Giada pays homage to her famous family with her first East Coast restaurant

Giada De Laurentiis' new Baltimore restaurant celebrates her grandfather's filmmaking and local cuisine.
by Erica Chayes Wida / / Source: TODAY

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Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis has plenty of charm and she's bringing lots of it to her new restaurant in Charm City.

GDL Italian, a new 10,000-square-foot trattoria, opened Tuesday at Baltimore's Horseshoe Casino. The space is De Laurentiis' first eatery on the East Coast, and executive chef Brian Drosenos is fusing Italian classics like brick oven pizza, orzo meatballs and lasagna, as well as spins on local favorites such as Maryland rockfish, served cacciatore style, with potato chip gremolata.

The interior itself celebrates De Laurentiis' unique Italian heritage with odes to classic cinema. Surrounded by posters of films produced by her late grandfather, the legendary filmmaker Dino De Laurentiis, diners can enjoy libations named for his movies. How about a King Kong made with Knob Creek bourbon and chocolate bitters, or a Silver Bullet, made with Beefeater gin, Aperol and grapefruit juice?

The 180-seat restaurant with a 40-seat patio overlooking M&T Bank Stadium also has its own photo booth, which De Laurentiis herself warmed up for guests during a preview opening.

GDL Italian is De Laurentiis' third restaurant (in addition to Giada, she also operates a fast-casual concept called Pronto at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.) She's also launched a lifestyle site called Giadzy, a line of sauces and seasonings sold at Williams-Sonoma, signature pasta tools (like ravioli stamps and pasta forks) — all in addition to her extensive line of cookbooks.

So far, Maryland residents and fans around the globe are excited about De Laurentiis' latest endeavor as her food empire continues to grow.

"So excited to eat here!!" an instagramer wrote.

"I’ll be taking a trip to Baltimore when I visit the USA just to visit this restaurant," another said.

Brava!

One person commented, "I hope they have lemon spaghetti," an item that appears on the menu at De Laurentiis' restaurant, Giada, at the Cromwell in Las Vegas.

Looks like lovers of lemon alfredo and fresh summer flavors are in luck!

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