Banqueting at the Borgata with Stephen Kalt

After attending a slew of entertainment events at the luxurious space, going to the Borgata Hotel, Casino, and Spa is like going home for us. But last weekend we got to see the Atlantic City hotspot through the eyes of a foodie. We joined a group of food & wine writers from The Daily Meal, City Paper, Fritos and Foie Gras, and the Gothamist (to name a few) for the ride down early Friday evening and learned that we would call The Water Club home for the weekend.

For dinner, we made our way down into the depths of the casino to Fornelletto, which was built to resemble an Italian wine cellar. We started the evening sipping Prosecco, Zardetto, Veneto NV with hor d’oeuvres of Chicken Liver, Mushroom Fontina, and Avocado & Moroccan Lemon Crostinis when we met head chef Stephen Kalt, who joined us for the meal.

With a quick toast, we began the family-style meal with sardines fried in Prosecco batter; calamaretti fritti with lemon, dried olives, and pine nuts; and fried artichokes all paired with aioli. We moved on to lighter fare with a fennel, endive, and red onion salad with anchovy dressing and tuna crudo with capers, radish, and apples. But the best dish of the course was the heirloom tomato and burrata with basil as food editors and guests alike couldn’t get enough! Those looking for a slice of the city could also try the pizzas: marinara pizza with San Marzano tomato sauce, garlic, and fresh oregano; parma pizza with prosciutto di parma, mozzarella, and topped with arugula; and of course Brooklyn pizza topped with meatballs, San Marzano tomato sauce, and mozzarella. We tried the Aglianico, Cantina del Taburno, Campania 2010 with all of the dishes, including the burrata we all fell in love with and discussed our writing backgrounds. We chose the Primitovo, Cantele, Puglia 2009 while others tried the Grillo/Insolia ‘Zagra’, Valle dell’Acate, Sicily 2008 to try the ravioli del plin stuffed with artichoke and peas and a sauce of montasio cheese, butter and poppy seeds; rock shrimp fettucine with long hot peppers grown right in New Jersey, San Marzano tomatoes, and pecorino; trippa with prosciutto, parmigiano reggiano, and paccheri; and our favorite, potato gnocchi with a parmesean cream sauce made with figs, brown butter, and sage! The main course was skipped, and we went straight to the good stuff – dessert! Everyone took slices of the cinnamon apple crostata with spiced organic apples and vanilla ice cream and the dark chocolate budino with made with nutella, hazelnut butter crunch, and marscarpone cream. Some of the most delectable delights were the panna cotta with strawberries, goat cheese gelato, and balsamic. The Jersey corn gelato, which sat on top of caramel corn, caramel, and topped with a sweet corn foam and sea salt, was the perfect ode to the shore city where the Borgata stands.

We then headed over to Mixx, one of the two nightclubs inside the casino, where we toasted to an amazing night with a few cocktails and a spin or two on the dance floor before calling it a night. With an evening like that, who could ask for more?