Don’t Have to Swing a Club to Eat at This One

Most important thing about the new Red Knot gastropub at the recently transformed Galloping Hill golf complex in Kenilworth? It provides, says GM Richard Spaulding, "a private club experience for everyone.”

Galloping Hill’s brand new, 46,000-square-foot, three-story stone clubhouse stands right beside the Garden State Parkway. It took two years to build, and is now home to Red Knot as well as a 300-seat banquet and conference center (that is already earning money for Union County) and the HQ of the New Jersey State Golf Association.

For the full story on the transformation of Galloping Hill from rundown and money-losing to one of the more state-of-the-art county golf facilities, click here.

“We’ve been very successful right out of the gate,” says Armando Sanchez, director of golf operations for Union County. A big part of that success, he adds, is that the project has brought jobs and revenue to the area.

“People are working,” he says. “That’s a huge selling point for our freeholders. They really believe that if we are going to build things, we need to put people to work.”

Ninety percent of the staff are Union County residents, including executive chef Ralph Romano of Westfield. Romano, happy to be in his home state after launching the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, is committed to buying as much of his ingredients locally as possible.

Red Knot’s signature beer, Galloping Hill Lager, is made for it by Climax Brewing in Roselle Park. Piece of Cake in Rahway makes the ice cream. Salads are tossed with Dreyer Farms lettuce grown in Cranford. Fish comes from Boulevard Seafood Market in Kenilworth.

During Sunday brunch, diners on the expansive veranda, or sitting inside by the floor-to-ceiling windows can look out on ninth and 18th greens and the first tees of the main course and the Learning Center Nine.

Romano, during brunch, may be spotted on the veranda, cooking at his prized La Caja China grill, where he smokes pork and brisket and makes beer-can chicken, among other dishes.

Also custom-made for Red Knot are its signature beef hot dog, boiled in beer, from Schmalz’s European Provisions in Springfield, a family operation that also provides Red Knot its sausages and kielbasa.

The custom-grind, 8-ounce Angus beef burgers come from Green Tree Packing in Passaic. The burger can be topped with aged Gouda from Long Valley’s Valley Shepherd Creamery.

The restaurant is named for an endangered bird, the Red Knot, that flies over the 300-acre golf course in its 9,000-mile migration between South America and the Arctic. Unlike its namesake, Red Knot restaurant looks like it aims to stay in New Jersey for a long time.



SUZANNE ZIMMER LOWERY is a food writer, pastry chef and culinary instructor at a number of New Jersey cooking schools. Find out more about her at

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