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Fine Wines & Dines in Atlantic City
Reality TV and cooking shows in America have groomed millions of viewers at home into discerning chefs and wine connoisseurs. Atlantic City’s unheralded food scene attracts many of these burgeoning “top chefs,” and we have valuable firsthand expertise with the pleasures of wining and dining any day of the week.
Here is a list of twelve places to enjoy a glass of red, white, or blush accompanied by family-style cooking, a fancy foie gras dish, or simply breathtaking oceanfront views:
- The Iron Room sits discretely in the back of the Atlantic City Bottle Company, a liquor and wine store which is far from your average local booze shop. ACBC’s shelves reflect owner and wine aficionado Paul Tonacci’s oenophilia with selections that allow your palate to travel near and far. You can find selections from the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Africa and South America. The store also offers tastings, classes, dinners, pairings and consultations. Purchase a bottle to go or enjoy it over dinner. The restaurant side of the house lives up to its impressive wine list. It earned the coveted Wine Spectator’s 2014 Award of Excellence. We highly recommend the tuna au poivre served with fried fingerling potatoes, seared asparagus and beurre blanc sauce.
- Knife & Fork Inn boasts a colorful place in Atlantic City history. The establishment dates back to 1912 when it operated as a bar and gambling hall during Prohibition. This steak and seafood restaurant underwent renovations in 2005 but the owners made sure the design recaptured the look and feel of the original. If dinning under the same roof that Nucky Johnson and friends once fraternized in does not impress you, then perhaps the award-winning wine list of over 300 bottled wines will; 40 are affordably priced at or under $40.
- Capriccio: Everything tastes better with an oceanfront view. Enjoy Sunday brunch, dinner or small bites overlooking the Boardwalk and ocean amid laughter and conversation. This spot has been one of the most acclaimed and highly regarded fine-dining establishments in Atlantic City for decades — perhaps due to the breathtaking views or to their brunch buffet offering endless options ranging from seafood to sweets and omelets and anything in between. Did we forget to mention that Capriccio at Resorts is a Zagat-rated AC institution for Italian-food lovers? This place is a winner whichever way you slice it and the accolades do not stop there! The new wine bar, Cielo at the entrance of Capriccio greets guests with an overhead trellis and a translucent deep blue panel spattered with cumulus clouds. The conversation-friendly atmosphere paired with the small bites menu is ideal for date night. This spot is one of the few in town where you can enjoy keg wine by the glass.
- If you’re looking for Italian fine dining and an intimate setting — Benvenuto! Café 2825 has only thirteen tables and serves from-scratch Italian cuisine. This small family- owned restaurant started back in Brooklyn; 25 years later the family relocated to Atlantic City, this place has recently been named in the top 100 eateries in the country by OpenTable. Their selection of 125 bottled wines includes 44 Italian choices. The Caesar salad dressing is prepared table-side and the Sunday Gravy is to-die-for. Mangia!
- Any time is good at A Time for Wine if you ask wine and cigar enthusiasts looking for the perfect pairing. This boutique shop features wines and cigars from around the world and high-end spirits for bourbon lovers. They also offer gift baskets you can fill with smoking and wine accessories for your loved ones who happen to be tobacconists and oenophiles . Call ahead or check their website to ask about regularly scheduled wine and cigar events that include freebies, giveaways and discounts throughout the store. Located at Caesars, Golden Nugget & Tropicana.
- Family and food go hand in hand at Angelo's Fairmount Tavern, a classic Italian and seafood eatery. The kitchen prepares family recipes in family-style sharing portions in a family-friendly atmosphere. But all this emphasis on “la famiglia” shouldn’t deter the adult set; rustic brick walls, an indoor courtyard setting and hundreds of old-time sports photos add up to an ambiance anyone can relax in. Angelo’s offers a menu of 32 wines, including 15 by the glass.
- There is a new tech-savvy cocktail lounge in town with no name, a hashtag and a bevy of craft cocktails. The #BARWITHNONAME at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City conveniently sits next to the guest hotel lobby. The extensive drink menu features a variety of spirits and creative handcrafted cocktails. We recommend the Fire Flight, a house made cinnamon elixir shaken with three whiskeys and bourbons. Wine lovers can enjoy three- and six-ounce pours or a bottle from their extensive wine list.
- Guy Fieri’s Chophouse delivers traditional steakhouse with a twist. The menu consists of varied and delicious food selections including a java rubbed ribeye chop, BBQ pork stuffed mushrooms and Jersey Shore clams casino. Complement your meal with a cocktail, a robust-craft beer or a glass of California-sourced wine from their wine list of over 60 bottles.
- Call ahead — way ahead — for reservations at Chef Vola’s. Tucked away in what could easily be mistaken for a private home, the James Beard Award-winning Italian restaurant has served celebs from Sinatra to Stallone to Jay Z and Beyoncé. The cuisine is what you’d find at grandma’s: homemade veal sausage, fresh pastas with rich homemade red “gravy,” seafood and more. Although it’s a casual BYOB hideaway, Thrillist named it one of the 21 Best Italian Restaurants in America. (609) 345-2022