A Short Guide to “High Steaks” Dining in Atlantic City

Steakhouses. In Atlantic City, if you own a casino hotel (or even just a hotel), a steakhouse is a standard issue, a requirement as essential as an Italian restaurant offering. With such a glut of them, there seem to be an abundance of mediocre ones (and sometimes just downright bad ones). Well, never fear: John and I have eaten at a number of them over the years, and I think it’s fair to say that this list of our favorites is pretty darn reliable. We’re hoping this list helps you navigate the jungle of eateries dedicated to all things carnivorous in Jersey’s Sin City.

Scarduzio’s (Showboat): Let’s hear it for the (fairly) local contingency! Philly chef Chris Scarduzio offers amazing steaks, of course; but what sets his place apart is the full sushi bar, cucumber green martinis, and his mom’s recipe for homemade cavatelli. Mmmmmmmm.

Vic and Anthony’s (Golden Nugget): Only a year old at the Jersey shore, but they’ve been doing it for a while in Houston and Las Vegas (and now New York). Though the steaks are grain-fed, they do them right; you’ll find the combination of butter and fat left behind on the plate by the meat may ask you to request a glass to utilize it as a beverage. Side dishes like creamed spinach and scalloped potatoes are perfectly executed, but you do not want to miss the appetizer of Maple Glazed Quail with Sriracha sauce. this little gem is a little offbeat, but the smoky, slightly sweet-spicy flavors meld with the delicate meat to blow your mind. “chicken” to try it? Think of them as teeny-tiny chicken wings instead-trust me, they’re heaven.

The Atlantic Grill (Caesar’s):  Don’t let the sweeping views of the ocean fool you; though menu is heavily skewed towards seafood (their sushi is fabulous), the bone-in rib eye smacked me upside the head with flavor. I also couldn’t get enough of my veggies; the spring pea and fava bean ragout was to die for, and  I don’t usually get that excited about vegetables.  They also have an interesting little selection of sakes you may want to investigate.

The Reserve (Bally’s): Yes, we’ve raved about their brunch, but they are no strangers to fabulous meats. Their steaks are fabulous, but you might want to try the leg of  lamb dressed with  garlic, olive oil, and rosemary- the kitchen knows their business when they get out of the way and let the meat speak for itself. Don’t turn up your nose at the seafood offerings, either: Chef Muldoon digs the Pacific Rim style of cooking, and works magic with all things aquatic.

Chelsea Prime Supper Club (The Chelsea): Who needs a casino with elegance like this? Ocean views, live jazz shows, and a scene where Bogie and Bacall might walk in to at any moment. Chef Jason Hanin  sources from the local  Farm in Cape May when he can, and it shows.  Truffled whipped potatoes, homemade tater tots, and Brussels sprouts with bacon- what’s not to love?  Oh, yeah-and it was the place to try a steak where Thomas Keller gets his: Four Story Farms in Pennsylvania. Best slab of meat I’ve had in my entire life, ’nuff said.

One we suspect is going to be off-the-hook, but we haven’t eaten at yet is American Cut at Revel. After all, I don’t think a huge casino resort is going to give a young chef with only one restaurant (in New York City) to his name just for fun.  Marc Forgione has gotta have chops (pun intended). And the raw bar includes a “meat bar”. Yow.

 

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