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