Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa regularly does a great job using its arsenal of star chefs to bring diners to the resort. Its annual Savor event is a prime example.
The casino will once again raise the bar 7 p.m. Friday, April 27, as it teams two of its best chefs - Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who oversees all food and beverage for The Water Club, and Chef Stephen Kalt of Fornelletto - for a wine dinner that any foodie would drool over.
The $149 dinner, which will be hosted at Fornelletto, will feature hors d'oeuvres and specialty cocktails by Zakarian followed by a four-course dinner prepared by Kalt, and wine will be paired with each course.
"It's going to be great to do this with my old buddy Geoffrey Zakarian - or as his personal friends refer to him as Iron Chef Zakarian," Kalt says with a laugh. "We are old friends who both came out of (New York's) Le Cirque, which is arguably one of the best restaurants in the country. And it happens we both luckily landed at Borgata together. We are going to have a really great time with this dinner."
The dinner came as a result of conversations between Kalt and Borgata Wine Director and At The Shore wine columnist Anjoleena Griffin-Holst.
"I think she has one of the best palates in the country, and when we were talking about this, it just sounded fun to do," says Kalt, a Los Angeles resident. "Geoffrey is extremely talented, and I know how to cook a little bit, so it makes sense. My courses will represent spring - there are a lot of ingredients happening right now that I love to use. It's a little more challenging in the offseason on the East Coast to use local ingredients, but in spring and summer it's magnificent. I make seasonal changes to the Fornelletto menu four times a year. But it's great I live here in Los Angeles because I can see things in advance and start working on ideas ahead of time, which is what I did for this dinner."
Kalt's menu and Italian wine pairings includes: Sicilian salad with endive, blackberries, blood orange, avocado and mint paired with Ocone Falanghina from Campania; gnocchi with Black Mission figs, brown butter, parmesan cream and sage paired with Ca' Viola Dolcetto from Piedmont; lamb chops with roasted artichokes, sunchokes, sheep's milk ricotta agnelotti and fava bean pesto paired with Tenuta Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany; and lemon panna cotta with marinated strawberries and passion fruit foam paired with La Spinetta "Biancospino" Moscato d'Asti from Piedmont.
"Fornelletto is about a casual, fine dining experience with food primarily Southern Italian with some other regional characteristics," Kalt says. "We stripped Fornelletto of its formality because it's a place where people come regularly. For this, it is a plated meal with a bit more formality. But I cook in the same spirit every night. This dinner is not Italian-American food - let's put it that way. It's perhaps a bit more of a modern take on Italian cooking."
Kalt says he hopes this is the first of many special dinners.
"I would like to do it quarterly," he says. "It's a great way to introduce people who want a little more serious take on Italian cuisine. And it's nice not to be in a dining room with 200 people. You are in a private room with 50 people. It's a different kind of experience. I would be happy to keep doing them with Geoffrey, too. We traveled together, have eaten together and have cooked together. That is always fun. The camaraderie is great."
For tickets, go to www.theborgata.com
Golden Nugget grand opening
If you're wondering why Golden Nugget seems to have an insane amount of entertainment this weekend, that's because the new casino is holding its grand opening. Although Landry's Inc. has owned the casino for about a year, most of the casino's renovations are finally done, and Owner Tilman Fertitta is in town - yacht and all - to celebrate.
Fertitta will be on hand to show off the casino's amazing transformation, which includes a $6 million salon and spa, new lounges and clubs, several new restaurant concepts, renovated entertainment spaces and more.
There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony 4 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in the Atrium as Fertitta is joined by the "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro, who designed a cake for the occasion that replicates the Nugget and the marina. The evening will conclude with a performance by Don't Call Me Francis at Live Bar.
The weekend also includes performances by Third Eye Blind on Friday, appearances by "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars and a fireworks extravaganza at 8:45 p.m., as well as the season opening of The Deck with Steamroller Picnic plus live music by Star 69 at Live Bar.
The "Cake Boss" will offer a show on Saturday afternoon, followed by comedian Whoopi Goldberg and Pink Floyd tribute masters The Machine at night. Local rock faves Seven Stone will close the evening at Live Bar, and fireworks will also take place again at 8:45 p.m.
Sunday concludes the weekend with an afternoon performance by country legends The Oak Ridge Boys.
The management team also promises other attractions all weekend including appearances by former Eagles - running back Brian Westbrook and linebacker Jeremiah Trotter - dancers, the Flores Family Motorcycle Sphere, the Red Bull Stunt Team and more.
Do you ever watch CBS' hit reality series "Survivor" and think, "Hey, I can do that!"
You have a chance to show CBS 3 representatives why they should cast you noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort.
The auditions will be held in the games tournament room near the Boardwalk entrance, and attendees will have a chance to meet one of the show's original contestants, Gervace Peterson.
The auditions will include an application process at the casting call, as well as the recording of an audition, which will be sent to the show's casting department.
"Candidates should be interesting personalities, strong-willed, outgoing, adventurous, physically and mentally adept and adaptable to new environments. Applicants must be 18 years or older, and a U.S. citizen living in the U.S.," according to a press release
For details and application forms, go to www.cbsphilly.com.
Disco ball installed
Boogie Nights is getting closer to its May 4 grand opening at the Tropicana Casino and Resort. Workers recently installed the new disco ball, a monstrosity that is 5-feet round and 155 pounds that took three weeks to make. It now hangs from a motor so it can spin like every disco ball is meant to.
Revel has really come a long way as far as its restaurant offerings since it debuted April 2. Nearly all of the restaurants are open at this point, with the exception of Michel Richard's Central, which will debut soon.
One, a casual steakhouse from New York's The One Group that is female-friendly, is now serving lunch, which means there are plenty of lunch options now, including Robert Wiedmaier's Mussel Bar, Richard's O Bistro & Wine Bar, and Jose Garces' Distrito Cantina and Whiskey Village.
The Pool at Harrah's had some NFL players partying there last weekend, including Philadelphia Eagles wideout Jeremy Maclin and Franklin De'Sean "Sean" Weatherspoon, a linebacker for the Atlanta Falcons. They hung out together with a group of people on poolside daybeds, met with guests, took photos with fans and danced.
Jackpot at Harrah's
It was an awesome night for one gambler at Harrah's Resort on April 21 when someone hit a Wheel of Fortune progressive jackpot for $2,054,057.93 on the $1 machine. The winner declined publicity.