HISTORIC HOTEL ANNOUNCES NEW HAT TAVERN TO REPLACE FAMOUS HUNT CLUB RESTAURANT The Grand Summit Hotel, a Summit, New Jersey landmark for over 140 years, has just unveiled plans to launch The HAT Tavern, a unique and comfortable restaurant and bar in the space currently occupied by The Hunt Club Restaurant.  Scheduled to open January, 25, 2011, the new, expansive tavern menu is South Florida Celebrity Chef Tony Sindaco’s latest concept in collaboration with award-winning Executive Chef Charles Burke of the hotel.

Sindaco, the former chef/owner of Fort Lauderdale’s critically acclaimed Sunfish Grill, and Chef Burke have created an exciting selection of foods specializing in the perfect burgers, tapas, salads and hearty comfort foods with “Jersey Fresh” ingredients sourced from local farms and produce companies.

The name HAT expresses the rich history of the property which charts its roots back to 1868 when the hotel was at the heart of the development of the town of Summit, NJ.  The original owner’s name, Mr. Robert Hatt, was immortalized in brick on the front façade of the hotel.  The second owner of the hotel, real estate magnate Harry A. Taylor, removed one of the T’s from the façade leaving his initials (HAT) still visible today.

The new décor will include polished stamped concrete floors, polished tavern tables, a communal dining bar with flat screen TV’s, tavern style lighting and a completely new presentation of flatware and glassware. Art will also play an important part in the restaurant.  Summit resident Michael Tcheyan will be curating a selection of paintings from local and New York artists to be displayed throughout the tavern and available for sale.

“We combined the feedback we received from our loyal local and corporate customers with what we felt was missing in the area and determined the concept of a classic burger done well in an environment comfortable to families, business travelers, and the local community was the right direction” says General Manager Mark Giangiulio. We live in the area, and our customers are our friends and neighbors. We believe the atmosphere is exactly what our customers have been looking for and the tavern will be unlike anything else in the area”.

Executive Chef Burke adds; “Guests are always asking me to expand on our most popular offerings like the Lump Crab Cakes and Shrimp Sauté which is the reason behind the tapas-style selections we will be offering. Tapas, in combination with the popularity of our comfort food selections, isa concept I have been wanting to explore for years and I am very excited to execute this type of venue.

Guests can start off with an array of small plates in the combination of their preference, tasting items like Steamed Little Neck Clams, Mac and Cheese, or Grilled Eggplant stuffed with Ricotta Roasted Peppers and Sundried Tomatoes.  The artisanal all-beef burger menu features the famous “La Frieda” blend, made up of brisket and short rib sourced from Creekstone Farms in Kentucky, naturally raised and hormone free, graded USDA Choice/Prime. Specialty burgers include the Greek Lamb Burger, the Salmon Burger, the Cuban Burger and the Chris Christy with 2 half pound patties, all accompanied by Jersey shore fries, lettuce, tomato and Patriot Pickles.  Additional selections include Beer Battered Tilapia, Baby Back Ribs and NY Strip Steak. There is an extensive children’s menu and kids 3 and under eat free every day.

The beverage selection will include an extensive list of domestic Ales from throughout the country in addition to a wide selection of wines from boutique and classic vineyards.  Milkshakes and Boylan root beer floats will also be on the menu, offered with a blast of liquor for the over 21 crowd.

“Our owners remain committed to the property and the town of Summit, NJ” adds Restaurant Manager Walter Curtis.  “We receive guest feedback on a daily basis.  Only in a small hotel can you take that feedback and turn it into reality with a direct line to the ownership group.”

Adds Giangiulio; “For the past couple of years, boutique type hotels have become all the rage with big comfortable lobbies and stone fireplaces around which guests can meet and exchange stories.  This has been a part of our DNA from inception in 1929 through the current ownership and management group which has operated the property for the past 30 years. And now we are expanding on that premise with this modern approach to the Hat Tavern.”

The hotel has made a commitment to play a role in “going green” and protecting the environment with compact fluorescent lighting throughout the property and the recycling of all materials and food waste.  The hotel is also at the forefront of fighting hunger locally in its involvement as a regular contributor to local food banks.


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