Modern takes on local classics
Patrick Cleary is the head chef and general manager of The Mansion House in Summit Hill. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS
ABOVE AND LEFT:
Patrick Cleary sautes chicken for Chicken Hunter Style in the kitchen at The Mansion House in Summit Hill. After the chicken has cooked, add white wine to deglaze the pan, then toss in sliced mushrooms, onions and bacon and cook through.
Whether you’re in the mood for a classic burger or a pan-seared yellowfin tuna, Patrick Cleary, general manager and head chef at The Mansion House in Summit Hill, enjoys specializing in popular local fare, such as his recipe for Chicken Hunter Style, served with Parmesan Risotto and crispy Brussels sprouts drizzled with honey and paired with a good crisp chardonnay.
Cleary began his tenure with the historic Summit Hill restaurant two years ago, rolling up his sleeves and getting back into the kitchen to manage a full staff and create a menu of modern takes on local classics.
“I always wanted to be a chef,” said Cleary, who hails from New York, where he studied under top chefs in the Big Apple.
He took those skills on an international journey of sautéing and braising, from Switzerland to Colorado to New Mexico, where he meet his wife, and back to New York before moving to Carbon County with his family.
“I was the head chef of New Mexico’s Snake River Saloon for nine years. That’s where I meet a girl from Summit Hill in 1984,” he said.
The couple moved here 28 years ago.
“I love Summit Hill,” Cleary said. “It’s been really nice getting to know locals better.”
When Cleary took over the Summit Hill eatery, he completely changed the menu and retrained the staff.
“It’s an all-new style,” he said.
“I love to bartend and cook. I love pairing foods with drinks.”
The Mansion House was constructed in 1902 on what was then Front Street (now Ludlow Street) as a whiskey and beer manufacturing and bottling business.
It was during the Prohibition years that a rumored “speak-easy” was hosted in the basement.
Once the countrywide ban was lifted, the first floor was restored into the pub with a dark wooden bar. The location was used as several different business ventures over the decades, including a restaurant, which opened in 1980 and closed in 2008.
Pam and Mark Fludgate purchased the building in 2012 and restored it to its original condition and opened The Mansion House in 2013.
The Mansion House has three semiformal dining areas sprawling off to the side of its lively pub room. During the mild seasons, The Mansion offers outdoor dining under a large covered porch.
A spirits list, complete with wine and craft beers on tap, accompanies a food menu filled with sandwiches, burgers and hot wings to full meals, complete with sophisticated touches and in-house baked breads and desserts.
Combining the corporate world marketing and management style he picked up over his years of travel, mixed with his passion for cooking, Cleary reinvented the restaurant to feature nightly meal specials and live music.
“We rebranded it where people can feel the vibes of good old rock ’n’ roll with classic and international freshly prepared food,” he said.
“We have a warm and friendly staff that work together as a team. People come in and sense the camaraderie and comment on our music.”
According to Cleary, he and his wife wear “lots of hats” to keep the restaurant spic and span and warm and welcoming.
“That’s how you have to do it in a small restaurant.”
Cleary said Friday nights are the busiest night for the restaurant where live music is featured by local musicians.
The Mansion House is located at 271 W. Ludlow St. in Summit Hill.
For more information, visit www.mansionhousesummithill.com.