Now that we are in the doldrums of the winter season up here in the NYC area many people hunker down and stay close to home. Call it the comfort food and cozy abode season if we will. Yet, there are still some fun quick getaways to lure one out and help warm up these chilly weekends. A few hours down the turnpike brings us to Atlantic City, NJ, and even though it’s not the height of their summer season, there is plenty much to do here that will fill up your weekend during the cold months. With an abundance of restaurants, lounges, and clubs there is something for everyone. It’s not all about gambling but of course that is another enjoyable option!
After checking into your hotel no matter where you stay in AC go take a stroll through The Quarter Shops at the Tropicana. I had remembered coming here when this new mall area first opened ten years ago, and it had been quite a while since we last visited. It was surprising to see that out of the original shops that had opened around 18 of the 24 were still in business. Overall, there are about 40 stores, nine restaurants, eleven nightclubs, and more to explore and experience. When we were here during the holiday season it was decorated and there were some free events and shows to enjoy. It’s a great area to see a show, pick up some gifts, do some shopping, have a cocktail, or settle in for a nice dinner.
Start off your night right with a meal at Carmine’s, the Palm, PF Chang’s, or Cuba Libre where we dined with a Latin flair. Cuba Libre is a favorite spot of ours as the food is tasty, the mojitos are delicious, and the decor styled after old Havana in an open air setting makes for a fun environment to dine at. It’s like a party up in here! We recently had the chance to sample a chef’s tasting menu and were very satisfied with everything we placed into our mouths. Multiple flavors of mojitos, plantains, black bean soup, guava BBQ ribs, empanadas, sirloin steak, shrimp, desserts, and so much more. It’s a festive type of spot with pumping music and high energy atmosphere. Enjoy a terrific meal then perhaps hang around later in the night for Latin dancing with a DJ and live performances.
Perhaps after a gut busting meal you decide to go gambling a bit, casino hop, and basically just enjoy the town before hitting the club scene. Maybe a mid-evening cocktail would be involved at a hip new spot. Head over to Bally’s and take the escalator to the upper dining level and be greeted by the large neon lights of Buca di Beppo and the new Guy Fieri’s Chophouse. You can settle in for a full meal at the dining area, or take a spot at the large bar up front for a few drinks, appetizers, and spirited conversation. On our excursion here we were treated to a smorgasbord of treats to nosh on such as tuna tacos, lollipop danger wings, an assortment of sushi, and many flavorful desserts. Some delicious wines were also on hand to help wash it down. I know here in Manhattan the Guy Fieri restaurant has been greeted with mixed to less than flattering reviews, but here in AC they have done a wonderful job with this location. Very nice decor and seating. Good service with an eclectic menu in Guy’s style. In fact, the evening we were here the place was jumping. It was full of satisfied patrons laughing, dining, drinking, and enjoying. Seems like they have designed this one to be right in line with the AC casino crowd who are looking for a chill entertaining vibe. Dare I say it that this Guy Fieri is actually a bit sexy in Flavortown?
For those adventurous ones who like to keep the party going into the wee hours by dancing the night away head on over to Boogie Nights at the Tropicana. Now this is a blast from the past….in a great way! Getting down and getting funky. Now this is fun music to dance to!
After a few hours of gambling action we hit the dance floor and partied hard here. The music is on-point with great tunes to dance to from old rock to disco to hip hop. From the 70’s to the 90’s. Think Fresh Prince to Journey to AC/DC to Run DMC to Prince and the BeeGees. Terrific group of people acting as MC’s and GoGo dancers dressed in huge afro wigs and psychedelic outfits leading the way and keeping the crowd pumped up. Great sound system and lighting. How can you not get on the dance floor and be all amped to boogie down? We did and were worn out by the time we headed back to our hotel room around 3am. Our feet were hurting the next day but so worth it.
The dance floor is not terribly huge but you can find a spot to call your own. No drinks allowed on the floor which I liked actually as I hate when some drunk dude or sloppy bachelorette party girl spills their drink all over me when dancing. I think it’s a good rule. Hey, I don’t deny anyone getting their drink on and having fun, as long as I don’t end up wearing it! Overall, it was a nice mix of people here when we went, from 20 somethings through 40 somethings for the most part. It was like one huge party with everyone having a good time. Saw a bunch of birthday celebrations going on, bachelorette parties, and even a “happy divorce” group partying hard. A bunch of people even dressed in throwback outfits from the 70’s. Even saw a few pimps and flower children here. Too funny. It can be a trippy scene.
They also have bottle service and VIP areas. Cover charge is low and many times you can score free admission tickets if you see a staff member handing them out around the casino. Terrific waitress service with reasonably priced drinks took care of us all night.
They even have a “Cubs and Cougars Night” for those “experienced women of a certain age” who enjoy teaching a thing or two to the younger men in attendance. They offer some different theme nights each week. What happens in Atlantic City stays in Atlantic City.
Boom Chicka Bow Wow!
The Tropicana – http://tropicana.net/
The Quarter – http://tropicana.net/quarter/
Cuba Libre – http://tropicana.net/dining/fine-dining/cuba-libre/
Guy Fieri’s Chophouse – http://www.ballysac.com/restaurants/guy-fieris-chophouse.html#.VLcgMCvF888
Boogie Nights – http://boogienightsusa.com/atlantic-city/
DO AC – http://www.atlanticcitynj.com/
( Disclaimer – my fiancee and I were invited for a Fall Getaway media weekend in Atlantic City courtesy of DOAC, and even though this was included as part of the itinerary, it in no way influenced my thoughts, feelings, or review of the experience. I highly recommend checking out the Tropicana, Bally’s, The Quarter Shops, Cuba Libre and Boogie Nights! There is a lot to pack into a weekend getaway! )