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The Newark Star-Ledger has a Brooke Tarabour piece on what's happening in Atlantic City.

 

Among her observations:

 

A. Rando Italian Bakery (128 N. Mississippi Ave., 609-345-6678). ...You can smell the bread around the block,

 

You can ask for Rando's bread at the famous White House Subs (2301 Arctic Ave., 609-345-1564)

 

Tony's Baltimore Grill (2800 Atlantic Ave., at Iowa Avenue, 609-345-5766) for pizza. .....You walk into the dark, paneled dining room, grab a menu and seat yourself. ..... Then you read the menu -- spaghetti and meatballs are $6.85 --

He's right, and the pie is perfect, with a robust sauce, large chunks of excellent sweet sausage and a crust that only happens after the chef has had years of practice. The kitchen is open 'til 3 a.m. but if you'd rather have take-out,

 

You don't need an occasion to stop at the Irish Pub (164 St. James Place at the Boardwalk, 609-344-9063). At lunch, a Poor Richard Special of homemade soup and sandwich costs $1.95, and at dinner, specials for $5.95 include crab cakes, meat loaf, fish and chips and a dozen more choices -- with real mashed potatoes, homemade gravy and sauces and vegetables.

 

 

The Other Atlantic City

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  • 10 months later...

Frank Bruni has an article on his recent visit to Atlantic City. He was impressed with a few places, turned off by others and even got into the legendary Chef Vola's. Overall, with the exception of SeaBlue, he felt the restaurants were not well served by phone-in chefs.

 

Borgata:

 

But it’s making progress. I had a great strip steak and an honorable corn chowder at Mr. Flay’s restaurant, though I had to endure an hourlong wait past my reservation time, a scene as undisciplined as a junior high school cafeteria and a host as surly as Mel Gibson on a dark night in Malibu.

 

At Seablue I had several inspired dishes, including something called a lobster potpie and something else called a falafel-crusted soft-shell crab. Mr. Mina amusingly brokers upscale-downscale partnerships. He also brings crucial tweaks to potentially stale formulas, using Wagyu beef for braised short ribs and Chilean sea bass in place of black cod for an inevitable miso-glazed fish entree.

 

At Suilan I had a miserable meal: steamed scallop dumplings with no discernible flavor; “Peking duck rolls” with meat so dreary that no bird or beast would want to accept responsibility for it; a fillet of sesame-crusted halibut no moister or more appealing than a gargantuan fish stick. My companions and I got the check and got out of there fast.

 

 

 

Chef Vola's, a Rao's like place

 

You have to work hard and even plead a little bit to get in, and that’s one reason it feels like such a treat.

 

There are other reasons, too, like the house-made veal sausages, served with glistening green peppers, red peppers and onions. And the grilled red snapper, bathed in a “pesto Champagne Cognac cream sauce,” which tasted dreamier and much less overwhelming than you’d think. And the peculiar charisma of Louise Esposito, one of the owners, who greeted us just past 10 p.m. by announcing that she was out of clean napkins and on the precipice of “a panic attack.” Both statements were false alarms

 

 

 

Blackjack as a dessert item?

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Bruni's blog has more suggestions for off the beaten track in Atlantic City. Among the suggestions from readers:

 

Dock’s Oyster House–over 100 years old and still owned by the Dougherty’s. Downtown and terrific.

 

Savaradio in Linwood– a new location. Great looking and terrific food. Knowledgeable servers.

 

A.C.’s Ducktown neighborhood has simple red sauce Italian and super fresh seafood, all with a sense of history! Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern is family run since 1935…and generations of Dougherty’s have been doling out the dreamiest crab cakes since 1897.

 

 

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

Not exactly food related but we went to AC today after a long while. Borgata is very nice including the mandatory Chihuly/plant/water installation at the entrance and feels like a hip LV. But everything on Boardwalk is a pathetic joke incuding hotels. It seems like Borgata and such are intentionally set far aside like they don't want to have anything in common with that old Atlantic City casino world.

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Not exactly food related but we went to AC today after a long while. Borgata is very nice including the mandatory Chihuly/plant/water installation at the entrance and feels like a hip LV. But everything on Boardwalk is a pathetic joke incuding hotels. It seems like Borgata and such are intentionally set far aside like they don't want to have anything in common with that old Atlantic City casino world.

 

I've heard that it was planned that way. Each of the Marina area casinos is free standing, and the layout doesn't encourage you to walk from one to another.

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  • 5 years later...

Eater has a summary of what has reopened in Atlantic City.

 

No damage to Borgata, which has fully reopened. Other casinos suffered some damage, and have been slow to reopen all their restaurants as customer volume has dropped off. Many continue to pay their employees, and some are even allowing "negative credit" advancing staff some pay against future work.

 

Casino summary includes:

 

Bally's: The Reserve operated on Saturday evening, but has been closed for the rest of the week. Harry's Oyster Bar & Seafood is offering incentives for diners to donate non-perishable food items and other supplies. Folks who donate a shopping bag full of food receive a dozen oysters for $6. Also, the restaurant will be weighing all the clothing, blankets and other supplies — every pound donated will be $1 off a dinner check up to $30. As co-owner Maureen Shay told the Press of Atlantic City, "Harry's was completely dry. Even the courtyard outside … there were no pools of water. Our biggest issue will be getting deliveries of food and getting employees to the island."

· Caesars Palace: Mia and Atlantic Grill are closing at 9 p.m., Boardwalk Buffet is operating from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday then noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday. Cafe Roma is not operating 24 hours, but rather opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday or noon on Thursday. Buddakan and the Continental AC have reopened.

· Harrah's: As of Friday, McCormick & Schmick's, Bill's Bar and Burger, Café Tazza, Taste of the Shore and the Poker Bar were open.

· Showboat: While most dining venues are operating as usual, Scarduzio's is going to be closed on Thursday. Meanwhile, French Quarter Buffet is closing early at 8 p.m.

 

 

James Beard Award-winning Chef Vola's survived "almost completely unscathed" despite its location in a basement a block from the boardwalk, and the restaurant has reopened. [Eater Philly]

· Formica Brothers Bakery has reopened all of its cafes in the area and has donated fresh bread and bakery items to the Ventnor Distribution Center. [Facebook]

· Tony Baloney's has reopened despite sand on its floor and three feet of water that owner Michael Hauke told the Press of Atlantic City likely caused thousands of dollars in damage. [Tumblr, Press of Atlantic City]

· Gilchrist Restaurant has reopened. [Tumblr]

· Back Bay Ale House has reopened after dealing with heater and Internet problems. But sister restaurants Vagabond and Scales are still TBD given the several feet of water they took on during the hurricane. [Facebook, Press of Atlantic City]

· Angelo's Fairmount Tavern reopened on Saturday. [Facebook]

 

 

We're fine!

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