It’s that time of year again when people make their lists and check it twice — and finalize which restaurants they’ll try during Atlantic City Restaurant Week.
Diners will have plenty of options this year, from Italian and Mexican to seafood and BYOB and more. There are a total of 79 restaurants to choose from — up from 70 last year.
The excitement is likely to buzz around the eateries that weren’t yet open this time last year, particularly Robert’s Steakhouse at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort and all of the restaurants inside Revel.
From Sunday to Saturday, March 3 through 9, guests will get the chance to sample fine dining for a small price, as lunch menus are $15.13 per person and dinner will cost you $33.13 per person at every restaurant. When it comes to most locations, this flat rate includes a three-course meal, usually with sides. Considering that some participating restaurants’ entrees are more than double that price, it’s definitely worth a trip to Atlantic City.
How do you choose? We took some of the work off your hands by picking our favorites and separating them into categories that are sure to make your choice easier to find. But, when it comes to A.C. Restaurant Week, who says you have to pick just one?
Steve & Cookie’s: One of the finest downbeach restaurants, this Margate institution has rebounded nicely from Hurricane Sandy and has a killer menu, as always. Start with poached clams or lobster mac & cheese, then choose from one of five entrees, including the stellar Jack Daniels-glazed double-cut stuffed pork chop with Granny Smith apple, applewood-smoked bacon, farmhouse white cheddar and ample-roasted sweet potato and crispy parsnip. And don’t leave without devouring the peanut butter pie.
American Cut: Iron Chef Marc Forgione’s steakhouse inside Revel is one of the best steakhouses on the East Coast, so expect reservations to fill up quickly thanks to a menu that has everything from sushi-grade tuna tartare with American caviar and Black Pig Meat Co. bacon on its starters menu; an 8-ounce filet mignon or chicken under a brick for entree choices, your choice of five sides plus dessert.
Luke Palladino Seasonal Italian Cooking & Luke Palladino at Harrah’s: You can’t go wrong with either of Palladino’s restaurants, the more quaint Northfield spot or the more grandiose experience at Harrah’s Resort, thanks to items such as homemade potato gnocchi, lamb ribs with horseradish gremolata, sweetbread and white chocolate mousse. He’s one of the best chefs in South Jersey. Experience it.
Amada: Iron Chef Jose Garces’ Spanish tapas restaurant will offer one of the most adventurous meals since diners can choose two appetizers and two entrees each, such as chorizo Pamplona, Spanish tortilla, Spanish sea bass, hanger steak, garlic shrimp and more.
Knife & Fork: There’s a reason this restaurant has been around forever. It’s awesome. And it’s Restaurant Week menus for both lunch and dinner are stellar. Dinner options include a 10-ounce filet mignon, bone-in pork chop, spice-rubbed salmon and Grand Marnier cheesecake.
Robert’s Steakhouse: Experience the best steak Atlantic City has to offer. The beautiful, new, classy steakhouse inside Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort will wow you with its decor and service and have you coming back for the food. Start with spinach ricotta ravioli with citrus brown butter, have the awesome dry-aged N.Y. strip and then the vanilla bean panna cotta with roasted pineapple carpaccio.
800 Bay by Philippe: Another newcomer, French master chef Philippe Chin is impressing everyone in Somers Point with his French-Asian fusion. His special menu includes everything-crusted tuna tataki, classic lobster bisque, crab-encrusted chicken breast, wasabi-crusted salmon and warm chocolate cake.
Capriccio: A Resorts Italian staple for about 35 years, Capriccio’s beautiful, Italian decor and ocean views make for a perfect romantic night out, and the food is great, including chicken Francese, veal parmesan, orecchiette Bolognese, a 6-ounce filet and Meyer Lemon semifreddo.
The Reserve: Bally’s Atlantic City’s extraordinary steakhouse with ocean views will impress you thanks to Chef Joseph Muldoon’s creativity and passion. Apps include poached bay scallops and Tuna Nicoise salad; entrees are applewood and hickory-smoked prime rib, sour plum and garlic-braised pork ossobuco and crab-stuffed flounder. White chocolate cheesecake sounds like a perfect ending.
Ram’s Head Inn: It doesn’t get much more old-school, classic gourmet than the legendary Ram’s Head. Great, diverse lunch and dinner options include grilled veggie ravioli, steamed clams, crab cakes, the famous chicken pot pie, jumbo stuffed shrimp with crabmeat, flourless chocolate cake and key lime pie.
Value Casino Dinner
Morton’s: One of the most expensive steakhouses in town is a steal for Restaurant Week. Completely remodeled recently, the Caesars restaurant features baked five-onion soup, honey chili-glazed salmon, double-cut prime pork chop, 6-ounce filet and double chocolate mousse.
Scarduzio’s: Philadelphia chef extraordinaire Chris Scarduzio’s great steakhouse in Showboat Casinp-Hotel will normally set you back a pretty penny. But for Restaurant Week, he gives you plenty of choices, including his king crab roll with peppered tuna or calamari tempura with sweet chili dipping sauce for starters. Then sink your teeth into the braised beef short ribs with parmesan polenta or his amazing homemade cavatelli with spicy tomato butter and sundried tomato pesto. And banana white chocolate bread pudding or minted lava cake sound awesome.
Mia: Another Scarduzio restaurant offers an opulent setting in Caesars’ lobby with food to match: pan-seared Diver scallops for an app, orecchiette lobster Bolognese, spinach and ricotta cheese agnolotti pasta, tilapia and N.Y. strip steak for an entree and pistachio creme brulee.
Vic & Anthony’s: Golden Nugget Atlantic City’s premier restaurant — and one of the best steakhouses in the city — will not disappoint with its reduced-price menu: lobster bisque, petite filet mignon with mashed potatoes, chicken scaloppini or shrimp scampi. And the key lime pie and house-made ice cream and sorbet are awesome.
Il Verdi: Tropicana Casino and Resort’s pricey, Italian menu is a deal for Restaurant Week with house-made fresh mozzarella with plum tomatoes and torn basil and chicken Straciatella for starters. Then, make the tough choice of four entrees including filet mignon with caramelized mushrooms and fennel with gorgonzola cheese or its signature sauteed veal medallions with three imported cheeses in a pino grigio cream sauce. Homemade tiramisu sounds just about right.
Il Mulino: The most expensive Italian restaurant in the city is a popular spot during Restaurant Week. Although the menu wasn’t provided at press time, trust us: It’s worth checking out.
The Steakhouse at Harrah’s: This underrated steakhouse offers an interesting menu that includes steakhouse chowder made with braised prime rib, plus California roll. Entrees include barramundi with arugula risotto, a 10-ounce N.Y. strip, plus Frenched chicken breast. Then there’s creme brulee, lemon meringue tart or N.Y.-style cheesecake
The Palm: One of our favorite steakhouses — definitely Top 5 in the city — is surprisingly offering lunch, which it normally does not. So to eat at the Palm for 15 bucks and get a Nova Scotia lobster BLT, the Bozzi prime steak burger or the jumbo lump crab cake sandwich plus an app and dessert is a steal. Dinner is awesome, too, including a 9-ounce filet, olive-crusted salmon or Burgundy wine-braised beef brisket. Then hang in there for a root beer float and cookies, classic creme brulee or flourless chocolate cake.
Nero’s: Another underrated, incredible steakhouse and seafood restaurant inside Caesars will impress you all around, particularly with its over-the-top service. Feast on a petite filet mignon with gorgonzola cheese and polenta fries or black sea bass with sundried tomato, soft polenta and house-cured pancetta. Then indulge in the tiramisu or ricotta panna cotta with fresh strawberries.
Gallagher’s: At one point, Gallagher’s didn’t even have steak on its Restaurant Week menu. Now it has two: a 14-ounce prime rib and an 8-ounce grilled filet. You can’t go wrong with those or the fried calamari, wedge salad, seafood pasta or homemade bread pudding.
Max’s Steakhouse: With new owners coming soon, it may be one of your last chances to enjoy one of the longest-running steakhouses in town. Located inside Trump Plaza, this masculine eatery remains a great restaurant thanks to a menu that includes coriander-cursted ahi tuna and French onion soup, prime rib, ponzu-glazed salmon, a seafood pot with clams, mussels, scallops and shrimp over linguini and cheesecake or gelato.
Patsy’s Trattoria: The trattoria version of the famous New York City institution is always a solid Italian stop. Big apps such as penne a la vodka and rigatoni Bolognese with entrees such as chicken parm, balsamic pork chop and more should make for a filling meal.
Lugo Cucina e Vino: The newest Italian restaurant in town at Revel is also one of the best. Restaurant Week is a great time to give it a try, particularly one of the greatest meatballs in town, or crispy fried calamari for starters, homemade rigatoncini with a meat sauce made from veal, pork and beef, or chicken parm, and don’t leave without the cannoli.
Fornelletto: Borgata’s most underrated restaurant shows Chef Stephen Kalt’s great knowledge of all things Italian, such as homemade mozzarella with tomato tartar, fresh arancini, whipped ricotta with sweet garlic crostini, veal ossobuco ravioli, monkfish Francese and tiramisu.
Casa Di Napoli: Showboat’s longtime staple offers a limited Restaurant Week menu with soup or salad for an appetizer, shrimp Fra Diavalo, red snapper Puttanesa or chicken parm, plus tiramisu or chocolate hazelnut crunch bar for a sweet ending.
Arturo’s: Bally’s Italian restaurant with an ocean view may be worth a look thanks to creative dishes such as escarole and meatballs with orzo pasta or clams oreganata for apps, lobster risotto, swordfish with clams in a tomato broth or tender veal topped with prosciutto and fontina cheese served with polenta. And the crispy homemade ricotta-based dough — “zeppolies” — may be worth the visit alone.
Trattoria Il Mulino: The more casual side of Trump Taj Mahal’s two-sided Italian eatery will not disappoint with its lunch and dinner menus, which were not announced at press time.
New Kids on the Block
Assagio!: The former Tre Figlio is building a new audience with its authentic Italian cuisine, and its Restaurant Week menu rocks with shrimp Antoinette, scallops with speck or sausage and broccoli rabe for appetizers. Entrees are just as enticing with Pasta Assagio! With three homemade pastas in three homemade sauces, pancetta-wrapped pork, veal parm or crab and cappellini. Fresh zabaglione with berries, biscotti and ricotta pie round things out.
Kelsey’s: Kelsey and Kim Jackson’s great new soul food restaurant should be on the top of your list for Restaurant Week thanks to appetizers that include catfish tacos and shrimp cocktail, and entrees such as Kelsey’s slow-smoked ribs, Angus T-bone steak, stuffed shrimp or Atlantic salmon.
Bocca Coal Fired Bistro: The new Bocca is out to prove it’s more than a pizza joint with approachable menus for lunch and dinner that include lobster bisque and coal-fired Thai wings for starters. For lunch, check out the coal-fired Nonna pizza or the black and bleu burger. For dinner, a filet topped with crabmeat, black pepper sesame ahi tuna and Bocca pasta Pescatore with shrimp, crab, clams, mussels, scallops, calamari and lobster sound like winners. End with the peanut butter bomb.
Mussel Bar: One of our favorite restaurants in the city gives you another reason to go to Revel for Restaurant Week. Washington, D.C., culinary icon Robert Wiedmaier’s Belgian roadhouse offers lunch and dinner, including its signature mussels offered as both appetizers or entrees, including its cave-aged Gruyere cheese mussels with fingerling potatoes and pancetta, and its spicy Thai curry mussels with peanuts, cilantro and basil. Other great selections include creamy French onion soup and Chef Dean Dupois’ famous Kobe beef burger with smoked mozzarella with BBQ tomato jam on a homemade brioche bun, and the wood oven-roasted chicken with smoked bacon marmalade and truffle and Gruyere grits with brown butter spinach.
Village Whiskey: Iron Chef Jose Garces’ casual eatery known for its whiskeys and burgers offers a great value for lunch considering the Village Burger alone is about 15 bucks. Plus, you also can have tater tots, cheesecake and more. The value isn’t there for dinner, however, with basically the same menu — except you can have cheese puffs and fried shrimp for apps — for twice as much money. Stick with lunch.
Value Casino Lunch
Harry’s Oyster Bar: With tons of options, you can’t go wrong choosing Harry’s, where you can fill up on entrees such as a black angus burger, a Cajun tempura flounder sandwich or an arugula salad with grilled salmon, plus dessert options that will leave you wishing your pants were a bit looser.
Noodles of the World: If you’re craving some Asian delicacies for lunch, head here, where you can start with crab Rangoon, soup, edamame or Kim Chi and then enjoy Hong Kong beef fried rice, General Tso’s chicken or roast pork lo mein. Hopefully, you’ll still have room for dessert.
Sammy D’s: You should make an effort to make it to Sammy D’s just to try his pink cotton candy cake, which you can have for dessert after enjoying a grilled chicken sandwich or tortellini a la vodka for lunch, plus Caesar salad or roasted tomato bisque as a starter.
Nanking: Expand your palate here, where you can start with options such as traditional Oriental chicken soup or Mumbai chili chicken, then choose between entrees such as basil ginger fish, vegetable penang curry or Mongolian beef, plus yummy green tea cheesecake for dessert.
Crossroads: Feeling Bluesy? This House of Blues eatery will lift your spirits with options of Jambalaya, a smoked BBQ bacon burger or market fish and desserts including bourbon banana bread pudding, sticky toffee pudding or key lime pie.
6ix: Enjoy classic dishes such as the big 6ix burger, penne rustica or lemon oreganata-baked salmon, with appetizer options including Maryland lump crab cake sliders, bistro crisp seasonal greens or margarita flatbread.
Michael Patrick’s Brasserie: If it’s comfort food you’re craving, this is your spot. You’ll feel like you’re at home with entree choices of cobb salad, Michael Patrick’s burger, chicken pot pie or fish and chips, plus chicken quesadilla, fried mozzarella, soup of the day or Caesar salad for a starter.
The Metropolitan: Looking for a tasty sandwich to enjoy? Choose between French dip, a grilled chicken sandwich or tuna salad here. You can also enjoy starters such as Thai chicken skewers, chicken noodle soup or Caesar salad, plus Holy Cannoli gelato for dessert.
Value Non-Casino Dinner
A Touch of Italy: With plenty of options, you’ll find it hard to choose between a seafood ravioli combination topped with lump crabmeat vodka sauce or chicken Sorrentino, not to mention choices including meat lover’s pizza and stuffed eggplant rollatine for an appetizer.
Buddakan: Live large at this Asian destination from Stephen Starr, where you can indulge in Alaskan king salmon, wok cashew chicken or wasabi-crusted filet mignon for your main course and enjoy decadent desserts of Zen-ful donuts or South Asian carrot cake for dessert.
Sofia: If you’re craving Greek-inspired dishes, this is the place for you. Start with Saganaki, a pan-fried kasseri cheese flamed in ouzo, then fill up on Yiouvetsi, which is braised lamb shank with orzo, spinach and a lamb demi. You can also indulge in desserts such as Galaktobouriko or Spumoni truffle.
Ruth’s Chris: When it comes to meat, this eatery has some tasty options. Enjoy appetizers of Louisiana seafood gumbo with sausage, shrimp and crabmeat; or apple walnut and blue cheese salad. For a main course, try blackened sea scallops, stuffed chicken breast or a 6-ounce petite filet.
Tomatoe’s: At this hot spot in Margate, you can enjoy appetizers of shaved Brussel sprout salad, spicy crunchy tuna roll, eggplant purses or the flatbread of the day. You can also indulge in Euro chicken breast, pan-seared salmon or Troffie pasta for your main course and finish with killer chocolate cake or lemoncello gelato for dessert.
Value Non-Casino Lunch
Fred & Ethel’s: For some creative dishes, you can hit Fred & Ethel’s and enjoy starters such as Buffalo chicken wontons, Back Bay crab bites or a short rib quesadilla. For your main course, you can have Ethel’s salad, a wing sampler featuring different sauces or an angus ranchero wrap, then finish it with mixed beery bread pudding or a chocolate mousse cup.
Smithville Inn: This eatery is pulling out all the stops, with choices such as black bean soup or corn chowder for starters, followed by options including a crab cake sandwich, stuffed portabella and spinach salad or pork Milanese ciabatta for the main course. Then, enjoy cherry cheese cake, berries and cream parfait or warm banana bread pudding for dessert.
Latz’s by the Bay: If you feel like having a decadent meal, start with a trio spread of white bean puree, olive tapenade and roasted pepper jam, then enjoy pan-seared salmon, sausage ragu over linguini or open-faced vegetable sandwich for your main course. Finish the three-course meal with a mini creme brulee.
Joseph’s Restaurant: This restaurant at Renault Winery is keeping things extravagant with appetizer choices of mussels, Philly steak spring rolls, burrata mozzarella or romaine hearts, and main course options including shrimp and crab Louie Renault or sweet Italian sausage with orecchiette.
Johnny’s Cafe & Martini Bar: Your only appetizer choice here is a house salad, but the cafe makes up for it with entree choices of New York strip with steak fries, chicken marsala, five-cheese ravioli or Hawaiian swordfish. End your experience with New York style cheesecake or savory seven-layer chocolate cake.
Dock’s Oyster House: You can enjoy all the sea has to offer here, with appetizers including asparagus and crab soup and main-course dishes including baked flounder, pan-sauteed crab cakes, panko-crusted Chesapeake oysters and pecan-crusted salmon, plus grilled filet mignon for all you meat lovers.
Chart House: Choices are slim here, but they are also mouth-watering. Start with Caesar salad or clam chowder and then dine on your choice of braised short ribs, lobster and shrimp carbonara or crab-encrusted mahi. The mini lava cake for dessert is the perfect ending to the experience.
Azure: If you like ocean views with your seafood, come sample Chef Alain Allegretti’s menu, with appetizer choices of seasonal soup, Boston lettuce or a jumbo lump crab cake and main dishes including Mediterranean branzino “Isolana,” free-range chicken and paccheri. Finish with decadent vanilla creme brulee.
Phillips Seafood: This eatery at The Pier Shops has a little something for everyone. Start with coconut shrimp, cream of crab soup or Phillips tossed salad. Choose between Phillips famous crab cakes, shrimp scampi, wild mushroom herb chicken or steak and shrimp for the main course, and then end with triple chocolate torte or cheesecake.
Fin: You’ll be wishing you had two stomachs when you feast your eyes on FIN’s menu. With appetizers including Maine lobster bisque and jumbo lump crab cake and main dishes including 8-ounce filet mignon, Faroe Island salmon and Frenched chicken breast, you’ll have to save room for dessert.
McCormick & Schmick’s: When it comes to McCormick & Schmick’s, seafood is their game. Thanks to Restaurant Week, you’ll get the chance to sample items from its expensive menu for a discounted rate.
Great Menu Variety
East Bay Crab & Grille: It’s impossible to mention all of the great options here, but you’ll get to try everything from crab bites to coconut shrimp for appetizers and tilapia Francaise or Asian sea bass Rockefeller for your main course. For dessert, enjoy options such as deep-fried oreos, apple cinnamon cake and more.
Girasole: Good luck trying to decide what to eat here. With nine different appetizers and 11 different entrees to choose from, you might want to plan ahead. A carpaccio appetizer and main dish of farfalle with smoked salmon is one of many combos you can try.
Inn at Sugar Hill: This inn is serving variety, with main dishes including chicken pot pie, Emerald sea scallops and Myer ranch beef sirloin. Appetizers include lobster ravioli, crab bisque and grilled lamb lollipops. For dessert, enjoy a trio sampler for two, including a carrot cupcake, fresh fruit cup and white chocolate bread pudding.
Simon AC: This Atlantic Club eatery is rolling out the best for Restaurant Week. Enjoy choices of clams casino, barbecued pork ribs or French onion soup to start, then follow it with a 10-ounce N.Y. strip, chick cordon bleu, crab cakes or filet of North Atlantic salmon. Then finish with vanilla bean creme brulee, chocolate espresso layer cake or almond pound cake.
Melting Pot: If your idea of a fun or romantic evening is fondue, then this is the place for you. Start with cheese fondue and then select from filet mignon, marinated chicken or shrimp and spinach and artichoke ravioli. And, of course, don’t forget decadent chocolate fondue to end the night.
Los Amigos: Enjoy your Mexican food outside of the casino, with appetizers including chipotle corn chowder, crabby bruchetta or chicken flautas divorciada and main courses consisting of roasted pork fijitas, pecan-crusted mahi-mahi and slow-braised short ribs. Don’t forget banana cream, sweet crepe or toffee chocolate mousse for dessert.
Lillie’s Noodles: One of Golden Nugget’s newest options, this eatery will be serving spicy tuna, pot stickers and The Boardwalk — crunchy softshell crab with cucumber, spicy tuna and crab mix — for appetizers. For the main course, enjoy Mongolian beef, chicken or shrimp; General Tso’s chicken or a whole 1.5-pound lobster.
Izakaya: One of A.C.’s best restaurants, you can grab appetizers such as chicken robatayaki, pork buns and spicy tuna cracker. Its main-course items include sweet crispy shrimp, glazed Atlantic salmon or Peking duck breast. For dessert, good luck choosing between a s’more tarte and crispy rice sushi roll.
Dos Caminos: This staple Mexican restaurant at Harrah’s will be serving Mexican chopped salad, tuna ceviche and papas bravas con chorizo for starters. For the main dish, choose between braised brisket street tacos, skirt steak and camarones en cazuela. For dessert, enjoy warm chocolate torta, tres leches cake or chocolate-covered pretzel flan.
Cuba Libre: Usually, the focus at Cuba Libre is Latin floorshows featuring impressive dance skills, or its patrons’ own skills on its dance floors. But for Restaurant Week , guests will be able to see what else is fantastic at Cuba Libre, its menu.
Grotto: Sample their finest dishes, with options including salmon griglia, pollo Francese, veal San Pietro and penne con Gamberti al limone. But the decadence doesn’t end there. Grab cassata or tiramisu for dessert.
Kelsey & Kim’s: You can grab a filling lunch here, and get your soul food fix at the same time. Enjoy everything from chicken gumbo soup to catfish, a smoked pork loin sandwich and more.
Carmine’s: If you’re looking for something filling, this is the place for you. Enjoy generous helpings of chicken cutlet parmigiana, chicken marsala, penne pasta Bolognese, spaghetti marinara or rigatoni country style. With cannoli and tiramisu for dessert and appetizers including stuffed mushrooms grilled portabello salad, you’re sure to leave satisfied.
Back Bay Ale House: Get something with a kick here, with appetizers including jerk chicken wings, Chesapeake crab and garlic shrimp, and main-course dishes featuring a Jamaican jerk combo, a seafood sampler chicken Maryland or steak.
A.C. Bar and Grille: Craving some casual seafood? Select from appetizers including mini crab balls, lobster bisque and peel and eat shrimp and main courses such as filet mignon, lobster tail, lobster ravioli or surf and turf.
Red Room Cafe: This Ventnor restaurant is keeping things simple for the week. Choose one appetizer, entree and dessert from its regular menu and get it all for the Restaurant Week price during dinner. That’s a deal that’s hard to beat.
Sage: It doesn’t get much tastier than the menu at Sage. Choose from appetizers including crispy artichoke hearts, tempura oysters and garlic shrimp and chorizo and entrees such as maple-glazed pork chop and jumbo scallops and much more. Finish with chocolate truffle, hazelnut panna cotta or banana cream pie for dessert.
A.C Country Club: Save room for dessert here, with your choice of yummy red velvet waffles with buttermilk ice cream and chocolate-dipped banana or strawberry rhubarb strudel with passion fruit sorbet. Lunch comes with white chocolate malted banana cream pie. Yum!
Atlantic Grill: After an extraordinary meal, you can end your dinner with a choice of orange cheesecake pudding with ginger bread, vanilla tuille and cranberry sorbet or a savory brownie sundae with caramelized banana, whipped cream and vanilla gelato.
Continental: This restaurant always offers variety, and there’s no difference with its dessert options. Try peanut butter cup with chocolate-peanut butter mousse, beignets (warm doughnuts) and berries or apple cheesecake spring rolls.
Wolfgang Puck: We hope you save room after Puck’s mouth-watering first and second course, because you finish the experience with a choice of warm melting chocolate truffle cake with vanilla bean ice cream or a 15-layer carrot cake with ginger ice cream.
Central Michel Richard: Craving chocolate? This could be your best choice, as one dessert option is Michel’s chocolate bar. Other choices include rich carrot cake or the signature Napolean.