MGM National Harbor has revealed the entire slate of restaurants that its Maryland casino will boast when it opens later this year — including a massive food hall.
The food hall will feature a collection of ten different restaurants, ranging from tacos to banh mi. The casino will also feature a few spinoffs from other MGM properties, a pan-Asian destination restaurant, and some previously-announced celebrity chef-driven properties from Bryan and Michael Voltaggio, José Andrés, and Marcus Samuelsson.
Overseeing it all will be chef Jason Johnston, who comes to the project from Vegas, where he was executive sous chef at the AAA Five Diamond Bellagio Resort & Casino. Johnston told Eater he was drawn to the project due to its enormous scope, the appeal of working with Maryland resources and farms, and the prestigious chefs that have signed on, as well as the city's booming food scene. "I have been trying to dine at as many great restaurants as possible, but every time I check one off my list someone gives me two or three more places to try," he said.
Food halls have been sweeping the nation as a dining trend (another, Isabella Eatery from chef Mike Isabella, is slated to open in Tysons Corner next year). "It's what people are looking for these days and it's how people are eating — just look at The Ferry Building in San Francisco, Union Market in D.C. or the Food Hall at the Plaza in NYC," Johnston said. "People love walking into a bustling market and having great selections and authentic products that allow them to eat delicious food in a casual and affordable fashion."
The lineup for the food hall, named National Market, will include:
*Amo Los Tacos: A Southwestern restaurant with tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and more.
*Bahn Mi Vietnamese Kitchen: A stand focused on the Vietnamese sandwiches with spring rolls, pho, and more offerings.
*Bento: A Japanese counter where everything from sashimi to hand rolls are served in a bento box.
*District Deli: Sandwiches with fresh-carved roasted meats, plus cold-pressed juices.
*GWBW George Washington Beer & Wine: A bar with a local craft beer focus.
*Honey's Fried Chicken & Donuts: A Southern restaurant with menu items like biscuits, fried chicken, doughnuts, and fried pickles. Johnston is particularly excited about the chicken recipe. "Working to perfect fried chicken is an art and a science at the same time, but when you cook perfect fried chicken it is a thing of beauty — the salty crunch, juicy meat and a little drizzle of honey," he said.
*S'Cream: A retro ice cream shop, with the ice creams made in-house.
*Zizi's Pizza: A New York-style pizza place with whole pies, Sicilian pizza, calzones, garlic knots and more.
The MGM team is also finalizing details for two more food hall stands, including a crab shack and raw bar, and a fast-casual burger joint.
Meanwhile, rounding out the restaurant offerings will be TAP, a spinoff of the Vegas sports bar in the MGM Grand (there's another in Detroit), with a local spin (including menu items like crab cakes and lobster beignets); Ginger, a pan-Asian restaurant that draws from several cuisines featuring menu items like congee, fried noodles, and curry; and Bellagio Patisserie, inspired by the pastry shop in the Las Vegas hotel of the same name (there will be a 26-foot chocolate fountain there). Plans are for TAP to have a massive outdoor space with fire pits, bocce courts, and beer pong, Johnston said.
The celebrity chef-driven restaurants include Fish, a seafood restaurant from José Andrés, Marcus Samuelsson's Marcus and Voltaggio Brothers Steak House, the brothers' first restaurant together.
The casino is slated to open in the fourth quarter of this year, and all restaurants will debut at the time of opening, according to a spokesman.