THREE’S COM­PANY

PHILLY CHEF JOSE GARCES IS BACK IN AC WITH A TRIO OF COOL NEW DIN­ING CON­CEPTS.

Philadelphia Style - - Contents - BY KRISTIN DET­TER­LINE

Philly chef Jose Garces is back in AC with a trio of cool new din­ing con­cepts.

“We love At­lantic City and con­sider it to be an ex­ten­sion of our home in Philadel­phia,” says Jose Garces. In fact, the famed Philly chef loves AC so much that he’s back for a sec­ond time in town, fol­low­ing a suc­cess­ful stint at the short-lived Revel Casino Ho­tel. Garces found his op­por­tu­nity to “start fresh” at Trop­i­cana, in the midst of its own fresh start with an on­go­ing $100 mil­lion ren­o­va­tion. His trio of con­cepts— Okat­she, Olón, and Bar Olón— not only add another di­men­sion to the AC din­ing scene but mark a new culi­nary style for the chef: sushi. “Okat­she is my play­ful, mod­ern take on tra­di­tional Ja­panese iza­kaya,” says Garces. “I trav­eled to Ja­pan twice and fell in love with the fla­vors and sim­plic­ity. Of course, it also made sense to work with the fresh seafood at the Shore.” Be­sides sushi, there are small plates, yak­i­tori, and ra­men to sam­ple along with 50 types of sake. At Olón, Garces gets back to his Ecuado­rian roots with a 43-seat ce­viche bar, five kinds of em­panadas, and wood-fired Wagyu skirt steak. The 60-seat Bar Olón sits be­tween the two din­ing rooms with a beer-cen­tric bar menu and laid-back beach vibe. Trop­i­cana Casino & Re­sort At­lantic City, 2831 Board­walk, 609-340-4000; trop­i­cana.net

Olón’s 128- seat din­ing room is a mod­ern riff on beach dé­cor. CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Jose Garces; Olón’s pri­vate din­ing room is sur­rounded on two sides with ocean views; the chef’s fa­mous paella ce­viche.

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