Driving down the Garden State Parkway towards Atlantic City and the gorgeous Borgata is somewhat akin to Dorothy’s spinning house landing right in the middle of Oz; dark and gloomy until you land smack dab into one of the most glorious spots around. Last weekend, the amazing staff at the Borgata created a weekend filled with amazing food and A-grade entertainment and I definitely can encourage all of you to come “Out at Borgata”.
Upon entering the Borgata, you see gorgeous sculptures by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, which add to the elegance throughout the complex. We stayed in the 43 story boutique lifestyle hotel, The Water Club, which having a “no children allowed” policy is definitely a plus in my book. The rooms were gorgeous, with a full view of the Atlantic City skyline. A quick cocktail and we headed down to Wolfgang Puck’s American Grille, which continues to be one of my favorite restaurants at the Borgata. The servings are plentiful, the cocktails flowing, and both the flavor and the presentation of the food, top notch (you must try the truffle potato chips; absolutely to die for)!
We tried our hands at some slot machines, and caught Sarah McLachlan, sadly without her army of pets in need of homes. She gave us “Lillith Fair realness” and sang the (now famous) pet anthem “Angel” along with some of my favorites from her breakthrough album “Fumbling Towards Ecstacy”. A low key concert was a perfect balance to a the high energy evening ahead, with DJ Mimi (Imfurst) of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Season Three spinning in one of the Borgata’s large nightclubs, MIXX, hosted by Wendy Ho. OUT at Borgata took over MIXX that night, with some familiar faces hitting the dance floor, along with some confused ladies wondering who all of these good looking men were! Leave it to the gay men to pack the dance floor!
Saturday’s much needed recovery day commenced with some retail therapy at the Borgata’s shops (thank you Just Cavalli) and a blissful facial at the Immersion Spa at the top of the Water Club. The entire spa atmosphere at Immersion is completely top notch; from the plush robes you are given upon entry, to the beautiful poolside and steam rooms. Complete luxury!
A quick nap was definitely in order, and with the lush beds in our Club Room, it was tough to get up. We managed to rally and headed to Izakaya, the Japanese restaurant on site. We were served a virtual tasting menu of some of the best dishes that the restaurant had to offer, from the succulent roasted baby beets to the appropriately named
“angry lobster” (a definite favorite). Desert definitely is one of the highlights of Izakaya, as the generous portion of crispy rice sushi roll was quickly devoured.
One of Saturday evening’s highlights was a performance by comedy legend and gay icon Kathy Griffin. As Griffin had just announced her departure from E!’s “Fashion Police” the night before via press release, we were all anxiously awaiting her comedic take and behind the scenes dish on what actually went down. Surprisingly, the whole issue seemed to be much ado about nothing. While many thought it was infighting with executives or possible shrapnel from the Giuliana/Zendaya “patchouli-gate”, it was exactly the opposite. Quite simply, Griffin still has no problem mocking “Justine Bieber peeing in a bucket” but she refuses to say “Selena Gomez is ugly”. Are we seeing the evolution of Miss Griffin? Hardly-her set was positively spot on, hitting on every possible target, from PETA to the priests. Of course, her loving jabs at Anderson Cooper and her hilarous impression of Cher were included, and ending the evening with a hilarious bit on One Direction’s Harry Styles drunkenly accosting Oscar winner Tom Hanks backstage at an Eagles concert. Truly, only a story Kathy Griffin could spin into side splitting hilarity.
We headed back to MIXX post-Griffin show, to see the legendary Paul Oakenfold spinning live. Our balcony V.I.P. seats were perfect, giving us a rare intimate and up close view of the packed to the rafters dance floor. The V.I.P. scene at MIXX is a unique and sharp set up, with a staircase that leads directly to the dance floor, an ultra convenient bar area to grab a quick cocktail, and a number of private V.I.P. rooms with individual balconies that overlook the dance floor. Talk about a true V.I.P. experience! The other nightclub at the Borgata, mur.mur. hosted Amber Rose and Nick Cannon that evening, and I hear that the space was beyond packed with a line outside for alot of the evening.
Sunday was time to head back to reality, but not without a few slots and lunch at Bread and Butter, with it’s diner style menu and local deli feel is the perfect food after an action packed weekend.
This summer is going to be one of the Borgata’s best seasons yet. With events such as Wanda Sykes, Tony Winner Idina Menzel, and Tony Bennet and Lady Gaga performing live, the Borgata has recently announced Borgata Festival Park will hold 5,000 standing room-only fans and will include an outdoor bar. The casino eventually plans to incorporate it into outdoor food and beverage festivals as well. A new nightclub is in the works as well, which will only bring more amazing talent and headlining acts to the Borgata. The buzz around the Borgata all weekend was so positive and it was great to see so many friendly and familiar faces at the restaurants and the nightclubs. I expect to see many more events of this nature, which will definitely bring many more of the LGBT community OUT to the Borgata!