Monday, May 21, 2012

Revel--Atlantic City's Newest Boardwalk Empire

       A $2.4 billion behemoth just opened in the Garden State city that spawned Monopoly. Located on prime Boardwalk real estate, the 1,400 room luxury gaming resort makes Borgata look like the dumpy hotel in Swingers. And for this reason Borgata, please, go strait to jail without passing go and without collecting $200. 

     I spent the day at Revel in early May. The complex is still in soft opening mode so it definitely has a number of kinks to work out. Since it's always more fun to focus on failure, I'd like to highlight those kinks in detail starting with a restaurant from The ONE Group (STK, Asellina, Bagatelle)inventively called One. 

       Overall, the casino level dining alcove offers perfectly acceptable post-craps respite. (And once you've eaten, you'll be ready to take (on) more craps.) However, the cocktail menu leaves much to be desired. Most unsettling is their misrepresentation of the classic Vesper cocktail. Any James Bond fan worth his/her salt recalls the original 1953 Casino Royale dialogue between Bond and his barman.Bond orders a gin, vodka and Lillet based martini and dubs it the Vesper after sultry heroine Vesper Lynd. Well, at One, their limited cocktail menu offers this namesake only their Vesper is comprised of tequila and Cointreau, i.e. a friggin' margarita.

       Come on One, don't flagrantly debase two perfectly delicioso beverages.You're better than that. If need be, mosey on over to American Cut, Iron Chef Marc Forgione's Michelin star bound steakhouse and cop a gander at their drinks list.The imbibeables may be straight forward, but at least they're accurate. I partook in a light spring concoction called the Ziggy Stardust(Grey Goose La Poire, fresh lemon and Chandon Sparkling Wine). It paired wonderfully with the delectable Chili Lobster appetizer. Though, in my humble opinion, nothing could have detracted from the taste of that scrumptious ish. 

REVEL- 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ 08401 (PH: 855-348-0500)



       Eating, drinking, spa-ing and pooling are all well and good, but no AC experience would be complete without a trip to the casino floor, but try not to trip on the casino floor. Poker fiends, expect a cozily accommodating 37 table room with Asian-inspired lighting reminiscent of those at The Wynn in Las Vegas. All of the lights make for primo card reading conditions; conditions meant to combat mistakes such as this.Ouchy, Mr.Ivey. 
       Sharks looking to get a leg up in the game would be wise to hop on Revel quickly before the poker room really takes off. For now, two or three tables run at any give time and they're mostly $1-$2 Hold 'Em. An occasional $2-$5 game organizes, but for the most part, the competition is relatively straight-forward and subdued. 

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