Resorts

Resorts’ Executive Director of Food and Beverage Edward Batten, pictured far left, poses by the hotel casino’s rooftop garden.

You’ve heard of farm-to-table. How ‘bout rooftop to table?

That’s exactly what Resorts Casino Hotel’s culinary staff is doing all summer, thanks to their continued commitment to offer the freshest produce imaginable in their daily cuisine, particularly at Capriccio, the resort’s gourmet Italian restaurant and its adjacent bar Cielo, as well as Breadsticks, Resorts’ cafe.

The idea originated when Capriccio Chef Steve Klawitter remarked how pleasing it would be to have a garden on Capriccio’s patio. It worked, but they needed an alternative when Capriccio’s patio was renovated to offer outdoor seating.

So Klawitter, Resorts Executive Director of Food and Beverage Edward Batten and Executive Chef Robert Levenson and their teams constructed a small test run last year to see if the rooftop conditions above their spa would generate great produce.

It did. So this year’s crop is bigger, more diverse and plentiful, meaning diners can experience more fresh ingredients than last year. And, like last year, they are using organic fertilizers, no pesticides.

“It went really well last year, but we got out there late and did some peppers and tomatoes but mostly herbs because the grow rapidly, and we were able to harvest them often,” Batten says. “So consider this year a 2.0. We went out early with seedlings and basically doubled what we did last year with a lot more tomatoes, squash, eggplant, every herb you can think of.”

This year, the team, which also includes Executive Sous Chef David Wong and Restaurant Chef Aaron Gonzales, is offering a variety of herbs like basil, thyme, sage, Italian parsley, rosemary, English thyme, oregano, mint, marjoram and lavender.

Guests can also taste four types of tomatoes (Roma Plum, San Marzano Plum, Rutgers and Brandywine), five types of peppers (bell, Cubanelle, Serrano, jalapeno and Thai hot), and other veggies including eggplant, cucumber, bitter melon and luffa.

“The chefs personally harvest them,” Batten says. “They put a lot of pride in being able to go out and grow and then harvest. If they need something quick or have an idea for something, they don’t have to wait for an order to come in.”

At Capriccio, rooftop-grown vegetables can be tasted in a variety of dishes such as the burrata toast with Jersey teardrop tomatoes and torn basil; garden eggplant two ways — pickled and crispy — with chanterelle mushrooms — and seared mahi with cherry tomatoes and cilantro oil.

“The chefs are being so creative,” Batten says. “This is prime time for us because everything is in full bloom. We’re taking Jersey Fresh to the next level, and we’re not done yet. We’re learning what thrives up there and what doesn’t. Next year will be even bigger and better.”

Martorano’s celebrates 2nd

Yo, Cuz! It’s hard to believe it, but Martorano’s has been inside Harrah’s Resort for two years already, and as you would expect, the South Philly native is celebrating big time.

Fuggedabout doing anything else this weekend, Martorano’s is the place to be. It all starts 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, with a special live remote of Off The Press with Scott Cronick on Newstalk 1400-AM, WOND, and 92.5-FM, as Cronick interviews Martorano live inside his restaurant. The public is invited and will be treated to $2 cocktails in honor of the second anniversary for the two-hour broadcast only. Martorano will meet and greet the public, take photos and even sign copies of his latest and longest titled book, “It Ain’t Sauce, It’s Gravy: Macaroni, Homestyle Cheesesteaks, the Best Meatballs in the World, and How Food Saved My Life.” During the broadcast, there will be other special guests, including The Blue Notes, who will perform later that night.

Also on Friday evening, DJ Chris Devine will spin music, followed by The Blue Notes at 9:30 p.m. Go to OpenTable.com for reservations. There is no cover or minimum.

The celebration continues 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, with a red carpet cocktail party inside Eden Lounge leading up to another show inside Martorano’s featuring The Trammps, Tavares, France Joli and DJs Chris Devine and Manolo. From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., a limited number of reservations are offered through Open Table. Doors open for the dinner show at 8 p.m. Table reservations can be made by calling 609-441-5576 or email nlogiudice@harrahs.com. There is no cover, but each reservation comes with a $250 minimum per person that can be spent on food and/or beverages. There will be 75 standing room only tickets available for $50 at Martoranos.NightOut.com.

Martorano will be there all weekend cooking in the kitchen, and the regular menu will be available along with some amazing specials.

“Martorano’s anniversary party is set to be one of the biggest weekends of the year in Atlantic City,” says Harrah’s Vice President of Food and Beverage Lee Sanchez. “The grand opening party two years ago set the bar for when dining meets nightlife, and the two-year anniversary will set a new standard.”

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