When a new spot opens, I try to stop in to see what all the fuss is about. Most times it’s much ado about nothing, but here and there you find a place worth returning to. Such is the case with Bar Olon, one of Iron Chef Jose Garces’ newest concepts, located in Tropicana Atlantic City.
Bar Olon is attached to Olon, one of the best Latin-inspired seafood restaurants you will find anywhere. It’s been open since last year, but I figured I would give them some time to get things really rolling. And they have. Not that there was much concern, as Garces is a legend in these parts.
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I stopped in on a Saturday with some friends. The large bar that fills in the entirety of the entrance is accented with chic, yet comfy seating areas that would be at home in any of New York’s best lounges. The bar itself is done in tones of white with a myriad of icy blue stools.
On the night we were there, a Latin band was in full swing. While not the type of music I would normally put on at home, it added a bit of upbeat authenticity to this Latin-themed hotspot.
The cocktail menu here makes use of some interesting ingredients. I ordered a “Flight of The Condor” — a refreshing blend of pisco, lime, egg white and roasted pineapple. Roasting the pineapple did a nice job of adding a bit of smokiness to tone back the sweet and tart elements of the drink.
They have a nice list of mezcals, which is not something you see a lot, so we sampled several of those, as well, before finding something to munch on.
The menu at Bar Olon is a tough cookie because everything on it sounds so good that it can be tricky to choose. Ultimately, we decided to sample several of their anticuchos, which may sound exotic and unfamiliar, but are simply marinated skewers of various meats. We went with the pork belly — the skirt steak and shrimp varieties. The skirt steak was the winner, but only by a hair. Each were incredibly flavorful, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them.
If you are a fan of nightlife it’s hard not to love Tropicana Atlantic City. With its endles…
We had a few more rounds, listened to the Latin band and eventually called it a night — a thoroughly satisfying bar experience. As Mr. Schwarzenegger would say, “I’ll be back.”