Giada De Laurentiis and Caesars Entertainment confirmed yesterday that the TV food star is opening her second Las Vegas restaurant, Pronto, at Caesars Palace in early 2018, certainly not a surprise considering rumors of her expansion have been spreading almost all the way back to when she opened her Giada restaurant across the street at the Cromwell three years ago.
Other food-world celebrities like Gordon Ramsay and Guy Fieri already have multiple restaurants at Caesars properties, but De Laurentiis says this second project was never a foregone conclusion.
“I was asked six months in and said no, I was asked a year in and said no, I was asked two years in and said I don’t think so,” she says. “Then at about the two-and-a-half-year mark, in February or March, I heard this space was coming up. And I had to do a little battling, [because] there were other people in the running for that spot. But I think for me, this is the next best step.”
The space in Caesars Palace is currently occupied by Payard Patisserie & Bistro, adjacent to the Bacchanal Buffet, Rao’s Las Vegas and Mr Chow. De Laurentiis loves it for her new fast-casual concept Pronto because there’s considerable convention center traffic moving through that area on a regular basis.
“Some people have said, ‘Why Las Vegas? You already have a restaurant there.’ Yeah, I do, but it’s a fine dining experience, and I’d like to have something that’s more grab-and-go, a little more casual, where families can take their kids and they don’t have to spend a fortune, and it’s still an introduction to my food,” she says.
Pronto will serve De Laurentiis’ signature California-style Italian cuisine with breakfast, lunch and dinner options in a convenient format and a variety of seating options incuding counter, bar and lounge. “The experience will still be there,” she says. “I really want it to have a great flow. I want guests to be able to clearly see what it is they can order, where they go to order, where they pay and where they pick up with no guessing games. I want them to smell the food being cooked, the paninis cooked warm in front of them. I want them to see the gelato bar and the espresso bar, which is exactly how we have espresso in Italy, and we’ll have barrels of wine with wine on tap for our aperitivo hour.”
Pronto’s open design is being created by Starr Design, and like Giada at the Cromwell, it will take inspiration from De Laurentiis’ own home and her family’s influence; her grandfather is the late, legendary film producer Dino De Laurentiis and movie posters decorate her original Las Vegas restaurant.
“At the end of the day, I do this to launch new ideas and concepts. I don’t want to do the same concept over and over,” she says. “I don’t want to do this restaurant [Giada] anywhere else, and it just doesn’t work anywhere else. [Pronto] could work in a lot of places. That’s the future. That concept can be done in a lot of places if it’s done well, and if it does well.”