If you weren't aware, there are some wonderful restaurants right here in South Jersey.

One of those is definitely Luke Palladino's at Harrah's in Atlantic City. My wife and I went to Luke's when it first opened, and returned this past Saturday night. (Why didn't we go back sooner?)

To say we had a great time would be an understatement. Let me start by saying each member of the staff was nice, friendly, and charming. That certainly makes a difference!

We began by ordering a couple drinks at the bar. Our bartender was very nice and accommodating. I told her I had no idea what to order, and she prepared a nice tangerine martini. It was tasty and cold. Excellent. (Yes, I enjoy drinking girlie drinks.)

Have you ever been impressed by cheese? We were! After being seated in a beautiful table, we ordered a cheese plate as an appetizer. (For the record, I've never ordered a cheese plate as an appetizer before, but we ordered some wine, and thought it would be a good accompaniment.) Out came a decorative plate with three different cheeses, some crackers and honey. I don't remember the names of the cheeses - they were too long - but they were each heavenly. Melted in our mouths. Almost like a dessert for an appetizer.

Luke Palladino (the owner/chef) prides himself on using local ingredients. We each had a salad with local ingredients. I had a salad with local greens and vegetables, while my wife ordered a salad with fresh mozzarella, aged balsamic vinegar and New Jersey tomatoes. While mine was good, I'm glad she didn't finish hers, so I could steal the rest.

For my main course, I ordered a Standing Baby Back Rib Roast, stuffed with sage and garlic sausage. It was so good! The flavors blended together perfectly, unlike anything I've ever tasted before.

My wife ordered a Chicken Parmigiana  dish that was....very frankly.... the best Chicken Parm either of us ever tasted!

We topped off our dinners with some Ricoota Cheesecake, which we took home with us to enjoy later.

Again, thanks to a great Luke Palladino staff, a Saturday dinner out turned into an extraordinary event.

If you want to check out the menu, click here. I certainly recommend Luke Palladino's whenever you're looking to make a nice night extra special.