Rolling The Dining Dice: Three New Restaurants Hit Ac

Chef Michael Schulson, star of the Style Network series Pantry Raid and former executive chef at Stephen Starr’s massive Buddakan in Manhattan, just opened his first restaurant, Izakaya, in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Earlier in his career, Schulson spent seven months travelling with chefs in Japan. The only places they wanted to eat were the Izakayas, or pubs. "They were cooler, hipper, trendier places with dazzling food," he says. His eclectic, updated Izakaya will follow the small plate trend but offer a big selectionâ€"more than 125 items in all, including miso-glazed eggplant with crispy tofu, lamb loin with braised daikon, and poached sweet shrimp (above). Lots of liquidity, too: a host of Japanese teas and beers and 20 sakes by the glass.

This month Philadelphia’s Stephen Starr, who established a successful beachhead in Atlantic City with a branch of Buddakan, marches on with the opening of Chelsea Prime steakhouse and Teplitzky’s, a retro coffee shop, in the new non-casino Chelsea Hotel. "Not everybody wants to walk through a casino to get to a restaurant, myself included," Starr says. Does A.C.â€"with Bobby Flay Steak and the Knife & Fork Innâ€"need a third steakhouse? "I don’t look at it in those terms," Starr says. "I look at what kind of unique experience can I provide? It will have the feel of a 1940s private supper club, with awesome views of the ocean, the highest quality beef, and the highest level of service. You won’t want to go to these other steakhouses after you see this."

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