Food Network chef? The answer is yes – three of them. That’s how many I made it to on the last night of the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival.
It’s probably hard to believe I was still standing (and I wasn’t completely… more later) after my marathon day of events, but there were some incredible parties to attend and I wasn’t about to let my readers down. I grabbed some caffeine, threw on my party dress , touched up the makeup and headed to party one with my companion, photographer and daughter, Sam.
We didn’t have far to go for the first party as it was right where we were staying, Harrah’s. It gave me yet another opportunity to enjoy The Pool, this time for Conde Nast Traveler’s Taste The World: Grapes & Global Tapas. The setting was tropical and the wine list huge. As was the case with all of the events at the Food & Wine Festival, there was a little of everything, including Marumoto's Hou Hou Shu Sparkling Sake from Japan and Penfolds Bin 138 (a Shiraz/Grenache/Mourvedre blend) from Australia. I knew it would be a long night and my taste buds needed a break from being challenged, so I went for an old favorite – Jacob’s Creek Riesling Reserve.
Atlantic City restaurants like Mia and McCormick & Schmick’s, to Philadelphia classics like R2L by Daniel Stern. The food was great, but I still had two more parties to get to and I had to pace myself. It was a wise decision because the next one was one of my favorites of the festival, Sunset, Spirits and Sliders with Sunny Anderson.
It was Watermelon Martinis and other assorted fruity and frothy cocktails around the Rooftop Pool at Caesars. The view from there was just beautiful, with the added bonus of sunset. Waiters came around with beef, turkey and veggie sliders, but my favorite was clear. It was a lamb burger with cucumber and a yogurt sauce that was just to die for. I’m not sure if the extremely gracious and friendly Sunny had anything to do with that preparation, a winner in my book. I was just about to try to snag another when I was reminded that there was another party to get to. This one would be just downstairs at Caesars' Palladium Ballroom.
Sandra Lee was dessert in every sense of the word. Cordials with Bailey's Irish Cream and ice wines were a sweet enough treat, but there were also endless tables of desserts! I couldn’t imagine anything that was missing from this feast of candy, pies, cakes, pastries and even caramel corn. As we nibbled the treats, Sandra Lee introduced a show of Betsey Johnson fashions. It all looked lovely as I – despite the sugar high – began to fade. There’s only so much a spirits traveler can do in one day and that was it for me. I needed to get my rest and digestion set because I was finishing up the festival with a Sunday of two brunches and a beer tasting.
Photos by Samantha Frost.