Out and About in Atlantic City – Dining and Cocktails

I have a client in Atlantic City, thereby for the last 8 years, I inevitably end up in AC the week of Labor Day. Every year sees more and more great restaurants. My favorite part is planning our dinners out. As my week there wound down and I began making my menu plan for the coming week, I found myself reflecting on some of the wonderful restaurants and interesting dishes I sampled while in AC. A few stood out as ones I had to  recreate once at home.  Here are the ones at the top of my list for the week.

  1. Buddakan at The Pier at Caesars. Buddakan is one of my very favorite all time restaurants. I have frequented the Philly location quite a bit since it opened. That said there are a few things on the menu that I crave each time. One is their Edamame Ravioli. They have an amazing flavor which is both delicate and flavorful at the same time. I can’t get enough of them. The atmosphere in Buddakan provides a great ambiance too, a giant Buddha, soft lighting, and round comfy booths.
  2. Izakaya at the Borgata. So good we ate here twice and we were not lacking in restaurant options.  The sushi and maki is fresh and creative. They also have Edamame Dumplings on the menu, which of course I had to have. They just melt in your mouth. We also sampled their Robatayaki (basically a menu of Japanese grilled food –mostly  meats, and seafood) and the King Crab Tacos. The Tacos were so good, 3 mini tacos stuffed with king crab – sort of a mexican-asian fusion. Yum!  The restaurant has a modern and hip Asian atmosphere,  billed as a Japanese Pub.
  3. Sea Blue at the Borgata. We had pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers here one night. I had a delicious Tangerine Cocktail and we shared the Raw Trio. Sea Blue highlights tasting trios on their appetizer menu. They have 3 groupings, Raw (scallop ceviche, kona kampachi & hamachi ), American Classics (lobster corndogs, crabcakes & shrimp po’boy) and if you are feeling more extravagant, caviar (3 kinds of osetra – Iranian, Russian & Siberian).  They also present each table of diners with a basket of fresh Naan and 3 dipping sauces (hummus, sundried tomato hummus & tzatziki) – delicious. Our favorite was the sundried tomato hummus.  SeaBlue features bold seafood dishes in a modern atmosphere.
  4. Red Square at the Quarter in the Tropicana. Here we chose the Chef’s Tasting Menu (a 7 course meal) and wine pairing.  We enjoyed everything. Our favorite was the Amuse Bouche – Siberian Nachos. A crisp wonton chip topped with smoked salmon, wasabi cream, wasabi tobiko and citrus caviar. Red Square features a trendy vodka bar with a real ice top and over 100 rare vodkas.  The dining room atmosphere is great for a date night with dim lighting, billowy fabrics, big round soft and cushy booths – mostly in a deep dark red highlighted by a large crystal chandelier.

All in all we enjoyed some really fantastic food, atmosphere and cocktails. I plan on creating my own versions of the following:

  1. Edamame dumplings. I am planning on a cross between Buddakan’s and Izakaya’s. I preferred the flavor of Buddakan’s and the dumpling nature of Izakayas.
  2. Tangerine Cocktail from SeaBlue. I have a bottle of Tangerine Vodka waiting for me at home. I enjoyed the cocktail but found it to be just a tad bitter. I will probably add just a little less lime juice.
  3. Siberian Nachos from Red Square. They will be great served with cocktails.

Check back!  I will post my recipe iterations as I create them.

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