Who cut the cheese? If you're in Hammonton this time of year, the answer is usually "Bagliani's Market." And people will know what you mean, because since 2007, the Italian deli has aged, checked and rotated one - or three, or four - 600 pound roll of special-aged provolone cheese for a year. Then, lots of fromage fans show up on the appointed day for the cutting - and tasting! - hoping to take home a piece of the action. This one goes under the knife 8 p.m. sharp Friday at 417 12th Street, Hammonton. Call 609-561-0693.
Dine, shop at Trop
The shops and restaurants in The Quarter at Tropicana Casino and Resort offer an upgrade on the seasonal shopping experience this year. Casual dining options, such as sushi and miso soup from Zeytinia, a sandwich, bag of chips and soft drink at A Dam Good Deli, or two taco dinners with a 40-ounce beer to share at A Dam Good Sports Bar start at $7. Ri-Ra Irish Pub has a $10 early bird special for afternoon diners. And gourmet restaurants including Cuba Libre, Golden Dynasty, FIN - A Seafood Experience, Il Verdi and The Palm all have prix fixe dinner menus for less than $40 per person. Or, share dinner at Carmine's Atlantic City for $15 per person or feed two at P.F. Chang's for $44.95.
Wine of the Week
2011 La Ginestraia Pigato Riviera Ligure di Ponente
Region: Liguria, Italy
Price: $17 to $20
Style: Dry and minerally
What it goes with: Any fish
Pigato is a little-known Italian wine sommeliers love to surprise guests with. Lithe and minerally, with an earthiness that plays well against an ever-so-slight sweetness this white wine from Liguria has presence. The grapes for La Gines-traia come from a vineyard in Ortovero that dates from the 1700s. Pigato wants food. I had it with clams in parsley sauce, but it's wonderful with fish chowder, steamed mussels or grilled fish. And, of course, sushi.