Ever wonder what the Pilgrims and the Native Americans ate at the first Thanksgiving dinner?
Did they have cranberry sauce that was perfectly shaped like a can? Did they put marshmallows in the yams? Oysters in the stuffing?
Well, no, but by all accounts it was a pretty good feast of turkey, waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash.
Of course turkey was the big popularity winner on that menu down through the years and even Alexander Hamilton—the guy on the $10 bill—proclaimed that “no citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day.”
We here at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa love being part of the Thanksgiving dinner tradition and unlike many restaurants that close for the day, Borgata Dining is open and serving up turkey dinners at our fine dining restaurants.
And we don’t skimp on dessert either. We don’t know if the Pilgrims baked those fruits and berries into pies, but we do know that Borgata Executive Pastry Chef Thaddeus DuBois makes the best Thanksgiving pies.
Those pies are available through Borgata Baking Co. and can be ordered for your Thanksgiving table.
That includes apple crumble, pumpkin, and cherry for $10 and pecan for $12. Order in person at Borgata Baking Co. and the pies will be available for pick-up starting at 11am Tuesday, November 24 through 6pm on Thanksgiving Day.
If you prefer to leave the dinner to Borgata’s chefs, special Thanksgiving menus have been devised at Bobby Flay Steak, Fornelletto, Wolfgang Puck American Grille and Old Homestead Steakhouse.
The pilgrims never had it so good.
The heat of the summer months requires a different list of go-to wines. Our focus shifts from hibernating indoors by the fire to lounging in the sunshine by the water. Borgata’s Wine Manager, Laura Turenne, shares her favorite wines to enjoy throughout the summer months.
By the sea…
Summer weather requires something light, fresh, and flavorful. Massaya Rose 2014 ($19│Vintage Wine Boutique) is a clean, delicate rendering of Cinsault and Syrah that lets you enjoy the raspberries and strawberries found in heavier red wines, but in that light white wine style that will keep you cool in hot weather. And what could be better with seafood than grapes grown on an island in the Aegean Sea? Domaine Sigalas’ vineyards of Assyrtiko 2012 on Santorini, Greece ($27│Vintage Wine Boutique) produce a dry white wine that has just the right balance of subtle citrus and minerality to make fish and white meats sing.
Francis Ford Coppola’s Director’s Cut Zinfandel 2012 ($30│Vintage Wine Boutique) is a classic pairing that will stand up to hearty ribs grilled in your favorite sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, but you could also opt for a softer Roger Perrin Cuvee Vieilles Vignes Cotes du Rhone 2012 ($24│Vintage Wine Boutique). Bright, juicy reds like Catena Malbec 2012 ($28│Vintage Wine Boutique) complement a burger’s beefiness and any veggies you choose to pile on top, while a light, crisp Robert Eymael Mönchhof 2012 Riesling ($18│Vintage Wine Boutique) counterbalances the char flavor on grilled items like chicken.
This is a tale of two amazing things that when put together, result in a Savor Borgata event that’s going to blow your mind.
First up is the barrel. Yes, the simple barrel of the roll out the, over the, and barrel through variety.
Sure it may seem like some simple construction of wood slats and metal bands, but once constructed—and combined with liquor—it’s one of the most important flavoring agents in the distilling and brewing industry.
Think about it. They age whiskey, bourbon, scotch, rum, tequila, beer, wine and sherry in barrels to add to the spirit’s distinctive taste, color and body. Hey, they even age Tabasco sauce and vinegar in barrels (but that’s another story).
Next up is the simple bartender, the mixologist, the cocktail slinger. These humble purveyor of drinks are always looking to find that edge, that extra ingredient or element that puts their cocktails over the top into new territory.
So it’s not surprising that some of those wily bartenders—including ours here at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa—hit on the idea of finding some old whiskey and wine barrels and aging their own cocktails in them.
Thus another trend was born—the barrel-aged cocktail. And on May 16 in Long Bar, the Savor Borgata Series will present a Woodford Reserve Barrel-Aged Cocktails Lunch. Specially made cocktails featuring Woodford Reserve whiskeys will be aged in Woodford Reserve barrels and pared with a menu by Borgata’s Executive Chef Thomas Biglan.
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.
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!
If there’s one thing we know, it’s sweets… mouth-watering, crave-worthy, taste-in-your-dreams sweets. Here are our picks for the 10 best treats across Borgata. Enjoy!
Borgata Baking Company: Sips with a Kick
Borgata Baking Company is now serving spiked gelato shakes! Try the “Drunken Monkey” (rum, bananas, honey, and vanilla gelato), “Frozen Cappuccino” (Irish Cream, Kahlua, and vanilla gelato), or the “The Ultimate ‘Root Beer” (Oatmeal Stout, Irish whiskey, and vanilla gelato).
Everything you need to plan a gorgeous Mother’s Day celebration… including decoration and gift ideas, as well as recipes by one of Borgata’s most celebrated chefs, Bobby Flay.
- Mother’s Day Décor…
- Create a variety of flower arrangements using flowers from your garden or fresh flowers from your local market. Keep tissue paper and twine nearby so you can remove from vases after brunch and gift each mother in attendance.
- Frame several photographs of the mothers in your family, including pictures throughout time – ie, your grandmother as a child with her mother, your mother with your children, and everything in between. Editors Tip: If framing isn’t an option, hang twine throughout your entertaining space and clip photos to string with clothespins.
- Cut pieces of pastel construction paper into the shape of tulips or sunflowers. Write each guest’s name or initials on respective pieces for table place cards.
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.
February was always a big month for George and Martha Washington as well as Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln, what with Valentine’s Day and George and Abe’s birthday both being in February.
And so, the Washingtons and Lincolns partied down in February. George and Martha would give each other colonial-era-appropriate gifts like molasses candies (in heart-shape boxes) and some nice wood varnish for George’s oral hygiene (you know, wooden teeth.) Then they’d have cherry pie.
Abe would give Mary agita and she famously gave him little wood log pieces he could make toy log cabins out of, hence the birth of Lincoln logs. Then they’d pitch pennies, which was like throwing little Lincoln commemorative medallions around.
Now, of course, it’s entirely possible that none of this really happened—because we totally just made it up—but the point is when February lines-up Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day together on the calendar, it’s time to party.
And nobody does holiday weekend parties like Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, where this year we get to combine both our romantic Valentine’s offerings with the star-packed entertainment and promotions of another Presidents’ Day Weekend in Atlantic City.
From Friday, February 13 to Monday, February 16, Borgata has something for everyone.