It finally happened. I turned 39. The week leading up to and the weekend after my birthday were filled with fun celebrations almost every night. Starting with a ride on The High Roller Las Vegas with my husband and two older kids, having a stay-cation on the Las Vegas Strip with the family, and enjoying The Book of Mormon at the illustrious Smith Center. All followed by a night of revelry with the girls at the hottest new hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, The Cromwell.
The Cromwell is a boutique hotel and part of the Caesar’s Entertainment family. Formerly known as The Barbary Coast, then Bill’s Gambling Hall, The Cromwell has made a welcomed addition to the latest trend of hip boutiques to grace the Las Vegas Strip. Though difficult to entirely rid of the stale stench of cigarette smoke from years past, the updated decor gives the old hotel a new feeling. Smaller than most of its neighbors, The Cromwell creates an intimate, yet fun and upbeat atmosphere. I loved the dark lounge that runs through the middle of the hotel. A great spot to have a cocktail.
What brings a radiant light to dimly lit Cromwell? The opening of the much anticipated Giada – The Restaurant. An escalator carries you off to a bright, white entrance where everything looks clean and sleek and smells so delicious, you can’t wait to get inside. Except that if you don’t have a much coveted reservation, you will have to wait, possibly for months before you get the chance to sit amongst the lucky ones dining inside. It’s well worth the wait, my friends. My 6 girlfriends and I opted out of the Chef’s Tasting Menu, and instead opted in for tasting as much as we could off the menu. We ordered 15 dishes, which if you are familiar with the Italian style of eating, are separated into courses: bread, antipasto, cheese, vegetables, pizzette, pasta, fish, meats and more. Everything we ordered was delicious. Not one complaint. Desserts, even better.
Here’s what we loved most: Chicken Marsala Meatballs, Bacon Wrapped Dates, Citrus Marinated Calamari, Burrata, Fresh Ricotta Crostini, Lobster Ravioli and the Branzini. For dessert, I highly recommend the Strawberry Polenta Cake, the Trio of Tiramisu, and the Espresso Nocciolato. Warning, the Espresso Nocciolato is a delectable concoction of espresso with nutella and whipped cream. It could be a dessert on all its own.
What is also so lovely about Giada- the Restaurant, is the way the room is set up. A small lounge on the side, open kitchen with fresh food items on display, and a large, open dining room with magnificent views of the Las Vegas Strip, most significantly, the Bellagio and the water show. You can also take selfies in the photo booth, which we forgot to do…always next time!
Following dinner, we put on our dancing shoes and headed to the newly renovated Drai’s Nightclub, which also serves as the Beach Club (or Day Club). Back in my Vegas partying days, Drai’s was one of the hottest places to be in Las Vegas. During the construction of The Cromwell, Drai’s closed, and re-opened with an alluring new venue with both indoor and outdoor seating. Indoor faces a large dance floor with an eye appealing laser and light show like none other. Outdoor creates a more relaxed ambiance centering the pool and looking out over the Strip. The set-up was like being in a smaller, boutique club with the elements of a larger nightclub. DJ line up changes nightly. The music was the one thing that definitely made me feel my age that night. All my girlfriend’s and I were wondering what happened to all the rap and hip hop. Not a huge fan of house music, and the night we were at Drai’s the music was so-so. I am confident, however, that other nights are better than some, and that Drai’s is still one of the hottest venues on the Strip to be seen at right now.
The 39th birthday celebration was a success! 4-0 is gonna have some big shoes to fill…but I hear there’s talk about a European vacation in the works.