Author Archives for Ryan Ross
Here’s a quick riddle, appropriate for the fast approaching Cinco de Mayo celebration at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
What do former Zeigfield dancer Marjorie King, ambassador’s daughter Margarita Henkel and Dallas socialite Margarita Sames have in common?
Never heard of them you say? Yet, you may regularly imbibe their namesake every time you have a Margarita.
Yep, all three are said to be the inspiration for the tequila cocktail the Margarita at various times and at various Mexican bars in the late 30s and early 40s.
Even singer Peggy Lee (Peggy being a nickname for Margaret) can stake her claim to one of the many origin stories—this time in Galveston, Texas—that surround this cocktail consisting of tequila, triple sec and lime or lemon juice.
And who’s to say who’s right or wrong and which Margarita started it all?
What we do know, is that there’s no better celebration of the Margarita than at Borgata’s Gypsy Bar, where the Savor Borgata Series will offer up Margarita Madness at 4pm Saturday, May 2. For $39, the event features Casamigos Tequila at Borgata’s rock n’ roll Tequila bar where you can mix and mingle while sipping on Margaritas and noshing on small bites.
There are few things in this country that can start an argument as quickly as bringing up the simple concept of barbecue.
Sure, we all like barbecue, but just exactly what kind of barbecue are you talking about?
Pork or beef? Sauce or dry rub? If it’s sauce, what goes in it? Vinegar and what?
And what style are we talking about? North Carolina? Kansas City? Memphis? Pretty much any other southern state?
And is it barbecue or BBQ?
Yes, it’s all pretty confusing, but luckily for us at Borgata Casino Hotel & Spa in Atlantic City, we’re pretty much barbecue neutral (Hey, Atlantic City came up with salt water taffy OK?).
So when Old Homestead Steak House presents an Old Homestead Smokehouse BBQ event at 8pm, April 10 as part of the Savor Borgata Series, Chef Romeo DiBona has a lot of leeway in picking the menu.
His choice—Texas style.
For barbecue novices, that largely means beef—and who knows more about beef than Old Homestead?—smoked over some kind of wood such as hickory, pecan or oak … or maybe mesquite. And that’s served with sauce – or a dry rub.
You know what’s a great indication that a particular dish is a hit with the masses?
How about if it’s been served for more than 800 years and great chefs such as Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s Stephen Kalt are still devising new and innovative ways to serve it up?
That’s staying power friends, and when it comes to Italian cuisine, few things have stood up like the ravioli. Yes the ravioli, that little doughy Italian dumpling that can be stuffed with anything—though ricotta cheese is the traditional starting point—to devise the perfect bite of food.
Stephen Kalt, Borgata chef/partner at Fornelletto’s Cucina & Wine Bar, recently highlighted the savory little bites, along with some perfect wine matchings at a another of his Holy Ravioli demonstration and luncheon events on Saturday, March 14 as part of the Savor Borgata Culinary Series.
It’s a formidable task, of course, to come up with a new take on an 800-year-old standby like the ravioli.
Legend has it that though “riavvolgere” means “to wrap,” most believe the dish was actually named after Ravioli, a renowned 13th-century chef in the Repubblica di Genova.
There are few chefs as talented and diverse as Michael Schulson. Since the 2008 debut of his first restaurant endeavor – Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Schulson has earned a sterling reputation for his expert hand at modern Asian cooking. In 2009, Schulson opened his second restaurant, Sampan, in Philadelphia’s bustling Midtown Village, which was promptly named one of Bon Appetit’s “Top Six Places to Taste Asian Fusion.” As a strong advocate of healthful, mindful eating who is passionate about remaining fit, Schulson recently got into the best shape of his life by updating his already nutritious make-at-home recipes. We recently caught up with Schulson to chat about everything from his time living in Japan to maintaining a healthy lifestyle – including Izakaya’s recipe for a delicious new cocktail that tastes like a tropical treat without all of the calories!
As Executive Chef of Borgata’s award-winning Old Homestead Steak House, Romeo DiBona knows a thing or two around the grill. And now, he’s sharing his 5 best BBQ tips to kick start your grilling season.
Romeo DiBona’s BBQ Tips:
- Invest in a chimney starter (about $14.99). Do not use lighter fluid ever. With the chimney, you fill up with the desired amount of charcoal and use either paraffin cubes ($4.99 for 24) or loosely crumpled up newspaper to light coals.
- When I make ribs at home on my Weber Kettle Grill, I use a rub and cook over indirect heat – searing the meat on the hot side then cooking them the rest of the way on the cool side, adjusting vents to slow the fire down and spraying them with a 1-part-vinegar/1-part-water solution every once in a while. This will add a nice zing to the rub!
- Coffee gives a rub or BBQ sauce a complex, earthy flavor. Use grinds in a rub or brew a strong cup to add to your BBQ sauce.
- The minion method is the most popular method in a kettle grill. For low and slow, arrange charcoal around the bottom of your grill, shingled 3 deep into a horseshoe, then start your chimney. When coals are glowing, place them at the top of the horseshoe so they light in succession.
- Make your own BBQ sauce! It’s really easy. Store-bought versions have a ton of sugar and can ruin all of your hard work! Only put BBQ sauce on protein in the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.
When Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa holds a Japanese Suntory Whisky Dinner as part of the Savor Borgata Culinary Series at Izakaya Modern Japanese Pub on March 20, it’s going to be the latest chapter in an amazing story.
Just that sentence alone should tip you off to how amazing it all is. After all, Japanese whisky?
Japanese Sake—well, sure. It’s what the country is famous for. Even Japanese beer is pretty well known. But Suntory whisky, a legitimate western style whisky distilled in Japan may come as a bit of surprise.
It did to the Japanese as well, but still came about due to the amazing story of Suntory founder Shinjiro Torii.
Torii’s story starts off with his study of the traditional Sake and sweetened wines as he opened his own shop in 1899—long before Japanese culture began embracing the west. Torii developed a love of western whiskys and soon exhibited a flair for the stuff to the point of being nicknamed “the nose of Osaka” (which is just a great nickname whatever the context).
To make a long story short (you can read more about Torii’s career at www.suntory.com), Torii introduced his first true whisky in 1929, a single malt whisky nicknamed Shirofuda that defied an army of naysayers who felt that true whisky could never be distilled in Japan.
More than 85 years later, Suntory whisky is still around and thriving and now comes to Borgata to meet up with Izakaya and Borgata Celebrity Chef Michael Schulson, who has prepared an amazing (there’s that word again) menu to highlight four of Suntory’s brand name whiskys.
Everyone has their own idea on what’s the most amazing invention in human history. You’ve got your traditionalists who vote for the wheel, your internal combustion engine enthusiasts and a lot of more current people who think it’s the app that allows you to order pizza anywhere in the continental U.S. 24/7.
But have you ever considered the simple Mason jar?
Yes the jar — or roughly a jar that can be tightly sealed with a screw-on top — invented by Philadelphia Tinsmith John Landis Mason in 1858.
From delicious jellies and preserved veggies to some good old down-home moonshine, what don’t we get out of jars? They let us transport food safely, keep food in the pantry for decades and give us a container to hold spare nails after we eat whatever was inside of them to begin with.
And now, we get desserts in a jar. No, not desserts we make out of stuff that comes from jars, but actual individual desserts made up of several ingredients served in jars.
If you haven’t heard of this new trend (well, relatively new as it’s been going on for a couple of years) it’s become all the rage and has been highlighted on a number of your better morning TV network talk shows.
There’s cake in a jar, pies in a jar, cupcakes in a jar, parfaits in a jar, a bunch of desserty stuff in a jar … it can be pretty much whatever you want.
Valentine’s Day is the holiday of romance, as we all know, but when it comes to celebrating it, well, a little elegance can go a long way.
Now don’t get us wrong. If you and your honey like to toast Valentine ’s Day with a can of beer and a bag of Fritos, more power to you.
But every now and then, it’s worth a bit of indulgence to do Valentine’s Day right. Say with a few glasses of some of the world’s most famous champagnes along with light nibbles prepared by Borgata’s world-class chefs.
And as luck would have it, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has a Valentine’s Day event exactly like that. On Saturday, Febraury 14, Borgata presents Bubbles … by Veuve Clicqout as part of the Savor Borgata Series in our Tesoro Lounge at 4pm.
Here’s the description from Savor Borgata:
“Spend the afternoon with Veuve Clicquot and enjoy an escalating flight of bubbles. Taste everything from Clicquot’s simplest house to their renowned La Grande Dame while enjoying light nibbles to complement the flavors and aromas of each champagne.”
But here’s a little more to that rundown than meets the eye. Simply put, Veuve Clicquot is the name in champagne (which is always French by the way, as opposed to sparkling wine.) The French Champagne House was founded in 1772, making it older than the U.S. itself.
Believe it or not, there’s actually some small controversies surrounding the unique and wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving.
Oh, sure we all know that the pilgrims and Native Americans got together about 1621 and celebrated a great feast and then watched some high school football before going out at midnight to get great bargains to start their Christmas shopping. And it was in 1863 that Abe Lincoln declared the first official national Thanksgiving Day along with the proclamation that the Detroit Lions always play a game on the holiday.
But to tell the truth, there’s a lot of controversy over that first Thanksgiving Day–especially the menu. The pilgrims probably ate some turkey, but venison (deer) was the likely main course along with a lot of seafood and also vegetables from their great harvest that year (which was the reason for the whole thing).
What’s not clear is if they had pie. Records show the pilgrims had access to a lot of wild fruits and berries growing around New England, but whether they baked them into a flaky crust and served them with coffee and ice cream is anybody’s guess.
Think of it—a pie-less Thanksgiving. Oh those poor, poor pilgrims.
Fortunately, we in the modern age don’t have to put up with that thanks to the Borgata Baking Co., which is offering up a special selection of Thanksgiving pies.
Let’s say, for argument’s sake, you were really hungry and feeling really adventurous at the same time.
You want something different—not your 1 millionth pizza or cheeseburger, not your 500,000 meal of pot roast and mashed potatoes. And you’re also a little sick and tired of what passes for standard restaurant fare out there with the endless salad bowls and unlimited cheesy bread sticks.
No, you want adventure, excitement, a new taste sensation. Like you were on a gastronomic safari.
Well, would you eat alligator?
How about rattlesnake? Snails? Duck tongue? Wild boar?
Avacado and mint ice cream?
Ha, you say. Not in a pig’s ear. Really, how about if the pig’s ear came Vietnamese style in a summer roll with a roasted cashew sauce?
Let’s face it, you know you would. That’s just the kind of dining adventurer you are and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has the perfect dining adventure for you
Welcome to Extreme Eats, a special dining event at Aqua at The Water Club Hotel that’s part of Savor Borgata’s Weekend of Savoring and helps cap off Borgata Restaurant Week. The event starts at 7:30pm at Aqua on Friday, November 7.