As Halloween approaches, it’s easy to fall into the nostalgia of yesteryear, when donning a football jersey or a pair of fairy wings endowed you with the right to collect fistfuls of chocolate at every house on your block.
And while age has stripped us of this right, Tropicana Atlantic City’s annual Chocolate Week offers up an age-appropriate way to indulge in this delicious treat. A way to celebrate chocolate without dressing up and trying to pass as a preteen, putting yourself at risk of being confused with one of those creepy clown people.
From Sunday through Saturday, Oct. 23 to 29, nearly every restaurant, shop and bar under Tropicana’s roof will offer up special chocolate dishes and items at discounted rates. Just think of Trop as the grown-up version of that house that always handed out full-sized candy bars.
In preparation of this week, Chef Demetrios Haronis, director of culinary operations at Tropicana, has been tasked with incorporating chocolate into dishes that extend beyond the world of desserts.
“In the past I haven’t liked to mix the sweet with the savory. But it does work,” Haronis says. “We do this cocoa spice rubbed tenderloin. A lot of people will do a cocoa/coffee rubbed steak or filet. It doesn’t sound like it would work, but it really does … It’s just experimenting. Back when I was in culinary school we weren’t really doing that. It’s something that’s kind of evolved, mixing sweet and savory.”
You can find Haronis’ seared cocoa spice rubbed pork tenderloin with roasted peppers, red onions, grilled asparagus and parmesan polenta at Il Verdi. Other chocolate-inspired deals include Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar’s chocolate torte, Carmine’s chocolate bread pudding and Broadway Burger Bar’s chocolate-covered bacon.
This list only scratches the surface of the many delights waiting at Trop this week. In fact, Chickie’s & Pete’s will offer dessert for the first time in nearly 40 years for Chocolate Week with their chocolate mousse jar and “Death by Chocolate” ice cream pie.
“It (Chocolate Week) gives everybody on property the chance to doing something fun,” Haronis says. “It’s great that everyone is involved throughout all of Tropicana and the Quarter. We have our set menu and this is a time to step out of the box and come up with some new items and new ideas to play around with.”
Chocolate Week doesn’t stop with Trop’s restaurants. Check out drink specials at places like 10 North Lounge (blonde brownie martini), Boogie Nights (drunken cherries coated in chocolate) and Wet Willie’s (Chocolate Thunder daiquiri).
Retail specials can also be found at A Time for Wine (15 percent off select chocolate items), Godiva (a variety of fresh truffles, candy bars and made-to-order shakes), Old Farmer’s Almanac General Store (20 percent off chocolate candy and hot chocolate mixes when you mention Chocolate Week) and Zeytinia (a selection of chocolate brands like Milka, Kinder, Ritter Sport and Lindt).
Tropicana is even offering Chocolate Week rates for overnights stays, starting at $69 from Sunday through Thursday, Oct. 23 to 27. So, whether you’re staying the night or just stopping by to satisfy your sweet tooth, Trop’s got you covered — no costume required.