Star-Studded Atlantic City Culinary Event Goes on This Weekend

PHOTO: The first guests check into Atlantic Citys Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa after superstorm Sandy, November 2, 2012.

One week after Superstorm Sandy hit, Jersey businesses have begun to rebound, with the casinos being the first to ramp up to "all systems go." Luxury lodging landmark Borgata resumed checking in guests Friday, Nov. 2, and surprised people with a Monday announcement that its star-studded culinary event, the 5th Annual Savor Borgata, would proceed as scheduled the weekend of Nov. 9-11.

Since reopening, "Borgata has been slowly ramping up its operating schedule to properly meet the demands of the market," said a spokesperson for the brand. "The property was not damaged in the storm, so the structure and interior remain unchanged."

Because of transportation and other problems around the tri-state area, Borgata spokespersons expect that the event would draw primarily people who live in the area. Though a few of the high-ticket events are sold out, the main focus for the hotel-casino will be its prix-fixe menus (running all week in six Borgata dining venues, including Bobby Flay Steak and SeaBlue by Michael Mina) and its live cooking demos.

For local residents who might have subsisted on sandwiches and granola bars for the past several challenging days, a generously priced three-course meal at a gourmet restaurant may prove to be just the right kind of splurge -- or at least that's what Borgata is hoping. The hotel is promoting $39 three-course menus in Fornelletto Cucina, SeaBlue, Izakaya Modern and Wolfgang Puck American Grille.

For tri-state denizens who need a weekend break --or just a temporary haven with hot water and soft beds -- the Borgata has rooms available starting at $249 on Friday, Nov. 9. Guests can recover from the waterlogged fortnight at such afternoon events as Mad for Meatballs with Chef Stephen Kalt (held in Fornelletto Cucina & Wine Bar, $39 per person). Celeb chef fans, take heed: Tickets to see on-stage presentations "Live With Bobby Flay" and "In the Kitchen with Wolf" on Saturday remain available at $35 per person.

Storm damage to the Jersey Shore varied widely according to location. Atlantic City was, at the peak of Sandy's flooding, reported to be 80 percent underwater. For all those wondering how to show support in the aftermath, the message is clear: Step right up and buy a ticket, because Atlantic City is ready for your tourism dollars once again.

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