Business & Finance

Changing Seasons Bring New Menu Offerings to Fall For at HAT Tavern


You won’t find any grass growing under the feet of HAT Tavern General Manager Walter Curtis. Curtis opened the area’s hottest go-to spot in 2011 and returned recently to take the reins once again. Anyone who has spoken to Walter -- or 'WC' as he is known to his senior managers -- for any length of time is well aware of Walter’s passion for all things food and libation.

While the HAT Tavern prides itself on a simple menu filled with delicious offerings, they understand the need to modify the product from time to time, without looking like they are chasing trends.

“I would say that 50% of our business is from repeat customers,” says Curtis. “Whether the guest be a repeat guest of the hotel, or a resident in Summit or the surrounding towns, they are often here quite a bit, and they appreciate a subtle change to the menu.”

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“The quarterly change to the menu affords us the opportunity to show what we can do,” offers long time Executive Chef Charles Burke. Burke oversees the entire culinary operation from the hotel's bustling private event business to the daily pressure cooker that is the HAT Tavern.

“Just as we love to sit down with a bride and groom to discuss personalizing a menu for their wedding, we apply our passion for creating a product in the HAT that is well received by our loyal customers,” says Burke.

Depending on the day, you might just see Curtis or Burke bringing new items out from the kitchen for customers to sample to gauge both interest and excitement for a soon-to-be-released menu item.

It is no secret that as the weather turns our wardrobes from flip-flops to flannel and fleece, our appetites heat up as well. It’s that time of year when we enjoy all of the hearty offerings that the autumn season has to offer leading into the holiday season. Enticing menu items being rolled out with the autumn / winter weather approaching include:


Golden Beets, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad (new) - $11, replaces Sugar Snap Pea Salad


Roasted Root Vegetables, Carrots, Turnips, and Red Beets n Coconut Oil (new) - $8, replaces Roasted Vegetables

Steamed Littleneck Clams in Garlic, Pancetta, White Wine & Plum Tomatoes with Garlic Bread (new) - $12, replaces Drunken Spicy Clams


Maple Glazed Chicken Fritter Sliders on a Waffle (new) - $12, replace Chicken Fritter Sliders

French Bread Pizza 

White Pizza, Alfredo Sauce, Ricotta & Mozzarella (new) - $9


De-Constructed Bo Ssam Pork. Sliced Pork Belly, Ginger Scallion Sauce, Ssam Sauce, Steamed Rice, Bibb Lettuce & Kimchi (new) - $15, replaces Chipotle Pulled-Pork Sandwich

Country Biscuits & Sweet Italian Sausage Gravy Topped with Two Eggs Any Style (new) - $12, replaces Breakfast Sub Sandwich

Fish Taco Wrap, Beer-Battered Tilapia, Napa Cabbage-Tomatoe Slaw with Jersey Shore Fries (new) - $14, replaces Tilapia Fish Tacos

Fried Southern-Style Chicken Sandwich, Crispy-Fried Chicken Breast, Lettuce, Tomatoe, Pickle, White Barbeque Sauce with Sweet Potato Fries (new) - $14.75, replaces current Chicken Sandwich

Daily Hat Tricks will feature a Pasta Dish everyday except on 'Tapas Tuesday' and 'Sunday Wing Night'

Another change to the menu in the HAT centers around the full American hot and cold breakfast, long considered one of the best values in the area for the hotel’s overnight guests. Staples include scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon and breakfast sausage, bagels and croissants, cereal, juices, and coffee. The culinary team recently added adult pop tarts and fresh smoothies to the sumptuous spread. The breakfast is free to all overnight hotel guests. Outside guests are welcome at a fee of $12.95 per person.

Many people in the northeast claim the autumn season to be among their favorite time of year, and we couldn’t agree more. The cool crisp air coupled with the flavors of fall combine to make it a great time to visit the laid back vibe that The HAT Tavern delivers to the community.

The October HAT calendar kicks off with the Hilltopper Reunion Cocktail Party Friday, October 7, and rolls right into the Ross Griswold Duo on Saturday October 8. Cliff Doenges, the Abe Ovadia Jazz Duo, and Mark the Magician are all on the docket for October. 'Hot Dog Thursdays', 'Ladies Night', and a Craft Beer exclusive event round out what is sure to be an exciting month.

We’ll see you soon at the HAT!

With 149 guest accommodations and over 10,000 square feet of recently-renovated event space, The Grand Summit Hotel -- the shining star in the town of Summit -- remains one of the area’s most prestigious addresses for social and corporate events.

The hotel’s culinary reputation is unmatched in the area and has been extended to the wildly popular HAT Tavern in the hotel’s lower level. The management team built on this success recently with the grand opening of the Arts and Crafts Lobby Bar serving private label coffee and espresso, Ironbound Nitro Brewed Iced Coffee, a selection of hard to find craft beers, and wine.

The Grand Summit Hotel is located at 570 Springfield Avenue in Summit, New Jersey 07901. For more information call the hotel at 908-273-3000 or visit our website at   

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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