Tropicana Atlantic City announced the March 4 opening of three new restaurants by Chef Jose Garces. “We are thrilled to partner with renowned and award-winning Chef Jose Garces on exclusive concepts that complement and enhance our diverse selection of restaurants and strive to expand on the idea of MORE. Tropicana is continuously introducing new amenities to our property and the addition of Chef Jose Garces’ restaurants brings new and unique dining options that offer more to our guests,” says Steve Callender, general manager of Tropicana Atlantic City.
“My team and I have worked hard at creating all-new restaurant options unlike any of our other restaurants. Each of the three restaurants has a unique look and feel that transports guests to either a Japanese streetscape, seafront coastal town, and beachside beer bar,” says Chef Jose Garces. “We look forward to debuting these unique concepts in Tropicana while bringing our passion for our family-inspired traditions and hospitality back to Atlantic City.”
Inspired by the tranquil beach town of Olón, Ecuador and the vibrancy of coastal culture, Olón (pronounced Ō-lon) provides Tropicana guests with a classically alluring, laid-back experience centered around Chef Jose Garces’ vision of fresh seafood. Guests enter through custom-crafted Ecuadorian gates and first encounter a 43-seat ceviche bar and lounge, where they can watch chefs prepare ceviche and other raw seafood specialties.
In the 128-seat dining area, every seat has sweeping ocean and boardwalk views. Beach-like cabanas with soft draperies create intimate nooks within the space while touches of natural light and fresh salt air create an inviting yet alluring atmosphere. In addition, wood shutters unfold to create two private dining areas for groupings of up to 60 people. Weather permitting, seating for 40 will be available on a deck overlooking the beach.
The menu at Olón features Chef Garces’ family recipes, with a modern twist, as well as unique takes on time-honored favorites. Traditional features include steamed clams, crab cakes, jumbo fried shrimp, and surf & turf. More contemporary options include wood-fired Wagyu skirt steak, roasted chicken, jumbo gulf prawns, black bass, two-pound lobster, and king crab.
Olón will be open seven days a week with a lunch menu starting at 11:30 a.m. and dinner 5 to 11 p.m., midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling 800-345-8767 beginning February 15.
Okatshe (pronounced Ō- kaht-she) is Chef Jose Garces’ playful, modernized take on a traditional Japanese izakaya. Okatshe visually transports guests to the streets of Tokyo and provides a sense of discovery by taking guests through a small Japanese candy (okashi) storefront before entering the restaurant.
The full-service, 80-seat sit-down restaurant will serve a selection of small plates, yakitori, ramen, sushi and sashimi. Yakitori skewers include chicken, beef, pork, vegetable or seafood. Ramen noodles are served in three unique styles: Tokyo, light chicken and Dashi broth; Tonkastu, rich pork broth; and Okatshe, lobster dashi. Sushi, sashimi, and maki offerings include everything from scallop and wasabi tobiko to spicy rolls, black jack eel rolls, and the signature Tropicana roll.
The bar at Okatshe will include a curated selection of Japanese whiskeys, 50 sakes, beers, and specialty cocktails.
Okatshe will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week. Reservations are not required.
Bar Olón is the interactive, 60-seat double-sided bar and lounge located between the two restaurants. Featuring a large, walk-around bar, the setting includes a modernized beach vibe with a combination of varying seating types to accommodate individuals and small groups. Vintage looking fans provide a cool, “ocean” breeze with whimsical bongos and neon signage completing the nostalgic vibe. An elevated platform with tropical mural wall-hanging backdrop will serve as a stage for live entertainment.
Bar Olón serves as the foundation of Olón’s extensive beverage programming, including: a custom, double-sided tap with 16 draft beer selections; 35 beers by-the-bottle; 20 wines by-the-glass; 75-plus wines by the bottle and 8 hand-crafted specialty cocktails. A light food menu will also be available featuring ceviche, sandwiches, and shareable small plates.
The bar will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Seasonal live, entertainment will be offered from 9 p.m. to midnight on Fridays, Saturdays and holiday weekends.
Chef Jose Garces has tapped two Garces veterans to helm the Tropicana restaurants.
Chef de Cuisine Maria Schmidt is a Garces alumna. Her career in Garces’ kitchens has taken her from Philadelphia to Palm Springs and back again. In her nine years with Chef Garces, Maria has served as Chef de Cuisine at Amada, Distrito, Tinto and 24.
Executive Director of Fine Dining, Patrick Sterr, is a South Jersey native who began his management experience in Atlantic City. He went on to manage and oversee several Chef Garces’ restaurants in Atlantic City, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Chicago, and New York.
dash design of New York City was responsible for the interior and architectural design, in collaboration with SOSH Architects, for all three restaurants. This is dash design’s fourth collaboration with Chef Jose Garces.