Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Time to 'Savor Borgata' again

If it's November, it must be time for "Savor Borgata," the Big B's signature gustatory event.

Time to 'Savor Borgata' again

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Megastar chef Wolfgang Puck is among the big-time chefs slated to take part in Saturday´s ´Savor Borgata´ event. Photo: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
Megastar chef Wolfgang Puck is among the big-time chefs slated to take part in Saturday's 'Savor Borgata' event. Photo: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

If it’s November, it must be time for “Savor Borgata,” the Big B’s signature gustatory event.

Saturday, all of the casino’s celeb chefs will man serving stations to serve up samples of dishes they've conjured for the occasion. The Culinary murderer's row includes Bobby Flay (Bobby Flay Steak); Stephen Kalt (Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar); Michael Mina (SeaBlue, A Michael Mina Restaurant); Michael Schulson (Izakaya, A Modern Japanese Pub; Wolfgang Puck (Wolfgang Puck American Grille); Geoffrey Zakarian (The Water Club), Greg and Marc Sherry (Old Homestead Steak House); and Borgata’s Executive Pastry Chef, Thaddeus DuBois. They’ll be cooking for an expected 900 guests.

Each of the previous four “Savor” bashes have been themed; this year’s is a tad different. Rather than hew to a specific motif, explained Becky Schultz, Borgata’s vice president of food and beverage, “This year’s theme is Borgata chefs doing what they do best, whether it’s a dish that is close to their heart, or something that they feel represents the roots of their culinary style.”

There is another concept behind Saturday’s gala: Lending a helping hand to those whose lives have been upended by Hurricane Sandy.

“With the recent storm and so many people still greatly in need, we do have some additions to this year’s ‘Savor Borgata’ event,” said Schultz.The Red Cross will be present and will be taking monetary donations for Hurricane Sandy relief. Wolfgang Puck will hold a cookbook signing on Saturday afternoon in front of (his restaurant) in which all proceeds will go to Hurricane Sandy relief as well.”

In addition to sampling the wares of some of the nation’s most famous and celebrated stove jockeys, those in attendance will also get to share some face time with them. “Each chef is accessible to customers to answer questions, take a picture or get some useful cooking tips and advice,” offered Schultz. “To have this level of talent present at this event, I think, is really amazing…and to be able to share it with our guests is even better.”

“Savor Borgata” is scheduled for general admission ticket holders at 8 p.m. Limited VIP tickets good for 7 p.m. admission are also available. Admission is $125 (general admission) and $195 (VIP). For tickets and info, call 866-900-4849, or go to www.theborgata.com.

Taj raises the steaks with Robert's

One would think Atlantic City has more than an adequate supply of high end steak houses. But Bob Gans certainly doesn't. If he did, he probably wouldn't have bothered to open Robert's on the first level of Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

The New York-based chain’s AyCee outpost officially debuted Thursday night and immediately established itself among the top tier of beefeterias-not an easy accomplishment in a town overrun with such formidable establishments.

The eatery's bar area, which features a fireplace built into the front window, abuts the Taj's main concourse. The square-shaped dining room sits behind the bar. It is a decidedly masculine space, done in an earth-toned modern style. Dark brown leather benches and banquets comprise much of the seating.

The kitchen, supervised by executive chef Will Savarese who comes from the chain’s New York operation, specializes in steaks (what a surprise!) cooked in four state-of the art broilers that are found in no other AyCee restaurant.

The rest of the menu follows with chops, seafood rich detests and other such fare. An exclusive offering is the Robert’s martini concocted with absinthe, The Macallan scotch, organic Junipero Gin From San Francisco. The brew is stirred (not shaken) and topped off with house-stuffed olives (each pop will set you back $14).

So why, in the current environment, would anyone make this kind of investment in an Atlantic City? In a word, optimism.

“I believe Atlantic City has seen its worse days, and I believe (it) has no place to go but up,” Gans told Thursday’s VIP crowd that included Mayor Lorenzo Langford, who looked no worse for the wear after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ripped him a new orifice on national TV during a dispute over the evacuation of city residents during Hurricane Sandy.

And speaking of which, Gans pledged $5,000 for the United Way of Atlantic County’s disaster relief efforts in the name of his restaurant.

Hours of operation are 5:30 to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday (it will be open this Sunday because of Monday’s Veteran’s Day observance). For reservations and info, call 855-500-7623, or go to www.robertsatlanticcity.com.

Just the appetizer

Robert’s is the first course for Gans. Thursday, he set a spring opening for Scores, part of his famed gentleman’s club chain that will be located on the Taj’s second level. When it opens, it will be the first such operation inside an AyCee casino.

Beam him up, Scotty

If there’s ever a hyphen shortage, it’s a distinct possibility William Shatner will be to blame. The actor-singer (well, not exactly)-TV pitchman-talk show-host wears many hats, including that of the star of “Shatner's World: We Just Live In It,” which hits Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City Saturday night.

The one-man program finds the pop culture icon surveying his long and varied career, but in a not surprising, self-deprecating way. Reviews from the road have been glowing, and this offers Shat-heads a chance to hear the stories right from the source.

Harrah’s, 777 Harrah’s Blvd., 9 p.m. $105 and $75, 800-736-1420, www.ticketmaster.com

Everybody into the pool

Mount Airy Casino Resort in Pocono Township has announced plans for a $5 million recreation area the centerpiece of which will be an indoor/outdoor pool.

Besides the 11,000-square-foot pool—which will allow guests to use either the indoor or al fresco portions without having to get out of the water, the project, which is awaiting township approval, will include WET, a poolside bar and lounge area; private luxury cabanas boasting day beds and television sets; a heated spa; a 5,600-square-foot outdoor deck area with table-side fire pits and views of the property’s lake and golf course.

“We are excited to share details of this highly anticipated project that we are sure will create the sense of a lavish oasis, even in the middle of January,” said John Culetsu, Mount Airy’s  executive vice president and general manager in a press release announcing the project, which should be open by next summer.

   
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About this blog
Philly native Chuck Darrow has literally covered Atlantic City’s casino scene since Day One: He was there on assignment the night in November 1976 when voters approved legalized casinos.

Since then, Chuck has covered the town and its gaming industry for several area newspapers -- which is why, in some circles, he’s known as “Boardwalk Charlie.”

You can reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com. Reach Chuck at darrowc@phillynews.com.

Chuck Darrow
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