Atlantic City, NJ (March 19, 2008) - This June, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will redefine dining in Atlantic City, when it opens Izakaya – A Modern Japanese Pub. The East Coast’s preeminent dining destination welcomes acclaimed chef and star of Style Network’s “Pantry Raid,” Michael Schulson, who will oversee this innovative concept, offering guests a unique way to indulge their appetites for both enticing Japanese cuisine and an alluring social scene, within a sensual, energetic environment.
“Opening my first restaurant at Borgata was a natural decision for me as it truly elevated the city to a leading dining destination,” said Chef Michael Schulson. “My vision for Izakaya is to offer a contemporary interpretation of Japanese fare in a unique setting that is upscale, but not uptight.”

By traditional Japanese terms, an izakaya is a cross between a restaurant and bar, bringing together diverse types of Japanese cuisine under one roof. Borgata will push the boundaries of the concept, crafting its own interpretation of “a modern Japanese pub” by infusing a refreshing, contemporary and playful vibe throughout several of Izakaya’s engaging environments. Guests can choose to converse over small plates and cocktails at the communal sushi and sake bars, or alternatively dine in one of the more intimate restaurant areas, which will offer options for a full, multi-course meal. The restaurant will also boast an authentic Robatayaki grill or Japanese barbeque, allowing guests to dine at the Robatayaki bar.

Izakaya’s tempting cocktails and sharable plates make it the premier spot for after-hours nosh and drinks, or a delicious late night meal. The restaurant’s wide selection of traditional and contemporary drinks dually make it the ideal start to a night of dancing and socializing for guests set to continue their evening at nightclubs mur.mur and MIXX. A resident DJ will set the mood throughout the space with combinations of sensual beats and upbeat global sounds, making Izakaya the place to see and be seen for the fashionable set.

Inspired by his time living in Japan and global travels, Schulson will create a dining experience that celebrates traditional Japanese culture with classic dishes, an expanded sushi menu and tea service presented with a modern approach.  Menu highlights include Poached Sweet Shrimp with Sake Cherry Bomb; Lobster Ramen Noodles with Lemongrass and Tobiko; Teriyaki Pork Belly with Spicy Shallots and Steamed Buns; fresh fish options such as Tuna Tartare with Smoked Ponzu and Hamachi Salad with Ramps Spring Onions and Hot Oil; light refreshing salads, tempura and meat and seafood from the Robatayaki grill. Many of the ingredients served at Izakaya will be sourced locally and Schulson will create a flavored soy sauce and udon noodles, among other menu staples, as a foundation to many signature dishes.  Schulson’s menu items will be complemented by signature cocktails and a vast array of high-end sake, hand-picked by the restaurant’s Sake Sommelier.

The stylish restaurant, created by New York based designers Rafael Alvarez and Brannen Brock of Alvarez-Brock Design, offers a contemporary interpretation of Asian elements, including a floating glass sake bar, a modern pagoda-style sushi bar and a glass bridge entrance over water. The restaurant will accommodate up to 200 guests. The multi-leveled, dimly lit space offers a number of experienced-based dining options, creating a unique energy throughout the room. 

Izakaya will offer guests a seamless blend of dining and nightlife in a singular destination,” explains Nicolas Kurban, VP of Food and Beverage for Borgata. “The innovative concept will further elevate and diversify Borgata’s dining portfolio with Michael Schulson’s exceptional cuisine and an atmosphere that’s fun, lively and equally enticing.  With the addition of Michael to our roster of celebrated chefs, no where else on the East Coast can you experience such high-caliber dining.”
Michael Schulson and Izakaya join Borgata’s stellar of chefs and restaurants, including Wolfgang Puck (Wolfgang Puck American Grille), Bobby Flay (Bobby Flay Steak), Michael Mina (SEABLUE – A Michael Mina Restaurant), Geoffrey Zakarian (The Water Club, A Signature Hotel By Borgata – opening June 2008) and restaurants Old Homestead Steakhouse, Specchio and Ombra. 

About Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Borgata is a joint venture of Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and MGM MIRAGE NYSE:MGM). Located at Renaissance Pointe in Atlantic City, it features 2,000 guest rooms and suites, 161,000 square feet of gaming, 200 gaming tables, 4,100 slot machines, 14 destination restaurants, 12 retail boutiques, a 54,000 square foot spa, 70,000 square feet of event space and parking for 7,100 cars. For more information on Borgata, please visit Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at; additional information on MGM MIRAGE can be found at Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at ; additional information on MGM MIRAGE can be found at
Noel Stevenson
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
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