Drive up the Merritt Parkway into Connecticut and you’ll notice one prominent theme. Trees. Acres upon acres of trees. Turn on to I-395, and just past Uncasville, the Mohegan Sun Casino rises out of the woods, its gleaming blue towers a striking anomaly against the landscape. Located halfway between Boston and New York, the Mohegan Sun is hosting the third event on the PokerStars North American Poker Tour this week, where a supersized field is expected. This place is, in a word, massive. Dozens of drinking, dining and entertainment options are available during your stay, and lucky for you, we’ve got a preview of what to expect.
Quell your hunger
Bobby Flay's Bar Americain serves up modern American cuisine with Flay's signature bold, spicy flavors. Bar Americain also features an extensive raw bar featuring local New England seafood. Try the porterhouse lamb chops with a corn and collard green tart — you won’t be disappointed.
If you’re in the mood for Italian, Todd English's Tuscany should be your first stop. Tuscany now serves breakfast along with lunch and dinner; their morning meal options include fritatta-style omelettes, a breakfast risotto and "Castagnaccios" — chestnut and pine nut pancakes with rosemary-honey mascarpone and a pecan-fig sauce. For lunch, try Todd English's "Tuscan Table." For $19.95, you can dig into a buffet of traditional antipasti, pasta, cured meats and desserts. A four-course tasting menu for $47 is available at dinner featuring some of Tuscany's signature dishes like butternut squash tortelli, veal agnolotti, and hand-made gnocchi.
If you love a prime slab of perfectly cooked beef as much as we do, hit up Michael Jordan’s. Try the 34 oz. "Porterhouse for two" with a Worcestershire Glaze or one of MJ's favorites like "The Cowboy" — a 21 oz. mega-steak with a horseradish crust and a Mexican chocolate sauce. Michael Jordan’s also boasts a wide selection of seafood including Maine Lobster, Atlantic Grouper with black truffles, and seared Ahi Tuna.
Need something quick or a bit less pricey? Head over to Big Bubba's BBQ for fried chicken, a po’boy sandwich, or a rack of St. Louis pork ribs. On weeknights Big Bubba’s features all-you-can-eat pit smoked BBQ chicken and ribs for $19.95 per person. Another tasty option is Bobby's Burger Palace — Bobby Flay's take on a traditional burger joint. Our favorites are the Bobby Blue Burger with bacon and blue cheese and the Santa Fe burger with queso, pickled jalapenos and blue corn chips.
Quench your thirst
More than half a dozen bars scattered throughout the property, but the one that really won our hearts is the Leffingwells Martini Bar. Located at the top of a three-story indoor mountain called Wombi Rock, Leffingwells serves up 20 specialty martinis along with some of Mohegan Sun's own house-made microbrews. Relax in high-backed red velvet chairs and stare up at the "sky" in the form of Mohegan's star-studded planetarium dome. It’s the perfect place to relax after a long day on the felt. If you want a little pep in your step along with that buzz, try the Espresso martini. It’s like dessert in a glass.
If a frosty pint and a round of bar trivia is more your speed, check out The Dubliner. This Irish pub has plenty of beers on tap and serves up traditional pub food like Guinness stew and Shepherd's Pie.
Dance the night away
Last night, we enjoyed one of PokerStars’ signature welcome parties at Lucky's Lounge. This Vegas-style club is lined with red leather banquettes and secluded VIP areas with plush couches.
If you're ready to throw your hands in the air like you just don't care, hit up Ultra 88. You'll find all the untz untz you can handle and if you really want to be a baller, rent out their VIP suite, which comes with its own private bar, staff and security guard. You'd better dress up, though, because those basketball shorts and your “I’d check-raise my grandma” T-shirt aren't going to cut it at the door.
Relax away the tilt
In our humble opinion, the best way to unwind or shake off that bad beat is a treatment in the Elemis Spa. Stop in for an Aroma Stone Therapy massage, a detoxifying body wrap, or one of their Native American-inspired rituals and ceremonies. Guys, don't be afraid of the spa; it'll do you a world of good. Try out their "Men's Spa Escape" package, which includes a relaxing facial followed by a deep-tissue massage.
Are you ready to take your game on the road? EPT and LAPT satellites are running daily on PokerStars.