MGM National Harbor near Washington DC Partnering with Several Celebrity Chefs
Several celebrity chefs have signed deals with the MGM National Harbor to open restaurants on the grounds of the complex. Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, Marcus Samuelsson, and Jose Andres all have signed to open storefronts at the MGM National Harbor, which is located near Washington DC in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Each of the restaurateurs brings a different flavor and different vibe, so the dining experiences for gamblers and their family members should remain fresh. Each of the chefs say they view the MGM National Harbor development as a way to create a different type of restaurant than they’ve offered in the past.
MGM National Harbor Amenities
The MGM National Harbor will be an integrated casino resort when it opens in the second half of 2016. It is expected to include world class amenities, including a 125,000 square feet of gaming space, convention facilities, 18,000 square feet of retail stores, and a 3,000-seat theater. The hotel is going to be much smaller, with only 300 rooms, but these rooms are expected to be high dollar suites. This allows local business owners in Prince George’s County to add hotel space for other gamblers.
Though the casino is located in Maryland, it is situated to draw in the wealthy and middle classes who work in Washington D.C. This includes residents in the Beltway area and Northern Virginia, which is home to many people who work for federal government agencies in the District of Columbia.
Marcus Samuelsson on the Competing Chefs
When asked about the competing chefs on the National Harbor complex, those involved see the competition as a good thing. Most view themselves well-served by creating a restaurant row of the best and best-known chefs. Marcus Samuelsson said, “As a chef, you think about that collection of restaurants.”
Local newspapers have begun to preview the dining experiences available. Any such preview should start with the Voltaggio Brothers, who are native to Maryland. Though they were rivals on “Top Chef”, the two siblings are ready to collaborate on a steakhouse they describe as a “mashup”.
Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse
The brothers have not agreed upon a name for their coming restaurant, but they have agreed it’s going to have about 200 seats and is going to be a steakhouse which featuresmeat, poultry, and fish. Dishes are going to be cooked on wood dried in-house.
Bryan Voltaggio, who has placed second on both Top Chef and Top Chef Masters, is the co-owner of 5 successful restaurants: RANGE, VOLT, AGGIO, Family Meal, and Lunchbox. He said, “It’s Michael and I cooking steak as we present it in our house. This will be our first mashup cooking together.”
Michael Voltaggio, who went to Los Angeles to gain his fame as the owner of Ink in Los Angeles, defeated his brother on the Top Chef competition. When asked about returning to the Maryland dining scene, Michael said, “I’m just happy Bryan is letting me come back to the East Coast.”
Jose Andres’s New Fish Restaurant
The allure of Jose Andres’ addition is it will be his first attempt at a seafood restaurant. Jaleo serves traditional Spanish tapas. Oyamel serves antojitos and other all plates. China Chilcano is a little more ambitious, offering a fusion of Chinese, Japanese, and Peruvian foods. But never has he done seafood dishes for the public.
The Spaniard said this is a long ambition of his, one he felt was inevitable. He said, “I wanted to give it a try. As a Spanish chef, we love seafood culture.”
Jose Andres is another natural for the Washington area. He has opened 10 restaurants in the area around MGM National Harbor: 7 restaurants in Washington D.C., one in McLean, Virginia, one in Bethesda, Maryland, and another in Arlington, Virginia.
Along with the area ties, Jose Andres has built eateries in casinos before, such as the two restaurants he opened at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Marcus Samuelsson’s 1st DC Restaurant
This is the first foray Marcus Samuelsson has made in the Georgetown area. The Ethiopian-born, Sweden-raised chef has opened a dozen resturants around the world, including Sweden, Bermuda, California, Chicago, and New York City.
His two Manhattan Island restaurants — Harlem’s Red Rooster — is his current claim to fame, but he was a celebrated chef long before Red Rooster opened. At age 24, Samuelsson was a celebrated chef at Restaurant Aquavit, winning “Best Chef: New York City” in 2003. He later prepared the meal at President Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration dinner.
Marcus Samuelsson views the MGM National Harbor restaurant as a new and exciting challenge, and a learning experience. He told the Washington Times, “D.C. is such a good food town today. I want to take a lot of time to learn about the city.“
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