Our Culinary Team, Mixologist Collaborate on Summer Fare, Cocktails

Mixologiest Scott Robertson.
Executive Chef Charles Burke.
Restaurant Manager Walter Curtis.
Chef Mike Meola.
Chef Brigham Smith.

The culinary team at the helm of The Grand Summit Hotel revels in the atmosphere this time of year provides to create flavorful food and beverage indicative of the summer season. Executive Chef Charles Burke has been at the forefront of the property’s food and beverage program for over 18 years, and has surrounded himself with a passionate team that supports his vision and builds on it.

As Executive Chef, Burke’s responsibilities include overseeing the entire food and beverage operation including weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and all corporate meetings and events that take place on the hotel’s main level in the Grand Ballroom and supporting event spaces.  In addition, he oversees the entire culinary element of the popular HAT Tavern that has transformed the hotel’s food and beverage reputation. “My team gets together once a quarter to look at trends in the industry, and from there we consider what items we like personally and what we are hearing from customers and friends." The result is a mix of traditional and new that attracts residents throughout the borough of Summit and the surrounding towns.

Customers of the HAT have found the winter months to be a great time to nestle into the warm setting the restaurant offers, however, the summer months spring to life as the patio opens and a whole new feeling overtakes the space. “The first thing people notice is the size and comfort of our bar,” offers Walter Curtis HAT Tavern General Manager.  There is a serious Cheers vibe that the hotel and restaurant have fashioned to be their calling card for repeat customer so valuable to their success. “We have some of the best bartenders in the area led by Scott Robertson” adds Curtis. “This guy knows everyone’s name and drink preference, and he creates a welcoming atmosphere that is unlike anything offered in and around the town of Summit.”

Sign Up for E-News

Summer-themed menu items off the restaurants simple yet tasty menu include the chef’s award-winning Fried Lump Crab & Vermicelli Fritters, served hot, crispy on the outside with a slightly Cajun dipping sauce sure to please. Another favorite is the Ale House Sliders made with nicely seasoned beef, maple bacon, creamy cheddar, and Chef “Angry Mike” Meola’s  “special sauce”.

We would be remiss not to mention the leadership of Brigham Smith, Michael Meola, and Madike Sene who have been at the side of  Chef Burke for many years. Smith takes the lead as it relates to the hotel’s private events while Sene drives the HAT’s day to day business.  Michael Meola also known as “Angry Mike” for his curt attitude and culinary focus is the team’s guru when it comes to cutting edge ideas picked up in his leisure travels following his favorite band Pearl Jam throughout the world. One of the HAT’s most popular items has become Angry Mike’s Chicken Wing specials. “Mixing spices to create delicious flavor for the customers is a science that I really enjoy” offers Meola. “It’s one thing to be an original, but it’s important to stay relevant, and Thor and I constantly push ourselves to improve on the product we deliver to a very demanding and loyal clientele” adds Meola. From the Grill to the oven, here are two items that are popular in the summer season.

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak

2# Flank Steak or Steak of your choice
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 cup Pineapple Juice
½ cup Honey
½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger (minced)

- Montreal Steak Seasoning as much as you prefer
- Mix ingredients and marinate steak overnight
- Pre-heat grill and cook to your desired doneness
- Let the steak rest for 10 minutes before slicing

Angry Mike’s Peach Blaze Wings

10# Chicken Wings or Wingettes
6 each Habanero Peppers (diced)
1 qt Canned Glazed Peaches
1 qt Apple Juice
½ # Butter
½ # Dark Brown Sugar

- Add all ingredients to sauce pan except wings and bring to boil
- Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes
- Remove from heat and blend using food processor
- Return pot to stove and thicken with corn starch
- Place in refrigerator to cool
- When cool add half of sauce to raw wings and allow to marinate 1 hour
- Place wings on baking pan and cook through
- Place wings on pre heated grill and crisp up for nice char flavor
- Toss wings with the remaining sauce

“The bar is at the center of everything we do” offers Curtis. “Our signature Sangria featuring ingredients made from scratch to create a fruity summer blend is among the bar’s most popular offerings” according to Robertson.  He adds,“My personal favorite and one that my customers have come to love is called Something Sweet A real smart drink for the hot summer months”.

Featured Drink:

"Something Sweet"

1 oz. Citrus Vodka
3/4 oz. Pimms No.1
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
1 1/2 oz. Club Soda

General Manager Walter Curtis oversaw the transition from Hunt Club to HAT Tavern and loves the demographic that frequents the area’s most beloved new spot. “On any given night the restaurant is filled with a mix of business guests, parents with children, millennials celebrating with friends, and retirees out for a bite to eat” says Curtis. “In some places that would be a problem. The amazing thing is that this very diversified mix of guests coexists and it’s beautiful to watch.”

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 grandsummit.com.   

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

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 10:00 AM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Spanish Storytime

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

SAGE Eldercare, Summit

FREE Tax Assistance

Community Calendar


Thu, February 22, 4:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Serendipity: Grades K-5

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education

Summit Fire Department Blotter

12/16/17 7:42 am     FD dispatched to DE FOREST AVENUE and MAPLE STREET for a strong odor of natural gas in area. On arrival found an outside odor of natural gas. PSEG was requested and responded to the scene. Readings of 7% natural gas were found in the manholes in the center of the intersection. CVS was checked and zero readings for natural gas were found. Summit FD was released ...

Summit Police Blotter

February 12, 2018

2/1 - At 0955 hours a report was taken for a theft of a street sign. The unlawful incident occurred between an unknown time frame on Pine Grove Avenue. Value of the street sign was not immediately available at the time of the report.

2/5 - Roberto C. Noel-Berman, 23, of Summit was arrested and charged with possession of CDS. Mr. Noel-Berman was released with a pending court date.

2/5 - ...

Tax Season is Here; Time to Contact Kleespies, Horwitz & Associates

February 22, 2018

CLARK, NJ - Kleespies, Horwitz & Associates, LLC is accepting appointments for personal and corporate 2017 tax returns.  

Don't take chances with do-it-yourself tax programs or pop-up tax-preparers.   Our years of experience will ensure your tax return is thorough, accurate, and tailored to your particular tax circumstances. Entrust your tax and ...

Family and Children's Services Red Carpet Party Set for Mar. 1

Family and Children's Services (FACS) will celebrate its 125th anniversary at the Red Carpet Party Fundraiser at Canoe Brook Country Club on March 1. This annual fun-filled evening will include an unrivaled Fashion Show featuring Red Carpet Fashions from Sareh Nouri and Gracy Accad New York. Fashion trends from Bloomingdale’s, Schultz & M. Blaustein, and Dressed by Lori - all ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

Movies! Movies! Movies! - Three Ways to Enjoy Movies

Most people who use the Summit Free Public Library are familiar with our video collection: thousands of DVDs and nearly 800 BluRays -- and growing!

In addition to recent box-office hits and Hollywood classics, we have foreign films, anime, and musical performances from Aida to ZZ Top. Binge-watch a must-see TV series, discover a new one, or introduce your kids to your childhood ...