Wolfgang Puck - Borgata, Atlantic City, NJ
Wolfgang Puck American Grille.
First of all, I would like to say that I truly think Wolfgang Puck is a hero to cuisine in America. I think he made high quality food exciting and interesting. I think he is one of the real main influences in making the whole foodie movement happen. And, for that, he really deserves a medal....a big one.
We stayed at the Borgata Hotel for a couple of days and ate both at Bobby Flay's place and Wolfgang Puck's American Grille:
As with Bobby Flay, I would rate the place as 9 out of 10 stars, if comparing it to all restaurants.
Within just the genre of high quality/ high end restaurants, I would not go quite that far. I would give it a 7 out of 10.
The atmosphere was better than Bobby Flay. The decorations was pleasant and I think a little bit better than those in Bobby Flay. The maitre d, the waiter and the wait staff were all very professional and really what I was looking for in that staff. They respected the aesthetic of a high end restaurant and helped make you feel you were having a special experience, not just having "a meal."
Food, of course, was great.
For appetizers we had the garlic soup and the beet and goat cheese napoleon. The beet and goat cheese napoleon was a very nice presentation, playing on a napoleon. Health wise - seems very healthy. Tasted good, but nothing outstanding. I used to go to Cheese of all Nations in NYC in the 70's. I have been blown away by high quality goat cheese. This did not do it for me. It was good, but not much beyond that. And, I think the beet flavor is so very strong, that it overpowered the cheese. Perhaps the chef did not want to risk using a stronger goat cheese...perhaps most diners would not have liked it. But that, I think, would have worked perfectly with the power of the beet.
The garlic soup was excellent. What I would expect from a high end restaurant. Did not completely blow me away, but very good.
For entrees we had the asparagus and shrimp risotto. It was clearly a superior dish. The pasta was al dente...which made it have a nutty flavor. Very interesting. Sauce was very interesting. I think there could have been a slightly better presentation, with some kind of garnish? And I think the sauce was a little too rich, covering some of the flavors. But, again, the type of dish that you expect from a high end restaurant.
For dessert, we had the chocolate sorbet and the 15 layer cake. The chocolate sorbet was amazing. Rich, yet somehow light as well. I don't know how they do it. A completely blow-away dessert and everything I expect from a high end restaurant. The layer cake was very good. Not too rich, presentation was amazing. Different elements...including a candy crunch, an ice cream, and an elegantly presented piece of dark chocolate. Very nice dessert. Not quite "blow-away," but excellent.
As I mentioned in my review of the Bobby Flay Steak, I have had food from relatives where every single dish over the meal...maybe 4 or 5 courses, was entirely "mind blowing" food, in taste. I really can't understand why a very high quality restaurant can't deliver the same, or...at least, can't deliver, say, 70% of the dishes at that level of quality.
Not to say that is was bad...hardly the case. It was excellent, but again...not completely the mind-blowing experience I would expect. Between two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts, I really expected at least three dishes to completely blow me away...and only one did. But the entrees came close, as did the soup.
Visited this place on Friday night. We got there late, around 10pm, so were seating in tavern area and ordered off the tavern menu. For starters we had the truffled potato chips. Very tasty but way too much for two people, wanted to share with fellow diners!
My friend had the burger which she ordered medium but it came out medium rare (more my style). She was too hungry to send back but ate it anyway and liked it. I thoguht it was cooked perfectly and had great taste, although a little heavy handed on the salt.
I ordered the almond crusted salmon over potato parsnip puree. Flavors all there and very good. Again, a bit salty for me. My salmon was cooked a little too well done for me and the puree came out lukewarm almost cold.
Servce was terrible though. Our waiter was MIA. He took our drink order, our food order, and asked us after we had been sitting for 15 minutes if we wanted our check and that was it. He never came by during the meal to see how things were and seemed a bit aloof. It was NOT busy at all either. He had two other tables.
It's highly doubtful I'd return here again. Too many other places to eat at Borgata that are better.