Jose Garces’ New Atlantic City Restaurants

Plus, Francis Mallman joins the team at Bodega Garzón in Uruguay
Jose Garces’ New Atlantic City Restaurants
Acclaimed chef Francis Mallmann has been named culinary director of the Restaurant at Bodega Garzón. (Bodega Garzón)
Feb 16, 2017

Jose Garces’ Three New Atlantic City Restaurants

Iron Chef Jose Garces will be unveiling three new seafood-focused restaurants, expected to open on March 3, at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Five of the Philadelphia-based chef’s restaurants earned a Wine Spectator Restaurant Award in 2016: Best of Award of Excellence winner Volvér and Award of Excellence winners Tinto and Amada in Philadelpha, along with Rural Society in Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

Paying homage to Garces’ roots, Olon Restaurante—named after a city in Ecuador—will take over the former Fin restaurant space at the resort, featuring views of the sea, two fine-dining rooms and a casual ceviche bar. The second concept, Okatshe, will showcase creative twists on Japanese cuisine, experimenting with variations on sushi, noodle bowls and sake. In addition to modeling the restaurant after Japan’s street-food culture, Garces will feature a Japanese candy store at the entrance. A double-sided, ceviche-focused seafood bar, La Cerveceria, will serve as an extension of the two restaurants, offering lunch and dinner, two dozen beers on tap and live music on Fridays, Saturdays and holiday weekends. There’s no word yet on the wine programs, but Garces’ other Restaurant Award–winners have been known to showcase bottles from Spain, California and South America.—V.S.

Celebrating the Top Wines of 2016 at Aureole Las Vegas

On Friday, March 3, Charlie Palmer’s Grand Award winner Aureole Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino will host a celebration of Wine Spectator’s Top Wines of 2016, starting at 6:30 p.m. The cocktail reception will feature live music from TJ Tyler, bites from the restaurant’s new menu and more than 40 of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 wines of 2016, including Domaine Serene Chardonnay Dundee Hills Evenstad Reserve 2014 (No. 2), Orin Swift Machete California 2014 (No. 6) and Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains 2012 (No. 7).

The restaurant, whose 2,700-selection wine program is managed by wine director Harley Carbery and has earned a Grand Award each year since 2010, closed briefly at the end of 2016 to update its decor and dining concept. A selection of highlights from the new tasting table menu will be served throughout the event, including lionfish ceviche tacos, Raclette fondue, whole roasted sturgeon Wellington with caviar, and beef and octopus carpaccio. Tickets can be purchased at Mandalay Bay’s event page.—S.H.

Francis Mallmann's New Winery Gig

Francis Mallmann has a lot of irons in his fire. The cookbook author, television personality and executive chef at Best of Award of Excellence winner Siete Fuegos has been officially named ambassador and culinary director for the Restaurant at Bodega Garzón in Uruguay as of Jan. 24. The renowned Patagonian chef has developed a selection of prix fixe menus that incorporate his signature open-fire cooking with authentic Uruguayan flavors.

“The exceptional talent and passion chef Mallmann brings to the Restaurant at Bodega Garzón allows us to fulfill our goal of creating a singular culinary experience that is among the finest in the world and yet distinctly expressive of this special place,” said Alejandro Bulgheroni, owner of Bodega Garzón, in a press release. “As our wines reflect the land’s purity and embody the spirit of the Uruguayan culture, our cuisine must as well.”

Guests can choose from a four-course option paired with Garzón estate wines, a five-course option paired with Garzón reserve wines and a six-course option paired with Garzón single-vineyard wines, many of which are only available on-site. With three methods of cooking with fire—an infiernillo grill, a parrilla with planchas, and a brick oven—the open kitchen serves up menu items including burned eggplant with chermoula, slow-cooked sweetbreads, wagyu beef, and domo-cooked pineapple and cheesecake brulée.

"It is so easy to be inspired for our menu in Uruguay," Mallmann said in a statement. “Up in the hills of Bodega Garzón, our cooking is ruled by fire, from the slow-hung beef and the giant fishes, to the sizzled sweetbreads and fire oven–roasted empanadas. We just look into the rural life of the gauchos, our cowboys, to learn that cooking is all about patience and romance with the outdoors life.”—L.W.

Opening Soon in London: Dan Barber’s wastED Pop-Up

Dan Barber, co-owner and executive chef of Grand Award winner Blue Hill at Stone Barns, is taking his inventive farm-to-table cuisine from New York to London with the return of his pop-up, wastED. From Feb. 24 to April 2, Barber’s restaurant will inhabit the Selfridges London rooftop in Marylebone, where guest chefs from the U.K. and across Europe, such as Gordon Ramsay and Tom Kerridge, will create British dishes with trimmings that are typically discarded in restaurants.

The inaugural pop-up took place in March 2015 at Blue Hill New York and featured dishes such as “dumpster dive vegetable salad” and “juice pulp cheeseburger,” alongside a compact list of wines from waste-conscious wineries, poured from large-format bottles. In the second installment of wastED, the beverage program will continue to feature wines connected with the sustainable and non-waste movements. Curated by Terry Threlfall, buying manager of wine and spirits at Selfridges and Co., the rotating selection will include 70 to 100 labels, whose producers—such as Albert Mann, François Chidaine, Domaine Leflaive and Krug—adhere to principles of the biodynamic wine movement.—V.S.

New Chef for Barcelona Wine Bar in Washington, D.C.

Barcelona Wine Bar is welcoming a new chef into the kitchen at its 14th Street N.W. location in Washington, D.C. Taking the place of previous chef Christian Goerner is Alex Ureña, whose résumé includes cooking experience at the now-closed Michelin three-star restaurant El Bulli in Barcelona, and Blue Hill New York, sister restaurant to Grand Award winner Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Barcelona Wine Bar currently has 13 locations across the U.S., five of which are Restaurant Award winners. The 14th St. location’s 485-selection, Best of Award of Excellence–winning wine list, curated by wine director Gretchen Thomas, focuses on bottles from Spain and South America.—V.S.

Now Closed: An Asian Cuisine

On Jan. 28, Cary, N.C., dining hotspot An Asian Cuisine closed its doors. The longtime Best of Award of Excellence winner had earned acclaim for its 395-selection, moderately priced list of bottles from California, France and around the world, managed by wine director Laura Francis.

Las Vegas Dining Out Restaurant Awards News

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