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.
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.