Inside Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen on a fiery first day in Atlantic City

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Just off the main level of Caesars Atlantic City Gordon Ramsay welcomed guests to his new restaurant on Wednesday, the first day it opened to the public.

“Welcome to Hell’s Kitchen Atlantic City,” Ramsay said.

But to the dismay of some guests, it wasn’t the actual Gordon Ramsay standing at the reception, but rather a hologram of the chef and TV personality.

And to make the atmosphere even more realistic, he even threw some insults.

The fiery-themed restaurant, based on the reality TV show, is the first on the East Coast and part of the $200 million resort’s transformation.

Ann Marie Fusaro of Westfield has her photo taken next to a Gordon Ramsay hologram before dining at Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Atlantic City, Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

“We are honored to continue our long-standing partnership with Chef Gordon Ramsay and celebrate the opening today of Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen on Atlantic City’s famous Boardwalk,” said John Koster, Regional President, Caesars Entertainment. , in a press release.

Ramsay added, “The energy of Hell’s Kitchen dining will be a perfect match for this iconic city as it transforms into a true East Coast foodie destination.”

This is Ramsay’s third restaurant in Atlantic City, the other two being Steak Gordon Ramsay at Harrah’s Resort and Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Atlantic City.

But for hardcore Ramsay fans, Hell’s Kitchen is the one they’ve been waiting for.

“We literally take the TV show Hell’s Kitchen and bring it to life,” said general manager Chris Conger.

Jessica Wilson and her boyfriend Ryshon Kelly drove about three hours from Cambridge, Maryland to be one of the first to experience the restaurant. They sat down at a table just after 4:30 p.m. near the open plan kitchen, before the dining room started to fill up.

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen in Atlantic City

Jessica Wilson and her boyfriend Ryshon Kelly, of Cambridge, Maryland, look at the menu at Gordon Ramsay HellÕs Kitchen at Caesars Atlantic City, Wednesday, September 21, 2022.Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Kelly said he was a huge Ramsay fan, watched all of his cooking shows and went to all of his restaurants. The plan for their first visit to Hell’s Kitchen was to go to California, but that changed once they learned that Atlantic City was going to open a restaurant.

While perusing the menu, they glanced at rack of lamb and Ramsay’s signature dish, beef Wellington.

“I look forward to a good meal because we always eat well. We’re looking to spend a lot of money tonight,” Kelly said with a laugh.

A good meal wasn’t all they were looking for as the couple hoped Ramsay could make an appearance on opening day.

“I would just like to hear him say garbage,” Kelly said.

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen in Atlantic City

Guests descend on the Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Dining Room at Caesars Atlantic City, Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Before the anxious and hungry crowd began to filter down the steps which are under the red glow of Ramsay’s quote “pressure is healthy and very few can handle it”, down to the dining room, Conger was busy s to make sure everything was in place.

“We carry the Gordon Ramsay brand, so we wanted to make sure we carried it through,” he said.

And with a group shout of “hell yeah” to end the front and back of house meetings, Hell’s Kitchen was officially open.

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen in Atlantic City

The end of a pre-shift meeting during opening night at the Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Atlantic City, Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The upper level is the casino floor where there is a bar that seats 30 people and a lounge area with 15 tables. A cutout in the floor allows a view of the featured kitchen and dining area.

Emerging from the red glow of the steps is the main dining room and kitchen where portraits of all the Hell’s Kitchen winners hang on the wall.

The “star of the show” is the red and blue kitchen that represents both teams on the reality show, Conger explained, where every seat in the dining room has a view of the action.

Beneath the forked chandeliers are two eight-tiered tables that are closest to the kitchen.

“You’re literally sitting in the action, you’re right there, you smell the food. You can pretty much taste it before it even gets to your table,” Conger said.

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen in Atlantic City

The view from the dining room to the living room of the Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Atlantic City, Wednesday, September 21, 2022.Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

The first level is next to the promenade where another bar will be, but it is still under construction.

The restaurant, which seats 233 people on three levels, is an elevated and detailed dining experience, from food and cocktails to glassware and plates.

Lobster risotto and seared scallops are two notable entrees at Le Conger along with Beef Wellington and crispy-skinned salmon. The signature dessert is sticky caramel pudding.

The cocktails are a work of art starting with the popular Smoke on the Boardwalk, made with Knob Creek rye and infused with smoked cherry wood, and the Meet Your Maker, made with Maker’s Mark bourbon with Domaine liqueur. de Canton, mint, apple and strawberry. .

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen in Atlantic City

Bartender Santos Moradel presents the Smoke on the Boardwalk cocktail at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Atlantic City, Wednesday, September 21, 2022. The drink is made with Knob Creek rye, aperol, amaro averna, vermouth sweet dolin, infused with smoky cherry wood. Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Conger said over the next few days they estimate over 1,000 reservations and are roughly booked through December, but will have some wiggle room for those looking for that Hell’s Kitchen experience.

“It’s a restaurant that I really believe Atlantic City hasn’t really seen before and I think it’s something that Atlantic City really needs,” he said.

And Conger isn’t the only one to think that.

Outside on the boardwalk were Alexis Jones and her husband MJ, patiently awaiting their 7.30pm reservation.

“It should be a great experience and I expect it to be,” MJ said, adding that they had been to the other Ramsay restaurants in town, with the Pub and Grill being their favorite so far. here.

The Atlantic City couple watched every episode of Hell’s Kitchen and agreed that now was the perfect time to open it.

Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen in Atlantic City

Crispy Skin Salmon at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Atlantic City, Wednesday, September 21, 2022. Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

“I think the opening of Hell’s Kitchen, and Nobu with it, is going to add a lot more to the restaurant boom going on in the city,” MJ said. The Nobu restaurant, which will also be at Caesars, is expected to open in mid-October.

Starting next Thursday, Hell’s Kitchen will hold weekly viewing events where guests can come and watch the new season of the reality show and will include food and drink menus and a table of all the contestants for easy tracking of who is in and who is out.

Conger said there was a lot of excitement surrounding the restaurant and Ramsay himself had such intrigue for so many different people.

“I’ve never seen anything like it where people walk in and all they want to do is take pictures and find out where it is.”

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Tim Hawk can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Tim on Instagram @photog_hawk.

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