"Savor Borgata," the Atlantic City casino-hotel's signature food event, returns for its third year 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, with this year's focus on bringing "A Taste of France, Spain & Italy" to the night's attendees.
"Savor," which highlights the casino's restaurants and features appearances by many of its chefs, has gone through various identity changes since its debut. In fact, "Savor" was spawned from Borgata's "Women in Wine" events that were held for three years. After "Women in Wine," "Savor" started as an intimate sit-down dinner and was followed up with a dine-around in The Water Club.
Now, "Savor" returns to a format in the Event Center started by "Women in Wine." The casino's restaurants - Wolfgang Puck American Grille, Seablue, A Michael Mina Restaurant, Izakaya - A Modern Japanese Pub, Forenelletto Cucina & Wine Bar, Old Homestead Steakhouse, Bobby Flay Steak and others - will offer samples of the various restaurant chef's approach to Mediterranean cuisine.
This year's attending chefs include Mina, Izakaya's Michael Schulson, Fornelletto's Stephen Kalt, Geoffrey Zakarian of the Water Club, Old Homestead's Romeo DiBona, Bobby Flay Steak's Michael Chiarlanza, Borgata Executive Chef Ron Ross and Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois.
But the longest line will most likely be at Wolfgang Puck's station, where the internationally renowned chef will be offering Italian specialties, posing for photos and maybe even signing a few autographs.
"I am glad that it's in the Event Center because we're all together in one big room and people know where they can find us," says Puck, noting that his attendance at events like this is rare. "Plus, when I go there, why not have as many people as possible? It's also nice because people can spread out and mingle better. I enjoy meeting people and getting people interested in food. Each time I do an event like this I hope to convert a few new people … to show them there is more out there than fast food and the Cheesecake Factory."
Puck, like the other chefs in attendance, hope "Savor" entices diners to come back to experience full meals at their respective restaurants.
"A lot of people may think we're too fancy or fussy or expensive," says Puck, who is planning the menu that may include tomato and basil gnocchi with white truffles and steak Florentine. "You want them to taste your food and say, 'I want to eat there on a regular basis.' You can only measure your success by how business is. If it's doing well, you are doing something right. The best thing is when people leave your restaurant, they say they will be back next week."
In addition to food and dessert tastings, "Savor" will showcase Mediterranean wines and a beer garden that will complement the dishes and theme.
"Since its debut, Borgata has been committed to providing diverse, innovative and world-class dining to Atlantic City," says Nicolas Kurban, Borgata vice president of food and beverage. "'Savor Borgata' reinforces this commitment by providing our customers with the rare chance to directly experience the creativity of several of the country's most beloved chefs."
Tickets are priced at $100. Hotel packages are also available starting at $449 and include admission to the event, overnight stay and admission into mixx or mur.mur nightclubs. Tickets can be purchased at www.theborgata.com or call 866-900-4849. For package information and room reservations, call 609-317-1000.
Toby Keith offer
Toby Keith is honoring the Veterans Day by offering all United States servicemen, including police, fire and Coast Guard members, a complimentary ticket when one is purchased for Saturday's concert with Rodney Atkins at Boardwalk Hall.
The popular country star is extending the promotion for all $45 tickets. Attendees must present a valid military or service identification at the Boardwalk Hall box office. The concert is presented by Harrah's Entertainment.
The Viking Cooking School at Harrah's Resort featured a guest appearance by Casey Thompson on Monday. Bravo's "Top Chef" Season 3 runner-up taught an Argentinean steakhouse cooking class in the afternoon before hosting a wine tasting at night, which also included a cooking demonstration.
Vince Vaughn and Kevin James had a great time at Borgata over the weekend. The stars of the new film, "The Dilemma," which opens Jan. 14, performed during their "Comedy Road Show" last weekend.
Also, Playboy Playmate Stephanie Larimore served a guest MC at Resorts Atlantic City's Boogie Nights on Nov. 6.
Book signing at Patsy's
Patsy's, the famous New York Italian restaurant that has a location inside the Atlantic City Hilton, will host a book party for Sal Scognamillo, head chef and owner of Patsy's at the Hilton location 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15.
The prix-fixe meal, priced at $65 per person, includes house wine, chopped salad, trio of ravioli, veal marsala rollatini and tiramisu.
The first 50 people who make reservations will receive a copy of Scognamillo's book, "Patsy's Cookbook: Classic Italian Recipes from a New York City Landmark Restaurant." Scognamillo will personalize every copy. A strolling entertainer offering classic sounds of the Frank Sinatra era will be on hand, which is fitting since Patsy's was one of Ol' Blue Eyes' favorite restaurants.
Tree Lighting at Trop
Christmas season seems to begin earlier every year, and the Tropicana Casino and Resort will help fuel that belief when it kicks off the season with a tree lighting 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, in Fiesta Plaza in The Quarter.
The sixth annual "Holiday Spectacular" will feature "magical indoor snow," holiday d�cor and a 25-foot tree in the center of the plaza that serves as the centerpiece of the free "Holiday Musical Lightshow."
The 5-minute light show combines interactive lights with holiday musical selections from jazz to rock to classics.
Of course, what would a tree lighting be without a visit from Santa Claus, who will join Trop executives and cast members from the Trop's holiday show, "Happy Holidays - A Magical Celebration," at the event.
During the ceremony, a donation will be presented to A.R.M.S., Project Little Soldier, and guests will be able enjoy snacks from Carmine's and Hooters, and a free taco bar will be offered at A Dam Good Sports Bar.
Collectibles Club meets
If you collect casino memorabilia, you may want to check out the Atlantic City Collectibles Club meeting at Bally's Atlantic City 11 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 14. A luncheon for members will follow the meeting at Wild Wild West Buffet. For more information, call 302-947-2978.
Other meetings at Bally's are scheduled for Jan. 30, March 27, May 22, Sept. 11 and Nov. 13, 2011.
- Scott Cronick