Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sun Room Review

This is for a series of posts for the Borgata Hotel & The Water Club including: Bobby Flay SteakWolfgang Puck American Grille, Wolfgang Puck American Grille [2], The CafeteriaTony Luke'sN.O.W.N.O.W. [2]MetropolitanSun RoomSun Room [2]Old Homestead Steakhouse, Old Homestead Steakhouse [2], Fat Burger28 WestGelato, the Borgata BuffetIzakayaBread and Butter, and Fornelletto.  

On a recent trip to the Borgata Hotel, Casino, and Spa (expect a review of the main hotel, Wolfgang Puck's American Grille, the Borgata Buffet, and the Cafeteria to come!), the GF and I knew we had to check out Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian's Sun Room. Featured on the Food Network on shows such as the Next Iron Chef (he won!) and Chopped, you can also see him plastered all over the Borgata.

We had previously been to Iron Chef Bobby Flay's eponymous Bobby Flay Steak and were unfortunately not impressed, though Chef Flay's Mesa Grill in NY and Vegas are consistently good.  However, Iron Chef Zakarian has worked under Chef Daniel Boulud of NYC fame and unsurprisingly, his style of cuisine is a modern take on French cuisine. He's also worked with Arp├Ęge's, Chef Alain Passard of three Michelin star fame. Basically, on top of being a TV personality, he's actually got the fine dining experience and the chops.

The Sun Room is a casual dining experience in an oasis-like environment. It is located in the Water Club, which is the GF and my favorite place to stay. The Water Club is the Borgata's 'other' hotel property that is connected to the main casino as well, and it features several indoor and outdoor pools. An added bonus? It caters only to adults! In other words, no screeching kids peeing in your pool or crying next door! Unfortunately, I think the Borgata may be scaling back on comps, so we opted to stay at the main hotel this time around.

But back to the Sun Room! On a Sunday at 11AM, it was packed with people getting ready to check out and grab one last meal before heading out. In typical lounge fashion, there are a bunch of elevated coffee tables with individual sofas around then. Amidst some well-trimmed shrubs, the Sun Room emanates hip, cool, yet relaxed. The GF and I didn't have time to wait around, so we parked ourselves at the bar.

The Classic [$12]
Absolut, fresh tomato, celery salt 

To cap off a particularly great weekend at the blackjack tables, I started off with the Iron Chef's take on the bloody mary. This was definitely one of my favorite iterations of this classic drink. Enemies of spice and heat - stay away! The tipple had a nice searing kick induced by the pepper flakes interspersed throughout the drink. The tomato juice and vodka blended nicely, with the latter being mostly indiscernible until the end of the meal - the mark of a well made drink for me.

Scrambled Egg Sandwich [$14]
English muffin, herb salad, cheese, rosemary homefries

The GF went with the breakfast sandwich, which came with the option of several cheeses including provolone, American, and mozzarella. She went with the latter, which came out smothering the entirety of the perfectly creamy eggs, all atop a buttery English muffin. The peppery, bitter arugula salad was a nice countervailing element to the dish. The home fries were perfectly crisp, with a creamy center that helped to make this dish homey.

Lobster & Bacon Omelette [$20]
Maine lobster, smoked bacon, rosemary homefries

I opted for a perfectly made omelette, filled with smoked bacon and perfectly cooked lobster chunks. In fact, take a look inside!

The tender lobster shone through and the occasional bite of salty, smoked bacon was a winner in my book. On top of the home fries and salad, the dish also came with grilled sourdough and a saucer of creamy sauce, which was reminiscent of a lobster bisque even (hollandaise infused with lobster essence perhaps?).

Cheddar and pork grits ($6)

However, my favorite was actual a side that I couldn't help but order! These perfectly made grits were buttery and creamy, yet maintained the texture of the grain itself. The pulled pork was infused with a sweet, tangy BBQ sauce - a nice way to jazz up this oft made classic. And the layer of cheddar on top? The salamander grill definitely did its thing - almost crunchy on the outside, the layer of cheddar was a perfect element to blend into the grits.

Overall, if you want elevated comforts in a casual, yet elegant atmosphere - you need to check out Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian's Sun Room. His take on these simple dishes made me salivate for the opportunity to try his fine dining restaurants (which unfortunately are not at the Borgata). In fact, (spoiler alert!) out of all the places we've tried at the Borgata (Bobby Flay Steak, Wolfgang Puck American Grille, N.O.W.), Iron Chef Zakarian easily laid the smack down on these other establishments. So if you're interested in checking out Iron Chef Zakarian's skills, be sure to purchase tickets to his culinary demonstration on February 2nd, as part of the Borgata's Culinary Series and of course, check out the Sun Room.

FTC Disclaimer: I was not contacted to write this review nor was my meal paid for 
by the Borgata. My opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Sunroom at the Water Club on Urbanspoon

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