Savor Borgata Weekend Comes to Atlantic City
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A slew of culinary events showcased the chefs behind the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J., this past weekend. From private dinners to hands-on demonstrations to a blowout tasting event, it’s hard not to think that the culinary offerings at the Borgata are just as good as what you’ll find at Las Vegas’ best casinos, with chefs that are just as passionate about what they do.
The weekend’s events included a marzipan demo in the hotel’s bakery with executive pastry chef Thaddeus DuBois, a three-course "lunch and learn" demo with Wolfgang Puck American Grille chef Aram Mardigian, a hands-on ravioli-making demo with Fornelletto chef Stephen Kalt, a sushi-making demo and sake pairing with Izakaya chef Michael Schulson, a bourbon and barbecue pairing with Jillian Vose, the head bartender at New York’s Death & Co, a blind wine tasting with sommelier Robert Bigelow and Borgata wine director Anjoleena Griffin-Holst, a beer-pairing lunch with Goose Island, a wine seminar, a class on making a "molecular" Bloody Mary, tequila and tacos with Casamigos tequila, and a brunch with Geoffrey Zakarian. Bobby Flay was also on hand to demonstrate making a clam chowder and pork chops in front of a packed house in the casino’s Music Box Theater.
The signature event of the weekend, however, came on Saturday night, as hundreds of guests gathered to sample more than 20 bites prepared by the hotel’s staff in the main event center; a walk-around tasting called Street Eats. Flay was on hand to dish out his New Mexican-style chicken skewer with green chile vinegar dipping sauce, as was Iron Chef Michael Symon, who served a vinegary pulled pork sandwich with pickled onions. Both chefs took the time to chat with each guest and pose for photos. Other dishes on offer were a "pork three ways" sandwich with pulled pork, pork roll, and bacon; waffle-battered fried chicken with cilantro apple slaw; bacon cheeseburger egg rolls; lamb gyros; shrimp po’boys; three types of house-made sausages from Wolfgang Puck American Grille; fluke, yellowtail, and salmon hand rolls from Izakaya; and assorted cake pops for dessert. Wine and beer were also free-flowing.
This weekend was not only devoted to showing off the amazing skills of the kitchen crew at the Borgata, but also the skill and commitment of their lineup of chefs, who were elevated to celebrity status (the participation of huge name-brand chefs like Flay and Symon didn’t hurt, either). While Atlantic City is starting to get chilly as fall wears on, this weekend confirmed that there’s always a good reason to make the trip down to the shore.
Let Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck cook for you at Savor Borgata
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Heading to the Shore every weekend may be a thing of summer days past, but when Bobby Flay is showing you how to make brunch in November, you brave the ocean winds and get yourself to AC stat. The celebrity chef, along with several others, will be at Savor Borgata, the Atlantic City casino-hotel’s annual food-filled weekend of cooking demos, dinners and workshops, plus a (indoor) street fair.
Savor shows off cuisines from the chefs represented at Borgata — from Flay’s steakhouse to “Iron Chef” Geoffrey Zakarian’s in-room dining at the Water Club tower — over Nov. 6 and 7, starting with a sold-out tapas party Friday evening. In fact, unlike previous years, many of the events are already at capacity, but there is still enough you can get into to make it worth the quick jaunt.
Two chefs will be competing for your attention Saturday afternoon. Michael Schulson, who has Sampan and Independence Beer Garden in Philly, is running a hands-on sushi-making class, complemented by plenty of sake, at his upscale Japanese restaurant Izakaya (make sure to come back later for the edamame dumplings). Tickets are $49 atTheBorgata.com.
Over at Borgata’s Music Box theater, Flay is doing a live cooking demonstration, Food Network style. He’ll be whipping up recipes from his new cookbook, “Brunch at Bobby’s,” and taking questions from the audience. Tickets are $25.
But the biggest draw is Saturday night’s “Street Eats: Savor the World” festival, with table after table of inventive takes on international street fare from the chefs, more cooking demos, plenty of beer and wine, and music from Crazy in Stereo. Fox 29’s “Good Day Philadelphia” co-anchors, Mike Jerrick and Alex Holley, will host. Tickets are $89, or splurge more and opt for VIP status ($139), which gets you in an hour earlier.
Your Guide to the Must-See Events in Atlantic City This Season
Schedule a three-day weekend: Atlantic City&rsquos summer entertainment calendar brings the heat.
Get your Fourth of July festivities started early when Mary J. Blige hits the Borgata on July 3.
Still home to some of the area&rsquos best entertainment all year long, Atlantic City gets even hotter in the summertime. With legendary singers and the world&rsquos biggest rock acts, you have no excuse not to ditch the city for a long weekend in AC.
There&rsquos no better way to kick off the summer than with an icon, and this year that icon is Mary J. Blige. Performing at the Borgata (theborgata.com), the singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress, best known for her song &ldquoBe Without You,&rdquo holds nine Grammy Awards. See the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul perform her countless hits on July 3. If you miss Miss Blige, you can still get your hip-hop soul fix with Jill Scott on July 16, also at Borgata. The Philadelphia-born songstress is sure to belt out career-making songs like &ldquoGolden&rdquo and &ldquoA Long Walk.&rdquo
Head straight to the sand to see Pink perform a seaside show as part of the Atlantic City Beachfest Concert Series 2017 (acbeachconcerts.com) on July 12. This is the only East Coast performance, and one of only a handful in North America, for the Philly native this summer. If country music is more your speed, that weekend also welcomes Brantley Gilbert, stopping in Atlantic City on July 13 as part of his The Devil Don&rsquot Sleep summer tour with Luke Combs.
On July 30, the Top 40 band OneRepublic, along with Fitz and the Tantrums and James Arthur, will be at the Borgata for their 2017 Honda Civic Tour. Fans can expect to hear favorites like &ldquoCounting Stars&rdquo and &ldquoI Lived,&rdquo plus songs from their recently released album.
Still going strong after 53 years, the Who proves who&rsquos got stamina with a stop at Boardwalk Hall.
True classic-rock worshippers can indulge in some nostalgia with The Who, making the rounds on their 2017 tour. Performing at Boardwalk Hall (boardwalkhall.com) on July 22, the English band will mark its 53rd year this summer. Expect to hear many of the hits from their extensive catalog, plus a few surprises.
Keep the summertime laughs going with Ron White, who grabs the mic at the Tropicana (tropicana.net). Best known for his part in the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, the cigar-smoking comedian brings his brash humor to AC on July 22. (Pro tip: Order a Scotch for the show.) Stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco hit the stage in Atlantic City this past January, and due to overwhelming demand, he&rsquos back again, July 6&ndash8 at the Borgata, as part of his Why Would You Do That? tour. His comedy is outspoken&mdashhe is known for saying what we&rsquore all thinking&mdashand he has gained popularity since working with the likes of Vince Vaughn and Jerry Seinfeld.
Dig into international bites at Tropicana&rsquos Taste of the Quarter in August.
If you come for the shows but stay for the food, Tropicana offers a taste of both this August. On the 21st, savor bites from Tropicana&rsquos favorite bars and restaurants during the 10th annual Taste of the Quarter festival. This familyfriendly event includes plates from hot spots like Carmine&rsquos, The Palm, Cuba Libre, and others.
There&rsquos tons to do on land, of course, but on August 23, it&rsquos all about the air. Celebrating its 15th year, the Atlantic City Airshow (airshow.acchamber.com ) is a free event open to the public, featuring the US Air Force Thunderbirds, the US Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, and a US Navy F-18 Super Hornet. Watch them soar through the sky and perform difficult aerial maneuvers&mdashall from the beautiful beaches and boardwalk of Atlantic City.
Rounding out the summer is none other than Smokey Robinson. Hear songs like &ldquoTracks of My Tears,&rdquo &ldquoCruisin&rsquo,&rdquo and &ldquoYou&rsquove Really Got a Hold on Me&rdquo on August 25 at the Tropicana. Ten-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan will also perform at the Trop for one night only, on August 12.
Dig into international bites at Tropicana&rsquos Taste of the Quarter in August.
There&rsquos a host of ongoing entertainment, too. Throughout the summer (ending August 13), Harrah&rsquos Resort Atlantic City (caesars.com/harrahs-ac) brings the best in tribute performers to the stage with Legends in Concert. Sing along to your favorites from Elton John, Prince, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and many more.
Back again at the Borgata and all new for 2017, The Burlesque Show is sure to please its devoted fans with a refreshed cast of dancers, comedians, and other performers, all decked out in those glimmering rhinestones. Catch it every Thursday this summer and straight through October.
Whether you&rsquore looking for great music, mouthwatering food, or an unforgettable event, Atlantic City is the place to be at the Shore this season. We&rsquoll be waiting for you on the beach.
Savor Borgata Weekend Comes to Atlantic City - Recipes
We had a fantastic Italian dinner at Angeline. The cavatelli was freshly made and delicious. The sauce was rich and very flavorful. My husbands lasagna was the best he ever had. The prices are fair and the service was good. My only complaint is when we ordered appetizers and wine our waiter clearly wanted us to order our entrees. As soon as the appetizers were served he insisted we order entrees. Don't like feeling rushed but the food was fantastic.
232 - 236 of 328 reviews
I normally do not write reviews, unless the experience is totally fantastic or totally disappointing. This, unfortunately, is the latter.
My husband and I dined here last weekend, for the first time, as we do watch a lot of the Food Network and are familiar with Michael Symon. We ordered the Swordfish "Sicilian style," which meant it was served with a sauce consisting of raisins and pignoli nuts. We requested that the sauce be served on the side, as we weren't sure if we would like it. Well, it comes and instead of a Swordfish steak (which is the way it should be) it's two thin pieces of dry Swordfish. Horrible! The sauce was nasty, too.
Additionally, the bread basket consisted of plain Italian bread that wasn't even warm and was rubbery. All this, plus 2 glasses of wine, cost us $143! My husband told the waiter that he felt like Michael Symon picked his pocket, but he didn't take it out on the waiter - he still tipped him what we would normally tip for a meal that cost $143, as it certainly wasn't his fault that the food was horrendous.
In conclusion, this is the worst meal we've ever had at the Borgata, which we have visited regularly since 2004. We miss Fornelletto, which was a wonderful experience service and food-wise. Big mistake closing that restaurant, in order to accommodate this one.
Savor Borgata Weekend Comes to Atlantic City - Recipes
Don't get confused . you will not have a Micheal Symon experience at Angeline. The food quality is as low end as Carmines in the Tropicana. Bitter red sauce. odd service . needs a lot of work. What a shame.. Maybe time will improve things.
230 - 234 of 328 reviews
We recently dined here in celebration of our first anniversary over Labor Day weekend. It was crowded, but not uncomfortable. We were lucky enough to snag a booth, which we would recommend if privacy is important.
I'll preface the following comments by saying I am Italian, love to cook, and have very high standards when it comes to eating Italian out (read, I typically don't because I'm almost guaranteed disappointment). That said, we've tried most of the restaurants in the Borgata and wanted to give this one a try. The menu here is not particularly inventive and our impression is that they're trying to appeal to the masses without being too adventurous.
We started with the baked clams, which tasted like they had been left under the warming table far too long, and the arancini, which were 3 small fried rice balls filled with mozzarella and served with marinara. The flavor of the clams was good, but they were so over cooked that they had the texture of cardboard. We have had fantastic arancini in Italy and both horrible and fantastic arancini in the states. The best way to describe Angeline's arancini is to say they were non descript, flavorless, and not worth the calories. On the other hand, the wood-smoked Bronzino was absolutely out of this world, better than I've had in Italy and on par with some of the best I've had in the states. It was cooked to perfection, crispy, tender, and moist with an absolutely delicious delicate sauce. My husband wasn't as crazy about his lobster fra diavolo, stating the lobster was chewy and over cooked and the pasta was mushy and overcooked. He said the flavors were good, but the textures really detracted from the dish.
For dessert, we simply had the cannoli, which were definitely nothing to write home about. I might revisit for the bronzino, but that's about it.
Eating In Atlantic City
It’s not just casino buffets — there are many excellent places to eat in Atlantic City. We’ll start with breakfast.
If you’re a frequent visitor to Atlantic City, you knew this was coming when I said “breakfast.” There are now four locations of Gilchrist Restaurant, a breakfast spot known for its hotcakes. Order either the blueberry pancakes or the regular pancakes — you won’t be disappointed. Some people take weekend trips to Atlantic City just for Sunday-morning pancakes at Gilchrist.
If you’re not a pancake person, don’t worry — there are plenty of other items on the menu. The omelets are great (try the Greek omelet), and the Hungry Man Combo will give you a sampling of several different menu items. Gilchrist Restaurant is only open until 2 p.m., but it serves lunch as well, with the hot roast beef sandwich being a popular lunch item.
The best meal in Atlantic City might be found at Cafe 2825. Wander down Atlantic Avenue, and at the corner of Atlantic and Brighton, you’ll find Cafe 2825.
The first thing to know: Call ahead. Reservations are accepted two weeks in advance, and if you want to get a table for the evening, you’ll likely need a reservation. So as your weekend getaway approaches, pick an evening to dine at Cafe 2825 and make a reservation two weeks in advance.
Cafe 2825 brands itself as “fresh, seasonal, regional Italian cuisine (by a guy named Joe),” so come ready to enjoy some great Italian food. The signature dish is the Chicken Parmigiana Bolognese ala Vodka Fra Diavolo, Italian for “chicken Parmesan with vodka and melted mozzarella.” Also, “delicious.”
Dock’s Oyster House
You’re in Atlantic City, after all, so you’ll probably want some seafood. Why not head to a spot that’s been serving the catch of the day since the 1800s?
Dock’s Oyster House was opened by Harry “Dock” Dougherty in 1897. It has been expanded several times, most recently by the fourth generation of Doughertys in 2015. Dinner is served nightly starting at 4:30 p.m.
Dock’s offers a full raw bar (you can’t call yourself an “oyster house” without one), but the menu features much more than that. Seared sea scallops, crispy wasabi tuna, and pan-roasted branzino are all local favorites. You could also try something that has been on the menu since 1897, such as the crabmeat sauté or the pan-sautéed crab cakes.
Why Geoffrey Zakarian Yanked His Restaurant From Trump’s Hotel: ‘My Buddy Donald, He Fucked Up’
One day ahead of the 2016 presidential election, celebrity chef and restaurateur Geoffrey Zakarian is returning to the capitol. It’s round two of restaurant-location hunting for Zakarian, who made headlines when he pulled his third location of the National from Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The Food Network fixture’s grand brasserie would have operated alongside a flagship restaurant from Spanish-American chef José Andrés. However, months after signing a lease for the hotel in 2015, both men withdrew their projects. They have since been slapped with $10 million lawsuits alleging breach of contract. Both chefs have countersued. Since then, Andrés has been outspoken in his support of Hillary Clinton and has denounced Trump on Twitter, but Zakarian has remained mostly quiet. (Save for a recent remark that the Trump children should sue their father.)
The Village Voice caught up with Zakarian over the weekend at Savor Borgata, an annual culinary event at the Atlantic City hotel and casino where he serves as the culinary lifestyle consultant.
“I’m going to D.C. to look at two spaces, because my buddy Donald, he fucked up,” Zakarian tells the Voice. “He opened his fucking mouth.”
Zakarian is referring to June 16, 2015, when Trump descended an escalator at Trump Tower and declared his candidacy for the presidency while spewing hateful comments about Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” Trump’s failure to apologize stuck with Zakarian, and after Andrés publicly withdrew from the Old Post Office Pavilion project, Zakarian followed with a brief written statement to the New York Times.
Then it was radio silence, save for comments made in recently released depositions, in which Zakarian placed the blame on Trump’s rhetoric. Zakarian tells the Voice that he still values the Trump children as friends. “It’s a shame,” he says, “but they’ve got a dad to support.”
While Zakarian cannot directly comment on litigation, he says he remains close to Donald Trump Jr., with whom he developed a social relationship during the project’s conception. “I am friends with him it’s just not possible for us to socialize now,” he says. “It’s very strange. We’re separated like a couple in therapy. I send him articles once in a while he sends me stuff.”
Even though depositions reveal Ivanka Trump was suspicious of Zakarian’s business practices and critical of the restaurant plans, the chef only blames one person for what’s transpired. “It’s a shame because of the father,” he said. “It’s shocking that this guy does this to these kids — the good thing about him is that he has lovely children.”
Why has it taken so long for Zakarian to comment? That may have something to do with the fact not many people have asked him.
“Strangely, people don’t talk about it,” he says. “They talk about how silly it is, or the election, or the candidates…but I don’t talk about politics or religion. Those are two things I never espouse about because the country’s gotten to the point where you can’t have a conversation with anybody without being labeled a fascist or a lunatic.”
In the past, Zakarian didn’t shy away from political statements. Indeed, he used the same platform preferred by Donald Trump: Twitter. In March 2014, he tweeted his disappointment that Barack Obama would disrespect the Oval Office by wearing casual attire there. When Pete Souza, the Chief Official White House Photographer, corrected Zakarian and informed him Ronald Reagan did the same, Zakarian deleted the tweet.
Now Zakarian prefers to share his political preferences in a quieter fashion. FEC filings show that following the Trump lawsuits, in December 2015 and February 2016, Zakarian made a combined $750 in contributions to Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign.
About Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa offers a wide variety of luxurious amenities, spacious rooms, and restaurants that will make guests feel right at home.
Hungry diners will love the diverse mix of casual and fine dining restaurants at Borgata. Popular dining choices include American, Japanese, and European cuisine. Guests can also savor innovative menus from celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Bobby Flay.
Another popular attraction at Borgata is the spa, where guests can relax and unwind in a hot tub or in the large pool. A gym is also available for those who love to work out, as well as facial and massage services.
Guests who love to gamble and party will also love the in-house casino at Borgata. From slots and poker, to craps and roulette, this hotel offers many types of games to choose from. Other nightlife spots include the Borgata beer garden, premier nightclub, and the Gypsy Bar. Private parties are also held at Borgata, where guests may choose from various bachelor and bachelorette party packages.
The fun carries over to Borgata's gift shops and boutiques, where guests can treat themselves to a premium shopping experience. High-end stores range from Carina and Huge Boss, to Misura and Capri. Guests may also choose from wine boutiques, electronic retail stores, and travel-related shops at this hotel.
From shops and spa packages, to bars and casino games, it's no wonder guests choose Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa as their number one hotel choice in Atlantic City.
Sample Cuisine from Celebrity Chefs at Savor Borgata
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City played host to a star-studded list of celebrity chefs at the annual Savor Borgata food and wine festival. The two-day festival featured 22 events, including cooking demonstrations and exclusive meals with celebrity chefs. Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Michael Symon, Michael Schulson, Geoffrey Zakarian, Greg and Marc Sherry and special guest chef Alex Guarnaschelli were all in attendance. Puck, Flay, Symon, Sherry and Schulson all have restaurants at Borgata.
Friday night, guests had the opportunity to experience a showcase of cuisine from Schulson at his restaurant Izakaya by Michael Schulson. On Saturday, Flay prepared a three-course lunch complete with wine pairings, then signed copies of his cookbook Bobby at Home. Symon hosted an interactive pasta class at his restaurant Angeline. Guarnaschelli helped guests get in the holiday spirit at her lunch and learn, where she presented some of her favorite holiday dishes. Other one-of-a-kind experiences included a behind-the-scenes lunch with the Borgata’s executive chef Tom Biglan, a hands-on marzipan workshop with the Borgata’s executive pastry chef Thaddeus DuBois and a special Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve tasting at the new Level One Cocktail Bar & Lounge.
The festival culminated Saturday night with The Ultimate Food Experience, a unique event celebrating the Borgata’s culinary offerings. Held at the Event Center, the culinary experience featured numerous food, wine and beer stations, including offerings prepared by the celebrity chefs. Guests were able to sample specially made dishes and mingle with the chefs.
Fall crops doing fine despite weather
The weekend’s unexpected freezing rain and snow did little or no harm to local crops, according to the Rutgers Extension Service. Only delicate leaf lettuces were harmed by the nor’easter that swept through the region, the service reports, and Jersey Fresh fall produce will remain available at local farm markets.
Crops including cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, turnips, beets, cabbage and leeks can benefit from the cold and snow, said Nikki Russo, who operates the Russo’s Orchard Lane Farm stand at the Trenton Farmers Market in Lawrence. “It makes them taste a little sweeter,” she said.
Visitors to the market during Saturday’s snow and Sunday’s sunshine may have been surprised that so much produce was available. In addition to the cold weather crops, there were several varieties of sweet and hot peppers, radishes, eggplants, broccoli, the season’s final zucchini, lima and green beans, sweet corn, radishes, onions, broccoli rabe, Swiss chard, fennel, carrots, sweet and white potatoes. Winter squashes included delicata, sweet dumpling, butternut, acorn and buttercup.
Green tomatoes for frying and pickling are abundant as many farmers picked the last of the crop before the snow, but there also were plenty of red field-grown tomatoes. Judee DeFiccio of Pineland Farms, which also has a stand at the Trenton market, said grape tomatoes are especially hardy. Russo’s is harvesting greenhouse tomatoes as well.
Apples remain abundant at the market with late-season varieties such as Black Twig and Black Arkansas being picked now. Also available are Granny Smiths, Pink Ladies, Macouns, Stayman-Winesaps, Romes, Fujis, Cameos, Mutsus, Red and Golden Delicious.
Fresh local cranberries are back at the Trenton market for the holidays and farmer DeFiccio will provide a demonstration on Cooking with Cranberries tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. at the center of the market.
Gravity Hill Farm in Hopewell Township also does cooking demonstrations on Sundays, but their “vegetable of the week” choice has been delayed because of the snowy weather.