There is an old theory started by the French that the first bite of any piece of food is the best one, and it makes sense. Think about any amazing meal you have eaten — before that first bite your brain takes you on a wild emotional ride, mixing a palpable sense of mystery with anticipation, all leading up to the moment your teeth sink in and a euphoric combination of elation and satisfaction is achieved.
Keep picturing that scenario … now imagine getting to experience it over and over for 50 days at all of the best restaurants in and around Atlantic City. Welcome to 50 Bites+.
That’s right, the event you have been pining for since last December is finally back. On Oct. 12, year three of 50 Bites+ will be officially underway. It runs for 50 days. And yes, somehow, we managed to make it better than ever before.
How? Well, let’s start with the bite count. We topped our number from last year, bringing the official count for 2017 up to 64. In addition to that, we threw in a whole gaggle of new restaurants, so you and your lucky taste buds get to forge new ground, culinarily speaking.
Of course, not everything is new. All the things you loved about the event last year are returning — you will be able to take the city by storm, eating a bite at each of the restaurants, checking them off on your lanyard as you go. Wanna hit 20 in one day? Go for it. Use up all 64 bites and want more? Buy another pass and start your adventure all over again! And don’t forget — a portion of the proceeds will go directly to The Community FoodBank of South Jersey. Already $10,000 has been donated as a result of this promotion, and you can help add to that.
If one bite is not enough for you, many spots will offer deals on upgrades, too. Did you love the cheeseburger slider at McCullough’s Pub? Well you can upgrade to three sliders for just $6. Crazy about Chef Kevin Cronin’s creations at The Iron Room? 50 Biters can grab a full order of croquettes for just $5, along with $5 Crimson Voodoo cocktails (an original creation named for one of the Jersey Shore’s greatest bands).
So, at this point you are surely wondering how you can get your hands on your very own 50 Bites+ pass. Easy — just head to ACWeekly.com/50Bites to order yours today. As the event gets closer they will be available for purchase in person at The Press of Atlantic City, The Community FoodBank of South Jersey, at the offices of Longport Media and others, so stay tuned.
If you prefer to hunt for your food, we have a perfect solution. If you can find A.C. Weekly Director of Entertainment Publications Scott Cronick from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, as he and his merry band of gluttonous misfits travel throughout Atlantic City attempting to break the record of bites eaten in one day, you can get a pass directly from him for a special price. Think it sounds impossible to find him? Here’s a hint — he will broadcast his daily radio show on 1400-AM WOND live from 4 to 6 p.m. at Golden Nugget Atlantic City.
This is the culinary event of the year. There is nothing like it. Don’t miss out!
Angelo’s Fairmount Tavern
2300 Fairmount Ave. // 609-344-2439 // AngelosFairmountTavern.com
Lobster & Cheese Ravioli
When it comes to Atlantic City institutions, it doesn’t get much better than Angelo’s, which has been here since 1935. The Mancuso family’s traditional approach to Italian is what most people flock there for, but they have some more contemporary dishes that are worth exploring. This is one of them. Pasta pouches are stuffed with a creamy, savory lobster and cheese filling then topped with a lobster cream sauce that is as delicious as it is indulgent. With a dash of fresh spinach and fresh diced tomatoes to please all textures and flavor profiles, this is a 50 Bites+ standout.
Back Bay Ale House
Gardner’s Basin, 800 N. New Hampshire Ave. // 609-449-0006 // BackBayAleHouse.com
Crabby Mac and Cheese
This gorgeous spot off the beaten path in Gardner’s Basin has always been one of the best spots in town to grab a drink and gaze at the water. We can’t think of too many things that pair better with this scenario than a bite of elbow macaroni smothered in Monterey Jack cheese with mushrooms, white truffle oil and lump crabmeat. Perfection? Yup.
Borgata Baking Company
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa // 609-317-1000 // The Borgata.com
Last year, 50 Bites+ had a massive array of mouth-watering bites to indulge in, but one thing it lacked was something for your sweet tooth. We fixed that this year. How? By adding bites like Borgata Baking Company’s incredible whoopie pie. What is a whoopie pie? Well, it’s sorta like a devil dog on steroids. A pair of moist cakes sandwiching a decadent, creamy center. Mmmm …
The Quarter Tropicana Atlantic City // 609-572-9300 // CarminesNYC.com
When it comes to classic Italian cuisine, Carmine’s is a legend. And when you think of Italian dishes, few are more classic than the humble meatball. After all, its beauty lies in its simplicity. No over-the-top sauces or flambéing needed to dazzle or distract you, instead, the meatball at Carmine’s just shows up like a Gambino gangster and smacks you right in the mouth with its strongest suit — flavor.
Tanger Outlets, The Walk, 122 N. Michigan Ave. // 609-340-1300 // CavoCafe.com
Penne with Spicy Marinara
Cavo Café may be best known for their crepes, but the truth is the menu here has always been chock full of awesome dishes, and this year’s bite is no exception. Penne pasta loaded with a marinara sauce with just the right amount of kick to make you want toorder a full portion on the spot.
Golden Nugget Atlantic City // 609-340-5030 // GoldenNugget.com
The last two years’ worth of bites at Chart House have proven that, when it comes to seafood, their game is among the most solid you will find anywhere. Can this year’s firecracker shrimp stand up to the glories of the past? We think so. Find out for yourself.
Chickie’s & Pete’s
Tropicana Atlantic City // 609-344-1080 // ChickiesAndPetes.com
Deep-Fried Lobster Ravioli
You’ve had their crab fries and loved them. Now for 50 Bites+ the folks at Chickie’s and Pete’s are about to blow your collective minds with a take on Italian food that is anything but traditional. As if ravioli wasn’t delicious enough, they have added lobster to the mix, and just for fun threw the whole thing in the deep fryer, state fair style.
Coastal Craft Kitchen and Bar
Harrah’s Resort // 609441-5402 // Caesars.com
A newcomer to both Atlantic City and 50 Bites+, Coastal Craft Kitchen + Bar has made a name for itself since setting up shop at Harrah’s less than a year ago. Most of their menu is good enough to make the list here, but the Drago oyster is a grilled, buttery bivalve sent from heaven.
The Quarter, Tropicana Atlantic City // 609-348-6700 // CubaLibreRestaurant.com
Grilled Baby Octopus
One of the more exotic options on the list of bites, Cuba Libre brings its trademark Latin flavors to a delicious truffle and citrus marinated baby octopus, cooked on its new wood-burning grill and served with smoked potato crema, crispy garbanzo beans and Spanish paprika.
Famous Famiglia Pizzeria
Resorts Casino Hotel // 609-289-8746 // Quick Bites Food Court on Facebook
Bacon, Chicken and Ranch pizza
It’s hard to go wrong with a slice of pizza. Gooey cheese sleeping on a bed of sauce and buttery dough is practically a perfect combo. But when the folks at Famous Famiglia Pizzeria at Resorts add bacon, grilled chicken and ranch to the mix, all bets are off. Is it healthy? Probably not. Is it worth the calories? Absolutely.
Formica Bros. Bakery