Atlantic City will lose one of its finest restaurants when Seablue: A Michael Mina Restaurant closes its doors at the end of the year at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.
Joe Lupo, senior vice president of operations for Borgata, says Seablue’s last service will be on New Year’s Eve.
“We have a very good relationship with Chef Mina and The Michael Mina Group, and we have valued the opportunity for the last six years,” Lupo says. “Unfortunately, our current demand just doesn’t require six fine-dining offerings due to the market conditions of Atlantic City. We are sorry to announce the closing of Seablue.”
Seablue opened in 2006 when Borgata expanded its casino floor to also include Wolfgang Puck American Grille, Bobby Flay Steak, mur.mur, The Cafeteria food court, a poker room and other table games and slots.
Since opening, Seablue has received tremendous critical acclaim and was hands-down Atlantic City’s best seafood restaurant thanks to Mina’s creative approach to the cuisine, fusing modern techniques with traditional, fresh ingredients to make signature items such as Dungenness crab cakes, the whimsical but delicious lobster corn dogs and the 2-pound Maine lobster pot pie, which at times hovered around the $100 mark.
Unfortunately, the high-end price point and seafood theme didn’t resonate with the masses, and Mina — a well-known figure on the West Coast, particularly San Francisco and Las Vegas — didn’t have the name recognition to compete with celebrity chefs Flay and Puck. Instead of pursuing TV gigs, Mina is content to let his food do the talking, and he earned some of the greatest awards a chef could acquire including a Michelin star, Gayot’s Restaurateur of the Year, Bon Appetit’s Chef of the Year and more.
The Michael Mina Group refused comment about the closing. Borgata currently has no plans for the beautiful Seablue space.
“We always evaluate our departments, their efficiency and the marketing of all of our departments, but right now, we have no immediate plans,” Lupo says. “Since 2003, Borgata has led the food and beverage program in Atlantic City — both casual and fine dining — and we expect that we will continue to lead the market.”
Lupo says he knows longtime Seablue fans will be disappointed by the news.
“It was not about the quality of the experience, which was always amazing,” Lupo says. “We know some people will be sad to hear the news, but it was a decision we had to make. There is no shortage of steaks and seafood here with Fornelletto, Izakaya, Flay, Puck and Old Homestead, plus our more casual experiences.”