Gordon Ramsay is officially on the tri-state grid. The seven-Michelin Star chef is celebrating the grand opening of the first-ever Gordon Ramsay Steak concept at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City. Following the same style experience as its Las Vegas counterpart, the Atlantic City iteration can seat about 288 guests and features menu classics from smoked tartar to its prime beef selection—but with an AC spin.
Ramsay exclusively spoke with Philadelphia Style about his latest foray into the Atlantic City dining scene, juggling the kitchen with his television presence and if he’d ever consider expanding into Philadelphia.
Philadelphia Style: How will your Atlantic City steakhouse concept differ from your other steakhouse restaurants?
Gordon Ramsay: Gordon Ramsay Steak at Harrah’s Atlantic City will share a lot of the things diners have come to expect from my other steakhouses: great service, great steaks and a splash of Britain. Being so close to the ocean here, we’ll have more seafood offerings from the Atlantic unlike our other locations. We’ll also for the first time have an amazing eight-seat raw bar that guests can dine at.
PS: Will the menu be different?
GR: Like any Gordon Ramsay Steak, we’ll have the classics that people love: Sticky Toffee Pudding, Smoked Tartare and my classic Beef Wellington. But we’ll also be offering a stunning selection of local seafood and produce and seasonally adjust the menu.
PS: What will the interior be like?
GR: A classic modern feel but with hints of cool Britannia. Amazing British inspired art and décor with Union Jacks on the columns as well as blue and red leather booths.
PS: What inspired you to open your second Atlantic City location?
GR: It’s been exciting to help reignite the passion in this city with Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Atlantic City. When big restaurants open up in this neighborhood then it [also] helps other businesses.
PS: Have you had the chance to dine in any of Harrah's current restaurants? If so, how's the camaraderie between the different chefs/restaurants?
GR: The dining options at Harrah’s Resort offer everything from casual to modern or classic American dishes. I’m amazed by the diversity! Guests can enjoy one-of-a-kind milkshakes and signature burgers one night; and a lively, boozy-brunch or Mexican and Spanish street fare the next, and of course, Italian-American cuisine at Martorano’s. I honestly don’t know how they choose! Each chef has mastered their talents in their respective lanes, so I think there’s great admiration for the varied personalities and different culinary experiences we each bring to the table. Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars on the Atlantic City Beach and Boardwalk has been wildly successful since its debut just two years ago, so I’m very excited to open Gordon Ramsay Steak in Atlantic City’s sophisticated Marina District at Harrah’s Resort.
PS: What do you hope this steakhouse offers to the dining scene in Atlantic City?
GR: This will be the first Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Tri-State region. My steakhouse has become quite the favorite on the Vegas scene—so I can’t wait to offer Atlantic City, a first-class, Vegas-style experience—without the flight—accompanied by fresh dishes in a high-energy dining environment. For Philadelphians, New Yorkers and beyond, GR Steak will offer the same experience you would find at the top restaurants in cities around the globe, but you can get here on just a tank of gas, within drive time, for the ultimate weekend escape.
PS: How do you think Atlantic City's dining scene is evolving?
GR: Atlantic City, its iconic beach and the world-famous Boardwalk, have been a mainstay summer destination for decades. The recent enhancements of Caesars Atlantic City resorts and ongoing additions to its culinary portfolio continue to heighten the resorts’ appeal among travelers far and wide. I’m so excited to be a part of the resort’s ever-evolving changes!
PS: Following the opening of the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill at Caesars, what has the feedback been like? What are you most proud of?
GR: We’ve had great success at Pub & Grill with guests loving the variety of classic English pub favorites and extensive beer menu, and the décor and uniforms that give an authentic, lively atmosphere. We’re just into our third year at Pub & Grill as of February, and we’ve managed to localize the restaurant. In many ways, it’s become part of the community and a big pillar in the town. But for me the most important thing has been my team here, we literally have something like 88 percent of the same team that opened here three years ago. They’re a passionate bunch and it’s just a joy being here.
PS: How do you juggle these restaurants with your television shows? What’s the best part about it all?
GR: I’m a busy person and I like it that way, which is why I’m very lucky to have an amazing team who make it all happen. I work very closely with them and they know exactly what to do to bring a new restaurant to life. We also make sure that we work with the right partners on the ground, who really understand our brand and have the same commitment to protecting it.
PS: What do you love about Atlantic City—especially the palate of diners in the Tri-State area (specifically Atlantic City and Philadelphia)?
GR: The tenacity and the attitude of the locals here is second to none. It’s been amazing here, and Atlantic City is really becoming a true dining destination.
PS: Switching gears to Philadelphia, in your opinion, how has its dining scene evolved?
GR: I fell in love with Philadelphia about 12 years ago when we started casting for participants on Hell’s Kitchen and always in that top five [and] top six, guaranteed, 50 percent of the brigade were from Philly. The chefs are talented, passionate and they just want it. You need that level of passion, and that’s all you need.
PS: Have you ever thought of expanding your footprint to Philadelphia?
GR: I love Philly, it’s such a great food city with great, hard-working people and produces great talent like my Group Executive Chef Christina Wilson. I’d love to one day, but for now a weekender to Atlantic City will do.
PS: Any other upcoming projects you’d like to mention?
GR: A lot of exciting things in the pipeline on the restaurant front and I’m excited for my new FOX series 24 Hours to Hell & Back to premiere June 13. Fans have been asking for Kitchen Nightmares to return so I’ve brought something that feels similar but turns that show on its head and I can’t wait for them to see.