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Mia at Caesars going Italian, thanks to Chef Chris Scarduzio

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Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 3:38 pm | Updated: 10:56 am, Thu Jun 21, 2012.

After seven years as a Mediterranean restaurant with French influences, Mia at http://www.atlanticcityinsiders.com&1-866-574-6835">Caesars Atlantic City is going Italian.

The gorgeous lobby restaurant that boasts an open design and features large pillars, granite bar and towering wine case will begin the transformation to an Italian restaurant this week, with a goal to be fully Italian by June 20, when its lunch menu will debut.

Mia is operated by Philadelphia chefs and restaurateurs Chris Scarduzio and Georges Perrier, but the Italian relaunch is focusing around the talents and passion of Scarduzio, an Italian American who always desired to have a forum to show off his heritage.

“Ever since Primavera closed at Caesars, there has been a void on property for a true Italian restaurant,” Scarduzio says. “So, as much as we enjoyed what we have been doing at Mia, it was time for a change. I think the property will really embrace a strong, ethnic Italian concept. This is right in my roots. Restaurants have to evolve. Ignorant operators and chefs don’t listen to customers and their customer base. I think this will be an amazing evolution for us at Mia.”

Scarduzio says his culinary team will embrace French techniques, but will also give the masses what they want.

“You can’t ignore French techniques so there is not red gravy all over the place,” he says. “But there are some options like that, such as our homemade spaghetti and meatballs (made from his grandmother’s recipe), chicken parm, things like that. The rest will be good, sound Italian cooking done well.”

There will be some remnants from the former Mia menu, mostly the Italian-inspired dishes that were the restaurant’s best-sellers — including Scarduzio’s homemade cavatelli, veal scaloppini with porcini mushrooms and Tallegio cheese, a prosciutto-wrapped veal tenderloin and a seafood plateau.

But the menu is basically being totally revamped with items such as locally caught fluke lightly egg-battered and fried with lemon, capers and butters “to accent the simplicity of the fish”; polenta with sweet Italian sausage, parmesan cheese, sweet garlic; homemade jumbo lobster ravioli with sweet English peas and crispy leeks in a lobster butter sauce; a grilled 14-ounce dry-aged ribeye with spinach parmesan risotto, charred green onions and garlic confit; antipasta with cured Italian meats and imported cheeses, marinades, vegetables and more; and pizza, panini, burgers and entrees on the lunch menu.

To say Scarduzio is excited about the transformation is an understatement.

“It just makes sense,” says Scaruzio, noting prices will be similar to Mia’s former menu. “We are in the lobby and there’s all that action there, and to have that big, beautiful restaurant with the lights off in the afternoon just never made sense to me. So now we are doing lunch and dinner, and we are going to deliver an even better product in a great environment that I know people will embrace. I am more emotional about this transition than anything in my recent career. This is like coming home for me.”

Mia’s new dinner menu will be fully implemented by Saturday, June 16, with lunch beginning Wednesday, June 20. Hours will be 11 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays to Sundays for lunch, 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays to Sundays for dinner. A happy hour is offered 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays with $4 beers, $5 wines and $8 cocktails and complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

On June 21, Mia will also offer another installment of its beer-tasting series, “The History of Yards Brewing Dinner. The 7 p.m. event will feature a six-course beer dinner featuring six Yards beers paired with Mia food for $90 which includes tax and gratuity.

For more information, go to www.caesarsac.com

 



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