Fortunately, South Jersey is blessed with an abundance of establishments that take great pride in producing some of the best locally-sourced, homemade food and beverages you will find not just in the state of New Jersey, but on the East Coast.
Bally’s Atlantic City, which is undergoing an amazing transformation that includes new rooms and suites, a carousel lobby bar, new restaurants and sportsbook and much more, is smart enough to recognize that during its Naturally Grown and Locally Loved Week from Thursday to Sunday, April 14 to 17, just in time for Easter weekend.
In conjunction with Atlantic City’s Little Water Distillery’s Liberty Rum and 48 Blocks Vodka, Atlantic City’s Mr. Finger’s Alibi Gin, Hammonton’s Mama Bella Cello, Mount Holly’s Spellbound Brewing, Cape May Brewing Company, Somerdale’s Flying Fish Brewery and others, along with local seafood purveyors, here are five reasons to check it out:
CocktailsIf you are a spirits lover, then you already know you don’t have to go far to find some quality liquor because so many are made right in our backyard. Bally’s Naturally Grown and Locally Loved Week will highlight many of those spirits in cocktails. At Jerry Longo’s Meatball and Martinis, try the Yo Rocky, lemon Italian ice infused with Alibi gin, grapefruit liqueur, Cocchi Americano and lemon. Across the hall at Water Dog, you can sample the Mama’s Mello Cello featuring Mamma Bella Limoncello, Grey Goose Essences Strawberry and sparkling wine; or the Santeria Sangria with Liberty Rum, G3 Merlot, blackberry brandy, orange juice, fresh lemon juice, muddled seasonal berries and Sierra Mist. If you are a high roller, make sure you head to the VIP Lounge 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16, for a Mr. Finger’s Alibi Gin private tasting for Superstar and Legend Bally’s Rewards members.
BeerIt’s simply mind blowing how many local breweries there are … and they keep popping up. So Bally’s will focus on three relatively local breweries during the festivities. Jerry Longo’s will feature Spellbound’s Hazy Peach IPA, a 6.5% abv brew with citrus and pine hops to accentuate the peach. Head down to the FanDuel Sportsbook Lounge for various beers from Cape May Brewing Company and Flying Fish. The highlight of the week will be a tap takeover at Guy Fieri’s Chophouse all weekend where six tap handles will be devoted to a sneak preview of what to expect at Bally’s new restaurant — The Yard — that is expected to open Memorial Day weekend. Highlighted beers will include Spellbound Pale Ale, Egg Harbor Township’s Hidden Sands Brewing’s 800’ Pilsner, Flying Fish Salt & Sea, Mudhen Brewing’s Wildwood Haze, Glasstown 609 IPA and Big Breakfast Porter from Millville.
Special dishesIt wouldn’t be an event without some great food, and Bally’s Naturally Grown and Locally Loved Week will bring it … big time! Devour some locally fried oysters ($18) with remoulade dipping sauce and lemon at the Sportsbook Lounge. Feast on Scallops Vesuvius ($45), pan-seared local scallops over sautéed spinach with spicy lobster cream sauce and roasted peppers at Jerry Longo’s. Be wowed by the best flounder Francaise ($40) you have ever eaten at Guy Fieri’s Chophouse with locally caught flounder over mascarpone risotto, chardonnay lemon butter sauce and sauteed spinach.
Music and ArtThere, of course, will also be some awesome local entertainment and art at Water Dog to check out while eating and drinking all of these local favorites. Dead Reckoning will bring sounds from the Grateful Dead 6 p.m. Friday, April 15; The Zone will rock from the 1960s to the present 9 p.m. Saturday, April 16; and check out the Pop-Up Gallery featuring local artists 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 16.
Prix-fixe dinnersThere are also three amazing prix-fixe dinners that you may want to check out that sound over the top and are available all weekend. Jerry Longo’s three-course dinner for $55 will include Italian favorites paired with drinks including the Italian Stallion with watermelon Italian ice infused with Little Water Distilling Rum, Aperol and lemon; and the Vesper with Alibi Gin, 48 Blocks Vodka, Cocchi Americano and lemon. Guy Fieri’s Chophouse will offer a three-course, $60 dinner focusing on local beers from Glasstown and Spellbound breweries. Finally, Water Dog will roll out a three-course meal for $40 with an 8 Days a Week Salad, bacon-wrapped shrimp and seafood risotto.
For more details, go to BallysAC.com.