Atlantic City's glittering streets are packed with opportunities to win and spend big, from glitzy casinos to high-end shopping boutiques. Casino-goers can brush up their poker faces with drop-in games or poker tournaments. Slot machines and table games such as blackjack, roulette, or craps hobnob with mahjong and TV-themed games. Players can take their winnings to the bank or put them to fashionable use at couture boutiques for men and women along the Boardwalk or in the city's hotels.In addition to its abundant shopping opportunities, the Atlantic City Boardwalk teems with history, entertainment, and classic boardwalk fare. Walking tours acquaint curious wanderers with a rundown of the Wooden Way's colorful history, from its Jazz Age heyday to the casino revival of the 1970s. Then, of course, there's the fare, which includes sticky-sweet mountains of fudge and world-renowned saltwater taffy beckoning from carnival-style vendors along the walk.
Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino sits steps away from the bustling Boardwalk, in the center of Atlantic City's electrifying atmosphere. Shopping, brilliantly lit casinos, and century-old restaurants lure visitors from the Plaza complex and immerse them in the city's rich recreational possibilities. The Atlantic City Historical Museum, which houses items from Atlantic City's 1920s heyday as well as a collection of Miss America memorabilia, examines the rise, decline, and rise again of America's Playground. Picturesque lighthouses beg visitors for a climb, and kid-friendly venues and activities such as IMAX theaters, arcade games, and carnival rides keep children from bickering about the properties of non-Newtonian fluids.
Hearty helpings abound at Pirone's, where chefs construct a sizeable menu of steaks, seafood, pizzas, and other traditional Italian specialties. As the dinner curtain rises, feast your eyes and your lips upon an opening number of fried calamari ($11) or mussels marinara ($10) before moving on to sing the praises of a tender, boneless chicken cacciatore ($17) backed by peppers and onions, and simmering in a marinara mushroom sauce. Waiters cart plates of meat- or cheese-tortellini alfredo ($16), chosen from among more than 22 pasta picks that range from traditional spaghetti with meatballs ($22) to an eggplant-topped baked ziti ($16). Meal-goers can appease meaty appetites with a mushroom-infused veal marsala ($19) or a thick-cut steak à la Pirone ($21) topped with mushrooms, provolone, shrimp, sherry sauce, and a miniature model of the restaurant, and those who prefer sliceable sustenance can snack on a sliver of spinach-and-ricotta pizza ($8–$17) or divide a mini calzone ($7) into five mini-er calzones.
One pound of sliced Angus steak topped with a mix of melted cheese and Guinness barbecue sauce, served alongside a basket of fries. For finishing this behemoth yourself, the personnel at Harper's Pub treat you to a complimentary drink and add your snapshot to their wall of fame. More often, however, the kitchen whips up smaller sandwiches, wraps, and burgers packed with ingredients ranging from ranchero sauce to mozzarella sticks. Over at the bar, bartenders draw draft beer from 18 tap lines and stock 40 types of seasonally appropriate bottled beers in the fridge. Open until 3 a.m., the pub entices night owls with free WiFi, broadcasts of Sunday-, Monday-, and Thursday-night football games, and weekly hooting lessons.
Beef, jumbo wings, chicken fingers, jalapeño poppers, french fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, honey mustard, and melted cheese. Those are some of the items available on The Whiskey Barrel's menu, and somehow, they all fit on the Mother of All Barrels sandwich. The 12-inch behemoth anchors a menu full of similarly hearty, borderline ridiculous sandwiches, burgers, entrees, and jumbo-sized wings that come in a variety of sauces, from whiskey BBQ to garlic-teriyaki and hot & honey.
The food provides fuel for late nights at the pub, which, like the drive-thru window outside every grandma's kitchen, stays open until 2 a.m. six times a week—including for live music performances every Saturday. Beer specials accompany all Flyers hockey games, and happy-hour deals Monday–Friday help nerves unwind after another long, hard day of resisting the urge to burn the dictionary.
Sikar Lounge of Wilmington invites cigar aficionados and occasional inhalers into its private puffing place, home to an abundance of smokes and accessories from top blenders and brands. Precisely humidified in Sikar's cigar cabinets, an array of sticks wait to be toasted and savored, such as a CAO Gold maduro—an arrangement of Nicaraguan fillers trapped inside a dark Brazilian wrapper—or the Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real Love Story, which compels partakers to communicate in iambic pentameter for the duration of their smoke. Patrons can sink into the lounge's leather chairs while watching sporting contests on large flat-screen TVs, accessing email through free WiFi, or admiring the craftsmanship of the facility's cherry-oak finishings while the trusty ventilation system ensures an atmosphere unblemished with loitering smoke clouds. With membership, guests receive a month of lounge access and discounts to invitation-only events that occur every four–six weeks during fall and winter.
The 2010 Delaware Today Best of Delaware Critics Choice Award winner for Best Pub and Tavern Upstate, and the 2009 winner of the Best Late Night Food Award, James Street Tavern offers an affordable menu of cuisine. The spacious and inviting bistro's warm amber lighting, wood tables, and hints of rustic décor give it a friendly neighborhood vibe without the hassle of summoning Cheers cast apparitions. The eclectic menu ups the elegance with dishes like hoisin steak spring roll ($7), crab cake salad ($12), a bison burger ($10), and yellowfin tuna tacos ($8.50). Wash your gourmet grub down with its perfect pairing from the bar's vast selection of beer and wines while attempting to tell the bartender someone else’s life story.