Monday, May 24, 2010

Caesars Empire of Food, Spirits and Fun

My day started as I wish it would every day, with a four-handed massage at Immersion Spa at Borgata’s Water Club.

Peggy and Nancy massaged away any bit of tension that was left in my body and I soon forgot that I was going on four hours of sleep. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to take full advantage of the spa’s facilities, which include a fitness center, whirlpool, steam bath for each sex and a co-ed pool with awesome views of Atlantic City and food service in comfortable lounge chairs.  There was just too much more of Atlantic City to see.

I bid farewell to my room at Borgata with some photos of the view (above) before heading over to Caesars. The only complaint of the voyage so far was the trip between hotels. Though it was only 2-3 miles, it took over an hour to complete with parking. It appears that everyone in Atlantic City checks in or out on Sunday afternoons. I waited 30 minutes to get my car and 20 minutes to park it at the next hotel.

The parking situation was forgotten as I quickly checked in to my Centurion Tower room at Caesars, the Roman emperor who is ever present in statues throughout the hotel.  I was once again welcomed by a great room with a modern bathroom that even had a television displaying on the mirror!

The plan was to go over to Harrah’s (a sister property of Caesars), but getting on the road again didn’t seem overly appealing. I instead went over the The Pier Shops at Caesars and had the short rib sliders at Trinity, an Irish Pub. They hit the spot and I enjoyed my chat with Anthony, who told me about the extensive beer and whisky menu.

I couldn’t resist spending a bit of time at the Atlantic City Outlets (especially when I spotted Eddie Bauer, recently closed in my neighborhood), located right in front of the Caesars hotel, but it’s the casino that gets the money in Atlantic City and I obliged with a “donation” to the Caesars slots before dressing for dinner.

My dining choices were limited by some Monday closures. There’s still plenty to eat without walking far from this area. The weather was still a bit gloomy so I did the inside walk over to Bally’s for a pre-dinner drink at the Blue Martini. It wasn’t easy settling – with a selection that included Tiramisu and Caramel Apple. I was told Almond Joy was one of the most popular and ordered one to be placed in front of me on the ice bar. It didn’t need to stay cool for long before I drank the dessert-like combination of Absolute Vodka, Cruzan Coconut Rum and Godiva Dark Chocolate in a chocolate rimmed glass.

Before heading up to dinner at Arturo’s, I gave $20 to the Blue Martini slot machines while I digested my Almond Joy in preparation for another meal. It was then a mouth-watering wild mushroom and leek soup, followed by a veal Marsala, with a glass of Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio (after all, it was an Italian restaurant). The tomato polenta was excellent and the veal tender, though I thought there were a bit too many mushrooms. I passed the dessert menu at Arturo’s and headed next door to Wild Wild West, where the Mountain Bar is the home of the 24 hour happy hour , which includes beers, mixed drinks, shooters and the Vixens, who dance the bars Coyote Ugly style.

It was an early night for me that ended with a trip to a popular new spot between Bally's and Caesars. You won’t find any wine or spirits here, but I strongly recommend Gelati at Rita’s Ice, a favorite when I lived in New York.  This layered treat of Italian ice and frozen custard is best with the chocolate ice and vanilla custard. It was a good thing I went to bed full since I discovered that early breakfast and Atlantic City do not go hand in hand. Fortunately, there was an egg white omelet and pineapple from Caesars room service to help me get ready for my long day of travel. After a visit to their spa, of course.

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