1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, NJ | Directions 0840139.377072 -74.434519
Fun meets Fine dining Italian – Although I will not be quite as over-the-top as the last review, I can't help but say that Ombra is a fabulous spot. The atmosphere is that of a small european wine cave (think brick walls and arched brick ceilings)with a fun bar/bistro area, a main dining area and two private dining rooms that are used for standard service when not used for a special event. I've been lucky enough to be there for both a quick glass of wine & apps with friends to kick off our evening as well as a full meal and absoluetly enjoyed both. The wine list is great and you are literally surrounded by bottles because every wall is full of wine racks! The food is creative and and yummy. The previous chef has moved on, and now Chef Stephen Kalt is at the helm and he does not disappoint. The energy of Ombra is that of an upscale casual place, but the food and wine are fine dining all the way. As a local, this is where I take my out-of town friends to show that AC can compete with Vegas and other food/wine centers of the country.
THE BEST ITALIAN BISTRO IN THE COUNTRY....PERHAPS EVEN ITALY!! – I'm putting this review in the hotel section because Citysearch does not recognize this restaurant in the Borgata. Ombra is the most important new Italian restaurant that I have visited in the last year; Luke Palladino and his staff deserve accolades for their creativity and dedication to authenticity. The main menu is exceptional and every dish is solid and worth having; however, what makes this restaurant truly outstanding and unique is the bar/bistro area and it's separate bar/happy hour menu. Please go with a good friend and try as many of the 'Italian tapas" that you can eat. For example, the fritelle (fried spaghetti, salami, and pecorino cheese shaped into puffy squares), the arancini (risotto fritters stuffed with cheese, black truffle and scallion), the pasticiatti (soft polenta, sausage, and gorgonzola) cooked in its own little kettle, the salamis, cheeses, etc, etc. The wine list is extensive, wine by the glass is well represented. You can sit at the bar or in the bar area and have complete dinners with decanted (by the sommelier) wine from the main menu; but the bistro menu is unique and the best "Italian comfort food" that I have ever eaten in the United States. The service/staff is excellent; go back a second time and I bet that they will remember what you had the last visit...even the wine that you drank. Luke Palladino needs to bring this bistro concept to Las Vegas; much like the quality and fun of Mon Ami Gabi at the Paris Hotel or Artisinal in New York City that was the brainchild of Terrance Brennan (Picholine) and his fromagier Max McCallan, this concept of Italian Bistro fare could recreate the passion and joy of eating Italian cooking in the United States.
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