A.C. Revamps Its Dining Options

Plenty of new choices, from soul food to Kobe burgers.

The Atlantic City skyline.

Atlantic City has a proud roster of venerable eateries. Dock’s Oyster House, for example, dates back to 1897. The White House, Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern, Tony’s Baltimore, the Old Waterway Inn, and the Irish Pub also are long-stand AC classics.

But each year, the food and drink scene provides a few new permutations. This year, the list of newcomers is longer than usual. Here’s a summary:

*Fin claims to be the only seafood restaurant in Atlantic City with outdoor, oceanfront seating. The Tropicana Casino & Resort has long tried to be innovative in its restaurant offerings and Fin seems almost an anti-casino offering.

The chef, Demetrios Haronis, grew up at the Shore and graduated from the Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing. He wants to play his cards locally, using fish caught in New Jersey waters, veggies and fruit from New Jersey farms, and even wine from New Jersey vineyards. The wine list will be long, but all under $50. Dinner will be served Wednesday through Sunday nights from 6-11.

*A former driver for the Reverend Al Sharpton, chef Carl Redding is the driving force behind Redding’s Restaurant at 1545 Pacific Avenue. It is huge, with 250 seats, and will emphasize soul food, as did Redding’s former place, Amy Ruth’s, in Harlem. The menu includes unusual offerings like sweet potato fettuccini alfredo and fried catfish sushi rolls.

*Brigantine, just north of Atlantic City, has clearly gone upscale, and now will have something unseen in pre-casino days, a wine bar. Cellar 32 is located in a former bank building along Revere Boulevard. Food will include small plates a la Philly, like cheesesteak egg rolls.

*Sammy Hagar, late of the rock band Van Halen, is lending his name to the former Bikini Beach Bar at Bally’s. Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar will have themed nights—’80s nights on Wednesdays and Latin nights on Mondays, for instance—and a Tex-Mex menu, with local twists like Spicy Jersey Shore Fries. Open until 2 am daily.

* Down the Boardwalk, the Atlantic City Hilton has reworked its Hilton Beach Bar into Cabo Beach. The food is South of the Border, but the music will be oldies performed mostly by tribute bands. Open until 2 a.m. daily.

*The Trump Plaza Beach Bar will stay pretty much as is, except for more theme-oriented entertainment. Wednesdays, for instance, will have a Beach Idol theme; Fridays are themed as Sex in Atlantic City. Local bands will be on the beach Sundays. There will be a small cover charge most nights except Sunday.

*Back inside, the Hilton has reconstituted its restaurant and bar mix. A VIP Lounge replaces the Peregrine restaurant. Simon Prime will be a steak house from celebrity chef Kerry Simon, who has other places in Vegas and Los Angeles. Where the Chairman’s Club once lived, one can now visit Ono Pan Asian Bistro & Bar. Two lower-priced options are Nick’s Burger Bar, which will also feature alcoholic milkshakes, and the Coffee Shop, where the relative cheap, but tired, Horizons once stood.

*The Chelsea, entrepreneur Curtis Bashaw’s stab at hipness in Atlantic City, has glitzed up its eating and drinking areas. The Cabana Club & Café will do finger food like mahi tacos with lime aioli and Kobe burgers at the fifth-floor pool deck. Teplitzky’s, the deli homage to the family that owned the property when it was a Jewish resort a half-century ago, will now have the Backroom, with live reggae and tiki drinks in the early evening. Karaoke and a DJ will take over from 10 p.m. until an unspecified closing hour.

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