Atlantic City Weekly Top 40 - Brennan

Michael Brennan

Chef Michael Brennan threw down the gauntlet as he closed the doors at Cardinal Bistro, his popular Ventnor restaurant earlier this year. “I am going to bring the best restaurant in the country to Atlantic City,” he declared.

Chef Brennan and his father and business partner Tom announced today that their new restaurant, Cardinal, will begin the hard work of fulfilling that promise when it opens its doors in the first half of 2020 on the beach block of New York Avenue.

 The new concept will expand on Chef Brennan’s vision of “creative approachability” — a term he’s coined to emphasize his focus on sourcing local ingredients and preparing recognizable dishes in the New American style. Lunch and dinner will be served, offering a range of options “from the sea”, “from the garden” and “from the farm,” including some of Cardinal Bistro’s signature dishes.

“Cardinal is the culmination of my past culinary adventures in New York City, Chicago, Charleston and Philadelphia. I’m excited to bring the flavors from these varied experiences to Atlantic City,” said Chef Brennan.

The most notable addition to Cardinal’s offering will be its thoughtful list of handcrafted cocktails, curated wines and collection of locally brewed beers and distilled spirits (not to mention non-alcoholic “zero proof cocktails”).

In addition to high quality, locally sourced dishes and perfectly paired drinks, Cardinal is committed to Danny Meyer’s concept of “enlightened hospitality” ensuring that each guest’s experience is exceptional. All of this starts with the team at Cardinal and the culture of hospitality it aims to cultivate internally and throughout Atlantic City.

“We understand that it is how we make the guest feel that really matters. Our team at Cardinal will be knowledgeable and caring, so we can consistently deliver warm and welcoming service from the moment the guest walks in the door,” said Tom Brennan.

Cardinal will be located at 151 S. New York Avenue, former home of Mama Mott’s, the famed Italian restaurant opened by Billy Mott and most recently operated by the Faldetta family. The location has provided memorable moments to Atlantic City diners for generations and Cardinal plans to build on that legacy.

“Cardinal is more than a restaurant,” said Chef Brennan. “It’s part of a movement happening in the Orange Loop to build Atlantic City one block at a time. We’re focused on building community, bringing excitement back to hospitality, and creating magical experiences for our guests.”

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Associate Editor, At The Shore/ACWeekly

Freelance reporter for At The Shore/Atlantic City Insiders from 2011-2015; Editor in Chief,,2014-2015; Writer for Zagat, 2013

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