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Nov 14, 201403:32 PMPress Releases

Hilton Harrisburg Poised to Open Two New Restaurants – 1700 Degrees and Ad Lib

Nov 14, 2014 - 03:32 PM
Hilton Harrisburg Poised to Open Two New Restaurants – 1700 Degrees and Ad Lib

Hilton Harrisburg Poised to Open Two New Restaurants – 1700 Degrees and Ad Lib


To kick off its 25th anniversary year, the iconic downtown luxury hotel Wednesday unveiled the names of the two new restaurants that are the centerpiece of its four-year, multi-million dollar renovation.


The Golden Sheaf, for 22 years Harrisburg’s only AAA four-diamond restaurant, is being replaced by “1700 Degrees,” what Harrisburg Hotel Corporation President and CEO Bill Kohl calls “a true American steakhouse and one of the most wine-friendly restaurants in America.” Longtime Executive Chef John Reis, heads up the kitchen and will help Kohl and his Hilton Harrisburg team deliver “a singular blend of elegance and comfort, as well as the finest steaks, seafood and spirits in Central Pennsylvania.”


The 1700 Degrees name pays homage to the capabilities of the restaurant’s specialized broiler, which so perfectly sears the steaks that juices are sealed in with a hint of char that ideally complements the flavor of the beef.


Raspberries, the other familiar face at the start of Second Street’s Restaurant Row, is going to reopen its doors as “Ad Lib,” a new kind of gathering place for the Downtown area. Casual spontaneity is Ad Lib’s calling card, says General Manager Joe Massaro. Executive Sous Chef Anthony Bianco promises to enliven the dining experience by “turning recognizable comfort food on its side.” As an example, Massaro notes the regional popularity of chicken and waffles and says, “We’re offering chicken and waffles, only with pumpkin funnel cake instead of the waffle and a cayenne veloute on the chicken.”


Ad Lib will serve an enticing array of craft and barrel aged cocktails, as well as specialty edible drinks, over 30 wines by the glass and over 60 varieties of beer.


Grand Opening for both of the One North Second Street locations is expected to be Thursday, December 4. Both restaurants will be located in the space formerly occupied by Raspberries and Market Square Cafe. The Golden Sheaf will become a private meeting and events room.


Conceptually, Kohl says, the restaurants fill empty slots in the Central Pennsylvania restaurant landscape. Big picture, he explains, “We wanted to select concepts that are unique for the market, that pick up on current dining trends, and that speak to our guests and our community. We asked our guests what they were looking for. We looked at who was doing what in the market place and we looked at price points.”


“What we found is, there’s not a single true steakhouse in Central Pennsylvania: none in Harrisburg, York, or Lancaster. Yes, there are the chains, but there is no first class, true steakhouse. So, given the desires and expectations of our loyal clientele of The Golden Sheaf, as well as the many business travelers from outside the area who are staying in the hotel, we are confident this is a natural niche to fill.”


Speaking of Ad Lib, he said, “The casual restaurant always has to appeal to the local market, because if you can attract the local market, you’re going to appeal to the hotel guests. So to make it competitive on a free-standing basis, we are going to capitalize on current trends, such as local/regional cuisine whenever possible. F&B Director Tony Salomone explains how “we will tap the bounty of the Chesapeake, as well as local pork and beef producers, and area farmers. And in keeping with another top trend in dining, Ad Lib is 100 percent small plates, with a menu built on the concept of diners trying a lot of things and sharing with others.”


1700 Degrees will seamlessly blend a rustic interior with a white linen experience, adding artistry to the presentation and the highest level of professionalism to the service. Ad Lib, with its open kitchen and WoodStone oven, will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night offering everything from mac ‘n’ cheese with Middlesworth bbq chip crust to roasted oysters to flatbreads.


Hilton Harrisburg, which opened its doors November 1, 1990, is a 341-room luxury hotel that employs 300 associates in an effort to make sure that the quarter million guests it serves each year are happy with their stays. It is managed by Greenwood Hospitality Group.


To keep up with developments as the restaurants approach their Grand Openings, follow Hilton Harrisburg on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HiltonHarrisburgHotel.