An MGM Grand casino at National Harbor is one of three proposals under consideration by the Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission, the body assigned with awarding the state's sixth and final casino license to one of three bidders: MGM, Greenwood Racing or Penn National Gaming. The three parties have been presenting their bids to the commission this week; you can read much more on the casino bids, which include sweeteners like profit-givebacks, from my Post colleagues J. Freedom du Lac, Jonathan O'Connell and John Wagner.
There's a tasty food angle to MGM's bid, however: Whether MGM's bid is accepted or not, the Nevada-based gaming giant is already planning the menu for future gamblers, and it includes a commitment from Voltaggio brothers Bryan (Volt, Range, Family Meal) and Michael (Los Angeles's Ink) to collaborate on a "steakhouse and gastro-lounge," according to MGM's presentation to the commission.
It would be the first joint operation for the brothers if MGM's bid wins. (The brothers walked away from Ellipsis, a joint project in Mumbai, before it got off the ground.) And if it happens, it would represent an about-face from Bryan, who earlier this year said he couldn't imagine ever sharing a kitchen with his brother:
"Even though we work well together in what we do now, putting us in the same kitchen I don’t think would ever work. There would never be the Voltaggio family business or kitchen.”
With successful restaurants on opposite coasts, it's most likely the brothers would exert their influence on menu design, rather than cooking side-by-side in a future kitchen at National Harbor.
Whatever the brothers' day-to-day involvement, theirs is the main dining attraction in MGM's proposal, which also boasts of projects from Southern barbecue specialists Gina and Pat Neely, of Food Network fame; and James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini, formerly of New York's Le Cirque and Cafe Boulud and currently at trendy kitchens Locanda Verde and the Dutch.
MGM isn't the only food-focused bidder. The Baltimore Business Journal reports Greenwood Racing is in talks with Wolfgang Puck, Ri Ra Irish Pub and Philadelphia's Chickie's and Pete's.
(Update: J. Freedom du Lac reports Wolfgang Puck would also have a presence at a National Harbor casino, according to remarks by MGM Resorts International president Bill Hornbuckle.)