One of the best events of the year comes to town this weekend as the Atlantic City Beer & Music Festival takes over the Atlantic City Convention Center on Friday and Saturday, April 5 and 6.
But Atlantic City will celebrate the occasion with its first official Beer Week April 4 to 12, featuring other events, too.
The kickoff will be Thursday, April 4, with a $115 six-course dinner at Mia at Caesars Atlantic City starting at 7:30 p.m. featuring great food plus beer from Troegs, Dogfish Head, Weyerbacher and more. Chef Paul Hanley's menu includes a drunken prawn, a cheese and bacon beer bread with poached sweetbreads, a stout yam waffle with squab, frog and chips with crispy brew-battered tempura frog legs and purple Congo frites, cherry beer cake with pretzel and more. Call 609-343-2357.
A Time for Wine inside Caesars will host a free beer sampling 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, including Victory's Swing Session Saison, a farmhouse saison brewed with German and American hops and spiced with peppercorns, orange peel and fresh lemon zest; and Starr Hill's The Love, an unfiltered wheat beer with hints of banana and clove.
On Sunday, April 7, Firewaters at the Tropicana Casino and Resort will offer a beer brunch that will actually be free if you are still wearing your bracelet from Friday Saturday night's beer fests. There will be some exclusive pours offered, too.
The Viking Cooking School at Harrah's Resort will team with Brooklyn Brewery Chef Andrew Gerson 4 p.m. Sunday for an awesome event that will be followed 6 p.m. Monday, April 8, with a Goose Island cooking demo with local beer expert Gary Monterosso and "Hell's Kitchen" alumnus Barbie Marshall, who will be likely to share some stories about Gordon Ramsay. And Monterosso will also offer a beer class at the cooking school
6 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. All classes are $49, except Tuesday's, which is $65.
From Thursday through April 12, The Reserve steakhouse and Arturo's gourmet Italian restaurants at Bally's Atlantic City, Mia's, Atlantic Grill and Nero's Tuscan Steakhouse at Caesars, and Scarduzio's Steak, Sushi, Lounge at Showboat Casino-Hotel are offering $39 menus paired with select beer flights for an additional $12.
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, Monterosso teams with Chef Paul Drew at Phillips Seafood inside The Pier Shops at Caesars for a Suds, Surf and Turf dinner (see story on Page 30).
There will be more offerings, too, including special beers on tap at Caesars' Toga Bar, Bally's Preview and Lobby bars; $5 Dos Equis and Coronas with free chips and salsa at Dos Caminos inside Harrah's to April 12; $3 Cold A-- draft beer at Bill's Burger Bar and Sammy D's at Harrah's to April 12; $8 Peroni and Grissini beer specials at Luke Palladino at Harrah's through April 12; and $5 craft beer specials at Eden Lounge at Harrah's 4 to 7 p.m. through April 12.
If you like beer, this is certainly the week for you.
Cuba Libre celebrates Empanada Day
I'm not sure many people are aware that there is an actual "National Empanada Day," but there is. And it's on Monday, April 8. And what better place is there to celebrate this "holiday" than Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar inside The Quarter at the Tropicana Casino and Resort.
The Cuban-themed restaurant will offer a special sampler platter of the half-moon-shaped pastries stuffed with a variety of fillings from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday during "Caippy Hour," where empanada lovers can feast on Chef Guillermo Pernot's staple empanadas as well as a few new ones for just $1 each.
"Empanadas are endlessly versatile, and our National Empanada Day offerings are a celebration of all of the different iterations of this crave-able snack," Pernot says. "From time-honored classics to brand new interpretations, from savory to sweet, we have an empanada for everyone."
But if you can't make it Monday, Cuba Libre will also invite diners to mix and match a variety of empanadas. Prices are: $13 for two or $17 for three empanadas during brunch, served with baby spinach salad and tomatillo relish; $12 for two, $15 for three or $20 for four during dinner.
Sampler empanadas will include favorites such as hand-chopped chicken with corn and Jack cheese; ground beef with olives and raisins; vegetarian chorizo with black beans and ripened plantains; pulled pork with roasted poblano and charred tomatoes; and new ones such as slow-braised turkey with sweet peppers, onions and balsamic reduction; berry with raspberry, goat cheese and almonds; and chocolate ganache.
For more information, call 609-348-6700 or go to CubaLibreRestaurant.com.
Reality at Borgata
Andy Cohen, best known for his reality television series on Bravo, will offer Atlantic City a one-of-a-kind glimpse into his exciting world 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa's Music Box theater.
The host of "Watch What Happens Live" and author of his memoir, "Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture," will engage audience members in an intimate conversation moderated by "The Real Housewives of New York" star Heather Thomson.
Cohen will discuss his life-long love affair with celebrity and pop culture while sharing tales from his storied career, plus he will also host a book signing at 3:30 p.m. at 28 West, where copies will be available for sale.
The host, executive producer and Bravo's executive vice president of original programming and development has created some of cable's most popular hits including "The Real Housewives" and "Top Chef." Cohen will offer inside scoops, mishaps, hilarious encounters and answer questions from the audience.
"Borgata has hosted several Bravo productions, including some of our highest rated and most buzzed about 'Real Housewives' reunion specials," explains Cohen. "I'm thrilled to bring my 'Most Talkative' stories there to create some new memories of my own!"
Tickets for "Most Talkative: Andy Cohen - A Conversation with Bravo's Leading Man" are priced at $20 and available at TheBorgata.com. A number of limited tickets are available for $35, which includes a copy of his memoir. Go to TheBorgata.com
Comedian and former "The View" co-host Joy Behar spent a day at Revel recently, enjoying therapies at BASK spa.