Gordon Ramsey and Guy Fieri.

We studied the wine list and decided to buy a bottle of Mark West Pinot Noir ($40—a bargain compared to wine by the glass). Our waitperson brought one glass of red! You can easily find the menu online, but N had Parm-crusted pork chop with checca (say ‘kecka’—uncooked tomato sauce); D had Giada’s Chicken parm; and I had the Whole Grilled Branzino over a tomato puree. We ordered the sampler of sides and liked everything but the creamy corn was too spicy for our palates. We shared Zeppole and White Coffee ice cream for dessert. I want to say it was in the $170.00 area. We agreed to rate GDL at a B++ or A--.

After we ate, we walked around a bit. We pooled $3 for one turn on a slot and promptly won $270!
TDudette is offline  
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Aug 17th, 2018, 10:08 AM
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I've eaten at her restaurant in Las Vegas and liked it very much.
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Aug 17th, 2018, 10:44 AM
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Nice ROI-- $170 for dinner for three (not really expensive IMHO), then $270 at the slots? That's how we paid for a fantabulous meal at Jaleo in the Cosmopolitan in Vegas!

GDL sounds good. I wonder if they charge corkage? I would be a bit put out by paying $40 for a bottle of Mark West I can get for $10 (always on special) at my local grocery store, but it IS pretty nice pinot noir....

I know y'all thought the corn might have been a bit spicy, but that may reflect Giada's SoCal leanings; we're a bit capsicum-forward in this state (the hottest meal I ever had was at a Sichuan joint in the Castro in SF-- punishing AND addictively delicious!). Nice to know Baltimore's food scene has such an eclectic mix!
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Aug 18th, 2018, 10:35 AM
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Good to read, tom42.

rjw_lgb_ca, no help about corkage fee. Because the cheapest BTG wine was $10, we figured we'd saved about $20 by buying the bottle. None of us had mixed drinks so that may account for the reasonable price. As for the heat, I would probably order medium hot if given a choice. I don't remember that the heat was pointed out on the menu. As you suggest, it might be perfect for others!

Baltimore has so many wonderful places. World-class hospital, world-class art museums, incredible foods in the various ethnic areas and some beautiful historic old homes.
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Aug 22nd, 2018, 08:37 AM
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Forgot to mention that small squares of focaccia bread were served. They were very cake-y and had crispy tops. The few times I had it in Italy, and in Giolitti's in Annapolis MD, the top was softer and had dots of oil and slivers of rosemary. The texture was more bread like elsewhere also.
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