Tropicana in Atlantic City opened two restaurants and a bar by chef Jose Garces over the weekend.
It marks the chef's return to the Shore resort, 2½ years after the shutdown of Revel Casino, which idled Garces and thousands of employees.
Olón, the main room, specializes in seafood and inspired by the beach town of Olón, Ecuador. At the entrance is a 43-seat ceviche bar and lounge. The 128-seat dining room offers ocean and boardwalk views, much as Amada did at the Revel. There is a deck in-season. Menu includes steamed clams, crab cakes, fried shrimp, and surf & turf on the traditional side, as well as wood-fired Wagyu skirt steak, roasted chicken, jumbo gulf prawns, black bass, two-pound lobster, and king crab. It is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Okatshe (oh-kaht-she), a twist on a Japanese izakaya (or bar), is an 80-seater, tucked behind a small, open-for-business Japanese sweet shop (okashi). Menu includes small plates, yakitori, three kinds of ramen, sushi, and sashimi. Bar includes Japanese whiskeys, 50 sakes, beers, and specialty cocktails. It will be open from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily.
Bar Olón, a 60-seat double-sided bar and lounge between the two restaurants, has 16 draft beer selections; 35 beers by the bottle; 20 wines by the glass; 75-plus wines by the bottle, and eight specialty cocktails, as wll as a light food menu. There also is a stage for live entertainment.
Maria Schmidt, a nine-year Garces vet from Amada, Distrito, Tinto, and 24, is chef de cuisine. Patrick Sterr, also a longtime Garces manager, is overseeing as executive director of fine dining.