Celebrity chef Todd English to open restaurant at Live! Casino & Hotel
As Live! Casino & Hotel prepares to debut its luxury accommodations, its owners are infusing the hotel’s restaurant with the star power of a celebrity chef.
The new hotel at the Hanover casino — formerly known as Maryland Live! — will debut David’s by Todd English, a restaurant that will serve world cuisine inspired by owner David Cordish’s travels. The restaurant, which will serve customers 24 hours a day, is slated to open in early 2018 — at the same time the hotel opens its doors.
Live! Casino is one of a number of casinos and entertainment developments owned by the Cordish Cos., and the company works with other celebrity chefs (for example, Bobby Flay has a Bobby’s Burger Palace at Live! Casino). The Cordish Cos. selected English for the forthcoming hotel’s restaurant for his experience and charisma, said Rob Norton, president of Cordish Global Gaming.
“As we started to look at our options for the additional dining that are going to go into the hotel, we went through a lot of different ideas, and what we landed on was that Todd English really is one of the highly recognizable chefs in the entire world,” Norton said. “It just seems to be a natural partnership.”
English owns and operates a number of restaurants worldwide including Todd English’s Olives, Todd English P.U.B. and Todd English’s Figs. And he has hosted and appeared on a number of television shows including “Food Trip with Todd English,” “Top Chef,” “Iron Chef” and “Cooking Under Fire.”
The Cordish Cos. recently partnered with English to open Todd English Tavern at Live! at the Battery Atlanta as part of the retail and restaurant district at SunTrust Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves.
“I enjoy working with them. I feel that it’s an interesting take on the restaurant,” English said of David’s. “I like restaurants that have themes … you need to have a reason.”
In this case, the theme is Cordish.
“When you consider what we’re doing, which a a concept that is designed around David Cordish and his worldly experience, Todd, we felt, gave us an incredible opportunity to develop that menu to speak to David’s favorite things,” Norton said.
One of those things is breakfast. As such, the restaurant will offer breakfast all day.
“That’s my favorite meal, always has been,” Cordish said. "I will frequently on a Sunday night have breakfast for dinner. You can’t beat it.”
Blueberry pancakes were a must on the menu, Cordish said. English said diners can expect traditional breakfast fare, as well as healthier preparations of certain dishes, such as oatmeal made with nut milk instead of dairy. The restaurant will also carry brunch options, such as Maryland crab cakes on biscuits with tempura asparagus.
Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish, Asian and American cuisine will populate the menu, which is still being developed. Overall, the menu will be approachable and true to Cordish’s tastes, English said.
“He is quite the gourmet. He loves to eat, has dined all over the world,” English said. “It doesn’t really have to be the fanciest food. It’s not pretentious, it’s supposed to be fun. It’s really about a selection of foods.”
The restaurant will seat about 130, plus 50 more at an adjoining bar (a separate concept that has yet to be named).
Cordish said visits to the Todd English Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel in New York solidified his decision to bring one of the celebrity chef’s restaurants to his Maryland casino.
“We know him very well, we’ve been doing business with him now for some time and, you know, he’s one of the great-name chefs in the country, in the world,” Cordish said.
In addition to the restaurant menu, a separate menu of items developed by English will be available for room service at the hotel.
“It’s not just creating the in-dining-room experience, it’s also creating the dining-in-room experience,” Norton said.
Cordish said he expects the addition of English’s name to bolster the hotel and casino. The news of English’s new restaurant comes just after the competing Horseshoe Baltimore Casino announced its plans to open a Gordon Ramsay Steak restaurant.
Cordish anticipates at least half the restaurant’s business to come from rewards members at the casino, who can put points earned from gambling toward food purchases. Others, he expects will come to the restaurant for the dining experience alone.
“Families can come, non-gamers can come, and I think we’re going to do very, very well for where we’re located,” Cordish said.