Revel Wants to Be the Bellagio of Atlantic City

The newest beachside resort, some 6 years in the making, is finally opening up in May

The Exterior of Revel

Sure, Atlantic City is mostly known for its drinking and gambling establishments, but the latest fancy resort may just class up the place.

Revel, a 6.3 million-square-foot, 47-story behemoth, is bringing 14 restaurants, 10 pools, and a 31,000-square-foot spa to the boardwalk. If that's not enough, the resort is hyping itself up with restaurants from the likes of Marc Forgione, Alain Allegretti, and Michel Richard.

"We wanted to have a place where you could go to a different restaurant every night, or even when you came back you could go to a different restaurant, and not feel like you have to always eat the same thing or spend too much money," Revel CEO Kevin DeSanctis told us last night at the preview party.

Only 10 of the 14 restaurants have been announced, but among them we’re particularly excited for Marc Forgione’s American Cut. "We’re going to try and bring the sexy back into a steakhouse," Forgione told us.

Forgione will be serving up the "ultimate surf and turf" with a 3-pound dry-aged rib-eye and his signature chile lobster.

The Iron Chef star will also combine a fish crudo bar and a charcuterie bar, where diners can get "pâtés and rillets and Japanese Kobe beef by the ounce thinly sliced, but you can also get raw oysters and shrimp cocktail and all that kind of stuff."

Also from New York, chef Alain Allegretti is bringing his signature fish stew and seafood dishes to the Vegas of the East Coast, where he scored a restaurant with an ocean view.

"You can see yourself in the French Riviera, Nice, Saint-Tropez, Cahn," he told us. As for managing the boardwalk wanderers, he says he understands that they’re going to get a couple of casual diners.

"Keep in mind you’re on the front of the beach so everybody’s going to come in shorts or in flip flops," he told us. "You know, we’re going to try to avoid that. When you look at the restaurant, I don’t think someone will feel comfortable walking in like that, but if somebody does, please be my guest, you never know who it is."

And for Italian food (of course there’s Italian food), New York’s Lugo Caffé is opening an outpost helmed by Stefano Chiaruga, who worked in Las Vegas for 12 years.

"When the Bellagio opened in Las Vegas, it changed Las Vegas," Chiaruga told us. "So Revel can be the new change in Atlantic City. Atlantic City is a bit more old, but it has very good potential, so I’m excited about it. There is more history; for me it’s more like downtown Vegas."

Other restaurant concepts include a tapas bar, burger and bourbon bar, and a margarita bar from Jose Garces, as well as a Belgian gastro-pub with live entertainment from Robert Wiedmaier, and a bistro, small plates wine bar, and breakfast room from Michel Richard.

The resort opens May 25, 2012 and is located at 500 Boardwalk in Revel Beach, Atlantic City, N.J.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.