The trattoria-inspired restaurant, which opens in mid-April, is a departure from her other ventures. 
Giada de Laurentiis
Credit: FilmMagic

Giada De Laurentiis' very first East Coast restaurant is quickly taking shape. At a Baltimore press conference on Tuesday, the celebrity chef told reporters that GDL Italian by Giada will open in mid-April in the Horseshoe Casino, reports the Baltimore Sun.

De Laurentiis was insistant that the new spot, which will seat 180 guests, will not be a replica of her flagship Las Vegas restaurant, Giada. Rather, the new trattoria-inspired spot will feel uniquely Baltimore.

“At the beginning of this discussion everybody just said to me, ‘Let’s just rebuild Giada Vegas but in Baltimore,’” she told reporters. “And I thought, ‘No, it doesn’t work here.’ It’s not the same community, which is why I had to spend time here to understand it.”

This is all to say: You can expect crab on the menu, and lots of seafood.

"Seafood is such a big part of who Baltimore is, and so we will incorporate a lot of that, of course, with a little bit of an Italian spin to it,” De Laurentiis said. Furthermore, the Food Network star plans to work with local purveyors, possibly Roseda Farm, JJ McDonnell & Co. and Stone Mill Bakery, the Baltimore Sun reports. Brian Drosenoswill be the restaurant’s executive chef.

GDL Italian by Giada, which she announced in October 2017, will take the place of Johnny Sanchez, the taqueria from John Besh and Aaron Sanchez that closed last year.

When it opens, GDL Italian will be her third restaurant, though if she sticks with her current pace, we anticipate many more to come. Earlier this month, Pronto by Giada, her first fast-casual concept, opened in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

"“This is a wonderful opportunity to try a new concept,” she said. “When I’m incredibly fearful of something is when I have to jump off the ledge and try it because otherwise that fear stops you from ever moving forward.”