It may not surprise anyone who trolls Craigslist for restaurant jobs that celebrity chef Michel Richard is partnering with the new Revel in Atlantic City to open three dining spaces there. The owners of the 6.3-million-square-foot hotel and casino, which is scheduled to open in early April, are expected to announce the plans tomorrow.
One dining concept borrows from the success of the French chef’s Central Michel Richard in downtown Washington (an offshoot of which opened in Las Vegas with round-the-clock service last fall). The spinoff in Atlantic City, designed with an 18-seat kitchen counter overlooking the casino floor, will offer such Central signature dishes as a lobster burger and 72-hour short ribs.
Richard’s additional contributions to the resort will be O Bistro & Wine Bar and the Breakfast Room. The former will feature small plates — sliders, wings, Richard’s trademark goat cheese Caesar salad — and a view of the Atlantic Ocean, which helps explain the name: “O” is for ocean but also stands for the French word (eau) for water. The latter restaurant will help jumpstart the day — or end the night? — for guests staying in Revel’s 1,800 plus rooms.
The chef lists several reasons for gambling on Atlantic City in general and the 12-restaurant resort specifically: ”It’s not too far from home, the building is gorgeous and . . . many good chefs are over there.” Richard, who has visited the site half a dozen times and is putting up $1 million with the help of partners into the three venues, has hired a chef from an Atlantic City restaurant to oversee the new Central Michel Richard, but he declined to share the recruit’s name because the local chef has yet to give his current employer notice. “No one needs to move,” he says of the talent.
Richard is one of two Washington area chefs whose ideas have been tapped by Revel. Last month, Robert Wiedmaier announced that he would be bringing a 230-seat Mussel Bar to the resort, which will also host dining rooms from chefs Jose Garces of Philadelphia and Marc Forgione of New York.