All Hail Caesars Entertainment!
By Erik Teng / Photography by Erik Teng
Hundreds of spectators gathered along this world famous boardwalk on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean to catch a glimpse of these frenetic, dancing dragons and lions. The rhythmic sound of cymbals crashed as a soul-pounding beat filled the air. The year 2014 of the Gregorian calendar (or 2565 according to the Chinese [Han] calendar) marked the beginning of a new lunar year- also known as the Spring Festival. The year of the Horse is believed to be a year full of victories, unexpected adventure, and surprising romance. Asians around the world have celebrated the beginning of what they hope to be a very prosperous year heralded by good fortune.
As a New Yorker, one does not have to travel far to partake of Lunar New Year traditions. One quick train ride to Canal Street during the New Year brought all of the New Year’s traditions this native New Yorker could handle. Traditional meals, lion dances, and games were all within one block of anywhere I stood. I never imagined that I would experience that same feeling standing in the middle of Caesars Casino lobby in Atlantic City. Celebrating the New Year here was much more than a weekend trip to the casino; it was an entire experience.
Jerry Eisenband, Public Relations Manager at Caesars Entertainment, was our host for the weekend, and tasked with showing us all the amenities Caesars and its other properties had to offer. The charismatic Eisenband had his work cut out for him, as we were his exact target demographic. So, how does he make this experience feel authentic? The answer was very simple. To quote “Field of Dreams: “if you build it, he will come”. That was exactly what Caesars did; they built an entire experience that fused the traditions of the East and the glamour of the West, resulting in a truly all-encompassing experience.
At Nero’s Chophouse & Sushi Bar, we were seated with a breath taking view overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The menu offered the typical items you would find at a high-end steakhouse as well as some of the freshest sushi I have ever had. I opted to order the Wagyu steak (at Eisenband’s recommendation) for the main course. It was cooked to perfection and had just the right amount of flavor; I literally cut this steak with a butter knife. I can say this with 100% confidence; this was the best steak I had ever had. With its super friendly staff, I plan to make this restaurant a regular stop whenever I am in Atlantic City.
As soon as I walked in to Buddakan, the beauty and tranquility of the décor overwhelmed me. Seated for lunch at the 24-foot long table in front of the golden “enlightened one” was an experience like no other. Buddakan paid attention to every, last detail to ensure that its patrons have a unique experience, which includes the two, tiny dark chocolate Buddha statues at the end of the meal. Some of the recommended dishes rivaled some of the best dim sum dishes in New York City. My personal favorite had to be the chicken and ginger dumplings. General Manager Kara Lacko took the time to ensure that everything was to our satisfaction. In this fast-paced world in which we live, this caliber of customer service is a rarity.
Also located in the Pier Shops, dinner at Souzai Sushi and Sake was the perfect summation of my weekend in Atlantic City. Executive Chef Paul Drew created a wonderful menu that meshed the traditional elements of sushi with a Western twist. Case in point was the Tempura Cheesesteak Roll, which was essentially a Philly cheesesteak in a traditional Japanese roll. Delicious did not begin to describe this edible masterpiece. My favorite? The spicy beef and scallop yakitori marinated in spicy Thai chili sriracha and sticky-sweet eel sauce for 24 hours.
Of course, no trip to a casino would be to complete without a game or two. Last October, Bally’s underwent a $5.6 million renovation. Very rarely has a photographer had the opportunity to photograph inside any casino, especially in New Jersey, but this photographer had exactly that distinct pleasure. “We’re creating a whole new look and feel to our casino floor at Bally’s,” said Kevin Ortzman, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Bally’s, Caesars, and Showboat Atlantic City. “These renovations will provide us with the opportunity to elevate our guests’ entire experience to unprecedented levels, thereby enhancing the allurement and essence of this true Atlantic City landmark.” The renovations reflected just that… in spades. (Pun definitely intended!) Whether you are a professional gambler or just visiting Atlantic City for the weekend, this newly renovated gaming floor serves your every need.
All Hail Caesars Entertainment!
For more information and to book your trip, visit http://www.caesarsac.com.