I don't know a birdie from a bogey - but I know a good burger. I'm not a golfer, but if I were . . . I'd tee-up at Galloping Hill in Kenilworth. Mr. Hot - also golf-illiterate - and I were recently invited to a press dinner at Red Knot, the restaurant in the Club House, at Galloping Hill, and an enjoyable time it was.
The only hiccup of the evening occurred before we entered the restaurant - which we simply couldn't find at first. Better signage would reduce the uncertainty.
Upon arriving at the bar, we were handed a crisp Garden Lemonade with basil infused vodka, a creation of the food and beverage director, Richard Spaulding, formerly of Ursino.
Cocktail in hand, we took in the sunset, then made our way to the sportily handsome dining room. We nibbled on warm, wood oven olives that bursted with flavor rather than brininess. Ralph Romano, executive chef at Red Knot, greeted us at our table and explained that would be enjoying a menu that offered "high brow and low brow" selections. Romano stressed that the kitchen at Red Knot is a "craft kitchen and everything is made in house."
The kitchen at Red Knot employes a staff made up of 90% Union County residents. Red Knot also uses Union County purveyors such as Schmaltz and Piece O' Cake, and offers a Galloping Hill house brew produced by Climax Brewing Co.
We were treated to an amuse bouche of summer gazpacho with compressed watermelon and pickled watermelon rind, and grilled shrimp that was a panoply of textures that gushed of flavors both sweet and savory.
The Red Knot salad ($15) with endive, radicchio, and a gentle butternut squash-ginger vinaigrette boasted a generous serving of pomegranate glazed duck breast, while the caesar salad, unfortunately, landed in the sand pit.
Now for the ace: between a brioche bun, and cooked very rare as requested, the 8 oz. cheddar burger ($12), oozed beefy goodness beneath a smoky slice of bacon and thick blanket of cheddar.
Mr. Hot had a New York Sirloin ($32) with delicate asparagus, wild mushrooms, potatoes, and Bordelaise sauce. Another entree at the table was the grilled skirt steak $26, with hand-cut fries, oven roasted vine tomatoes and chimichurri sauce.
Pastry chef, Cassandra Carlstrom, turned out a grand slam of sweet confections that featured a PB&J cupcake and a peanut brittle butter cream with peanut butter ice cream, as well as a refreshing key lime tart, beignets with dipping sauces, and a decadent chocolate tart.
Hours of Operation:
Open 7 days
Breakfast: Monday-Friday 7.00-11.00 am
Lunch: 11.00 am - 3.00 pm
Dinner: Monday-Thursday 5.00 - 10.00 pm
Friday-Saturday 5.00 - 11.00 pm
Sunday: 3.00 – 8.00pm