• Monday , 19 February 2018

Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget Grotto Ristorante Unveils New Head Chef and Tasty Menu

Photos, story by Lou Perri

Grotto Ristorante, located in the Golden Nugget Casino, Hotel & Marina in Atlantic City,  introduced new head chef Carmine Favuzzi and a redesigned menu at a tasting party recently.

With the addition of Favuzzi, Grotto has reinvented its menu, incorporating seasonal ingredients and fresh pasta to complement the restaurant’s extensive wine selection of more than 200 varieties, 70 percent of which are Italian.

Originally from Molfetta, Italy, Favuzzi studied Italian cuisine at the Culinary Institute of Bari. Upon graduation, Favuzzi worked in the kitchen of several five-star Italian hotels before coming to America, where he held several chef positions for Italian restaurants in New Jersey and Indiana. Favuzzi received awards for his work in the American Lamb Recipe Challenge and as a chef for Primavera, which was named best Italian restaurant in South Jersey  by The Press of Atlantic City.

Designed by Favuzzi, the revamped menu offers 40 items and maintains three infamous guest favorites: bruschetta, the Grotto salad, and the tomato basil soup. New dishes such as Peperoni Arrostiti Siciliani, Arugula Salad, Rigatoni Siciliano, Fileto Di Branzino, Scarpariello Di Pollo, and pizzas made in the wood fire oven combine old-school classics and contemporary Italian cuisine.

 “The new menu specializes in Northeastern Italian Cuisine, and was developed for our clientele and its distinct palate for fine Italian dining,” Carmine Favuzzi told Explore NJ “Grotto emulates the feeling of eating your Italian grandmother’s dishes, with a modern flair. Each new menu item has been carefully crafted from an authentically developed recipe, and is served in the upbeat, fun atmosphere unique to Grotto.”

At the tasting party, the chef brought our eight plates from an appetizer antipasti to the exquisite finale, a sweet tiramisu. Each plate was exceptional including a pasta dish, Borso Quattro Formaggi to a fish delight, Pesce da Calabrese.

ead chef Carmine Favuzzi reinvigorates Grotto’s classic Italian offerings with revamped menu

Head chef Carmine Favuzzi reinvigorates Grotto’s classic Italian offerings with revamped menu.

The Grotto ocktail bar offers a Happy Hour for guests f the casino.

The Grotto cocktail bar offers a Happy Hour for guests for the casino.

The Grotto main dining room.

The Grotto’s main dining room.

A dining room wall cover.

A dining room wall cover.

The tasting party menu.

The tasting party menu.

The bread basket offered home baked breads.

The bread basket offered home baked breads.

The antipasti featured imported meats and cheeses, oven-dried tomatoes, marinated olives, and artichokes.

The antipasti featured imported meats and cheeses, oven-dried tomatoes, marinated olives, and artichokes.

Bruschetta also was on the taste menu/It featured grilled Tuscan bread, marinated tomatoes and aged balsamic vinegar, topped with grated Parmesan, a delightfully crunchy appetizer.

Bruschetta also was on the tasting menu. It featured grilled Tuscan bread, marinated tomatoes and aged balsamic vinegar, topped with grated Parmesan, a delightfully crunchy appetizer.

Arancini di Siciliani, a fried rice ball stuffed with prosciutto and Fontina cheese served on a bed of Rosa sauce.

Arancini di Siciliani, a fried rice ball stuffed with prosciutto and Fontina cheese, served on a bed of Rosa sauce.

Chef offers a new pasta dish, Barsa Quattro Formaggi, four cheese beggar's purse, with a port wine demi-glaze, sage cream, Parmeigiano-Reggiano cheese, topped with Pancetto.

Chef offers a new pasta dish, Barsa Quattro Formaggi, four cheese beggar’s purse, with a port wine demi-glaze, sage cream, Parmeigiano-Reggiano cheese, topped with Pancetto.

The four-cheese beggar's purse, up close.

The four-cheese beggar’s purse, up close.

Chef Carmine discusses the tasting paty menu with members of the press.

Chef Carmine discusses the tasting party menu with members of the press.

A favorite of this old guy, Cavatelli con Salsiccia, consisting of crumpled Italian sausage, Swiss chard, spicy garlic, pine nuts, in a white wine sauce, topped with shaved Parmesan

A favorite of this old guy, Cavatelli con Salsiccia, consisting of crumpled Italian sausage, Swiss chard, spicy garlic, pine nuts, in a white wine sauce, topped with shaved Parmesan.

Another plate featured Chicken Scarpariello, a chicken breast, Italian sausage, cherry peppers, onions, pepperoncini, and peppers, topped with a butter sauce, and served with fingerling potatoes.

Another plate featured Chicken Scarpariello, a chicken breast, Italian sausage, cherry peppers, onions, pepperoncini, and peppers, topped with a butter sauce, and served with fingerling potatoes.

Chef Carmine is seen with Melissa Smith, assistant general manager of the Grotto.

Chef Carmine is seen with Melissa Smith, assistant general manager of the Grotto.

Pesce da Calabrese, a featured pan seared Grouper, artichokes, Calabrese sausage,in a white wine garlic sauce, and served with Parmesan Risotto.

Pesce da Calabrese, a featured pan seared Grouper, artichokes, Calabrese sausage,in a white wine garlic sauce, and served with Parmesan Risotto.

The fish plate, close-up.

The fish plate, close-up.

Finally, the dessert: Iramisu, Tia Maria soaked Lady Fingers, mascarpone zabaglione, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. A sweet toothd delight.

Finally, the dessert: Tiramisu, Tia Maria soaked Lady Fingers, mascarpone zabaglione, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar… a sweet toothed delight.

The tiramisu lightly eaten.

The tiramisu lightly eaten.

Grotto Ristorante’s impeccable service and superb cuisine is ensured day-to-day by Assistant General Manager Melissa Smith and Chefs Dennis Caraballo and Jackson Carcache. Their unsurpassed passion for detail provides an ideal location for friends and family to enjoy a meal together.

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