The silverware is shined, the linens white and crisp and the staff eager to serve at the new Magnolia House restaurant. Celebrity Chef Kelly English debuted Magnolia House during an opening celebration among community leaders and invited guests. Attendees were treated to featured menu items and a tour of the highly anticipated restaurant, which opens at the soon-to-be Harrah’s Gulf Coast to the public on May 3. The new fine-dining amenity is ready to welcome and delight its guests with newly crafted dishes by the award-winning celebrity chef.
During the opening celebration, members of the community saw the restaurant’s Southern charm come to life as they walked through each of the unique rooms, sampling Kelly’s signature Magnolia House menu items, including Au Gratin Crab and Gulf Oysters with Cathead Vodka Mignonette. Further sweetening the event, were Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bites with Graham Cracker Crumble and Spiced Crème Anglaise.
English who was a Food & Wine magazine “Best New Chef” and a James Beard Award Semifinalist wanted his new restaurant to stand apart from the other dining options found on the Gulf Coast. “The vision behind Magnolia House was to bring people a refreshing restaurant concept, that offers exceptional food in a comfortable environment,” said English. “In exploring the different creative options, we thought nothing would accomplish that better than a restaurant designed around a Southern home. After all, that’s what the South is known for – its hospitality. When you bring that to the table, along with food you can’t experience anywhere else, you have a winning combination.”
The opening celebration was the perfect opportunity to showcase the menu and atmosphere coming together and completing the idyllic vision. And guests have even more to look forward to than just the food and hospitality. Aptly greeting guests inside the restaurant is a special work of art titled, “Magnolia” that Kelly’s personal friend and acclaimed Memphis, Tennessee artist, Jimpsie Ayres, created exclusively for the eatery. The unique touches continue with original works of art from the talented New Orleans based artist, Max Ryan.
“We wanted to create an indelible experience for our guests. Part of that is the décor and that’s where Max comes in,” said Jonathan Jones, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Gulf Coast. “Max’s collection perfectly complements Magnolia House, because like Kelly, he’s native to the South and his collection is representative of the culture of our region. We’re excited and proud to work with a distinguished local artist like Max.”
Ryan, who works primarily with acrylic paints on canvas, uses texture, rich colors and special treatments that are inspired by various architectural details to create robust abstract contemporary works full of personality. Patrons will not only be able to enjoy his artistic talent when they dine, but they will also have the opportunity to purchase the pieces of art that adorn the walls of Magnolia House, many of which, were created exclusively for the new restaurant.
The unveiling of Magnolia House was an important milestone in the transformation of Grand Biloxi Casino into Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Set to raise the standard in the culinary community, Harrah’s Gulf Coast is confident that Magnolia House will become a staple in the Southern culinary scene.
About Harrah’s Gulf Coast
Harrah’s Gulf Coast is a Caesars Entertainment property. Located on the beaches of Biloxi, Mississippi, the 33,000-square-foot upgraded casino boasts 800 of the newest and hottest slot machines, 35 action-packed table games, an Asian gaming room and four new dining options: Magnolia House, a fine-dining restaurant by Celebrity Chef Kelly English, the 24-hour restaurant, Steak ‘n Shake, an improved lounge and outdoor bar, Mix & Mingle that connects to a pool oasis and Flavors Buffet. The new restaurants join Harrah’s Gulf Coast’s other award-winning amenities, including Grand Bear – a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course - and the 16,000-square-foot relaxation retreat Bellissimo Salon & Spa, complete with a fitness center. In early 2014, Harrah’s Gulf Coast, formerly Grand Biloxi Casino, Hotel and Spa, underwent extensive renovations that included a redesign of the casino floor and hotel room upgrades. The project also involved a 450,000-square-foot outdoor event venue that overlooks the Gulf of Mexico. Featuring Total Rewards®, the most inclusive loyalty program in the country, guests have access to exclusive benefits across the country with the ability to redeem offers and reward credits at any of the 40 destinations within the network. For more information, please visit www.HarrahsGulfCoast.com.