If you’re not hitched, hooked up or otherwise tied to a significant other during the holidays, you may feel as if you’re missing out on something special.
But don’t let your solo status allow you to miss out on celebrating the season. Atlantic County offers plenty of opportunities to be merry and enjoy get-togethers with friends and family or find that special someone.
Although the holiday season is busy, it’s the best time to reunite with friends — long lost or nearby. Share a meal, tell stories and catch up on what’s been going on at these cheery eateries.
Capriccio. From grilled lamb and veal chops to salmon and branzino, Capriccio takes fine Italian dining to a whole other level. Capriccio won Trip Advisor’s Certificate for Excellence in 2015 and 2016, as well as the Open Table Diners’ Choice Award. Capriccio is located at Resorts Casino Hotel, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; ResortsAC.com.
Chido Burrito. If you have yen for Mexican food, Chido Burrito is the place to go. Choose from fish tacos and rice bowls to quesadillas and burritos bursting with beans, rice, meat and/or veggies. Chido Burrito is located at 807 Tilton Road, Northfield; ChidoBurrito.com.
Flatstone Tavern & Grill. Nothing makes you say “Ahh” faster than a flaming oven in the middle of winter. Flatstone’s large open-flame oven, wrapped in brightly colored tangerine metal, immediately warms your spirit. Order your favorite pizza, sandwich or app. Or ramp it up with fire-grilled steaks — hand-cut filet, New York strip, you name it — and lobster tails. Flatstone Tavern & Grill is located at 6105 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor; Flatstone.net.
Gallagher’s Steak House. New York sirloin and cowboy steak are just a few beefy options at Gallagher’s, along with veal and lamb chops, and fresh Maine lobster and crab cakes. Gallagher’s is located at Resorts Casino Hotel, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; ArkRestaurants.com.
Sofia. Experience the beauty of Greece just by stepping into this high-end restaurant. Alcoves, a fire pit, paintings and ironwork will transport you to the Greek isles. Appetizers — spanakopita, chicken kabobs and flatbreads, to name a few — will get you ready for the main courses, which feature everything from lamb and langoustines to branzino and sea bass. All are made with Greek herbs, spices and lots of love. Sofia’s is located at 9314 Amherst Ave., Margate; SofiaOfMargate.com.
Enjoy Happy Hours
Happy hours are named so for a reason. They help us connect with people, and their drink specials and small plates make us, well, happy.
Grotto. Stop in at the Grotto for happy hour — 4 to 7 p.m. — for drink specials and small bites. Peach bellinis are $3; draft and domestic beer, $4; imported beer, $5; and cocktails, including a vodka sweet tea, $6. Italian sangria by the glass is $5 and $8 by the carafe. Pair your drinks with small bites including long hots, chicken meatballs on a skewer, and pepperoni and three cheeses. The Grotto is located at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Huron Avenue and Brigantine Boulevard, Atlantic City; GrottoRestaurants.com.
Pic-A-Lilli Pub. Known as Atlantic City’s premiere dive bar, Pic-A-Lilli has eight flat-screen TVs so you can catch a game with a friend. Or, you can celebrate happy hour twice daily: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Enjoy Budweiser and Bud Light at $2.50 a bottle or $2 for a draft. Food specials include everything from crab soup and shrimp to Buffalo wings, burgers and cheesesteaks. Pic-A-Lilli is located at 231 Tennessee Ave., Atlantic City; PicALilli.com.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Enjoy Ruth’s Chris’ Sizzle, Swizzle and Swirl happy hour — 4 to 6:30 p.m., Sundays through Fridays — with select $7 cocktails, $8 wines and $3 select beers. Pair your drinks with lobster mac and cheese, spicy lobster, seared tuna and oysters on a half shell. Ruth Chris is located at 2020 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City; RuthChris-AtlanticCity.com.
Vic & Anthony’s. Take time out to make merry with a friend or two at Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse. Happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. daily at the bar. Enjoy $8 martinis — one is a Little Italy martini made with Bulleit Bourbon, Campari and Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth. Not a martini person? Draft beers are $4 and specialty and imported beers — including Stella Artois — are $5. Wine is $7. Pair your drinks with happy hour menu specials, including crispy calamari with sweet and hot pepper sauce for $6. Vic & Anthony’s is located at Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Huron Avenue and Brigantine Blvd, Atlantic City; VicAndAnthonys.com.
Wonder Bar. A popular local bar, grill and happy hour spot, the Wonder Bar is a great place to meet up with friends. Enjoy a view of the bay from any seat in the house. Along with offering three happy hours — 4 to 7 p.m., 10 p.m. to 12 a.m., and 2 to 6 a.m. — the Wonder Bar features sandwiches, subs and more for casual, fun dining. 3701 Sunset Ave., Atlantic City; WonderBarACNJ.com.
Check out a wine or beer bar
There’s something chic about wine, beer and tequila bars. They’re great for an after-work meet up, an after-dinner drink or a post-show libation.
Bobby Flays Steak. In addition to great steaks and his signature lobster bar, America’s favorite grill master serves up bourbon and tequila flights — three 1-ounce samplings — at the bar and lounge. Tequila flights include Herradura Blanco, Don Julio Reposado and Chinaco Anejo. Bourbon flights include Bulleit, Blanton’s and Woodford Reserve. Bobby Flay Steak is located at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City; TheBorgata.com.
Cielo Wine Bar. Wines from California, Italy and Argentina are available for the asking, as are martinis, mixed drinks and small bites — from fried calamari and charcuterie to pizza Margherita and polenta fries. Cielo Wine Bar is located at Resorts Casino Hotel, 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City; ResortsAC.com.
Wingcraft Kitchen and Beer Bar. Craft beers have become an American obsession, and on that frong Wingcraft delivers. An array of beers — including ales, lagers and stouts — are available in all sorts of flavors, including mango and pumpkin. Enjoy pub favorites: the short rib gravy burger and short rib grilled cheese, for example. And don’t forget to order wings. Sauces run the gamut from hot and honey to sesame garlic. Wingcraft is located in the Tanger Outlets at 2010 Baltic Ave., Atlantic City; WingcraftAC.com.
Take advantage of weekday specials
The holiday season can put a strain on your wallet, so why not take advantage of these merry deals?
Chart House. Hump day doesn’t get any better than “Get on Board” Wednesdays at the Chart House. For $30, you can sample charcuterie and have your own bottle of wine — Rodney Strong’s Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc or Kendall-Jackson Vintners Reserve Pinot Noir — to share with a friend. The Chart House is located at Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Huron Avenue and Brigantine Boulevard, Atlantic City; Chart-House.com.
Ducktown Tavern. Every night is Mexican night. Enjoy pollo loco sandwiches — breaded chicken cutlet with melted pepper jack cheese — or Aztec chicken — grilled chicken with lime sauce, Mexi-ranch dressing and jack cheddar. Corona and Corona Lights are $4. Save $2 on all tequilas. If Mexican isn’t your thing, but Italian is, then Ducktown also has you covered. Serving everything from chicken and eggplant parm to lasagna and sausage and peppers, Ducktown offers an array of Italian favorites with glasses of house wine priced at $4.50. Ducktown Tavern is located at 2400 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City; DucktownTavern.com.
Fornelletto Cucina and Wine Bar. “Wine Down” Wednesdays offered in the wine bar feature small bites — from meatball sliders to roasted peppers — and 8-ounce Italian and California wines. Cocktails, including a peach cosmo — vodka, white cranberry and peach — are only $10. Fornelletto is located at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa at 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City; TheBorgata.com.
Izakaya. Mondays can be fun days at Izakaya Mondays, which feature wine and cocktails for $7, beer for $3.50, a sake carafe for $7 and apps for $7. Larger plates — crispy duck leg, for instance — are only $14. Izakaya is located at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa at 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City; TheBorgata.com.
Smithville Inn. Prime Rib Fridays are a great way to get out of the cold and enjoy a good ol’ prime rib. For only $20, you get prime rib, baked potato and a vegetable — all made with Smithville’s high-quality ingredients and attention to detail. The Smithville Inn is located at 1 N. New York Road, Absecon; HistoricSmithvillenj.com/Inn.
The Palm. Half off Primetime at the Palm bar is available from 5 to 7 p.m. Sundays through Fridays. Get half off on select Palm signature dishes — oysters on a half shell, cornmeal fried oysters, cheeseburgers, fried calamari and baskets of cottage fries. Wash it all down with wine, beer or a cocktail. The Palm is located at 2801 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City; ThePalm.com/Atlantic-City.
Kelsey’s. Saturday and Sunday brunch — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. — at Kelsey’s takes soul food to another level. For $19.99 you can eat made-to-order pancakes, omelets, breakfast meats, french toast, shrimp and grits, and chicken and waffles. Kelsey’s is located at 1545 Pacific Ave., Atlantic City; KelseysAC.com.