Popular Eatery Adds Niche
Family Opens Provisions at Galley Hatch
By Laura Mellow
Hampton Union, Tuesday, October 2, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
[Laura Mellow photo]
It's more than just the desserts that have kept people coming back to the Galley Hatch for more than 35 years.
A family business through and through, the Hampton restaurant is owned by John Tinios, whose parents opened the eatery in 1970. With its wooden booths and New England quaintness, the Galley Hatch Restaurant and its bar, The Tap Room, provide a kind of shelter-from-the-storm quality that brings you back to the heart and soul of what the restaurant business is all about.
With appetizers ranging from Sushi Tuna to "Top Notch" nachos and entrees ranging from Portuguese Fisherman's Stew to a "Beef and Reef" combination of a bacon-wrapped petite filet and baked stuffed shrimp, the diverse menu offers a mix of New England comfort foods and creative Mediterranean cuisine.
But everybody knows about the restaurant.
"The restaurant is so well-known because it's been around for so long," said Marketing Director Tracy Kelly, adding it is the other aspects of the company of which people are starting to grow more aware.
Last summer, Tinios opened Provisions, a sweet, upscale retail store in the restaurant's lobby featuring baked goods, gourmet foods, prepared meals, wines and gifts.
A great stop for the Route 1 commuter, Provisions offers fresh meals such as braised beef and veal ravioli, chicken Parmesan, baked haddock and crab and artichoke cakes that need only a few minutes of reheating in the microwave.
"It's fresh food every day ...; On the way home from work you can stop in and get a great deal at a decent price," Kelly said of Provisions' great variety of products.
Indeed, the store is a foodie's delight with an extensive selection of pastry mixes, sauces and jams from Stonewall Kitchen and The Barefoot Contessa. The store also features a variety of cheeses such as an herb goat cheese, Havarti dill, Pecorino Romano and imported Finlandia swiss.
Both the cheese and wine sections pay homage to the Tinios family's Greek roots with Greek Kasseri cheese and a dry, white wine called Moschofilero Boutari, which Provisions advertises as "The Best Selling Wine in Greece."
In addition to the store's food selection, Provisions offers an array of kitchen and holiday-themed gifts. With a selection ranging from wine glasses to books to Halloween decorations from Department 56, the store is a great spot to grab up a quick housewarming or holiday gift. Customers can make up gift baskets and during the holiday season Provisions will offer pre-made or custom-made baskets.
Provisions is also gearing up for the holidays in its bakery, which features a display window filled with decadent cakes, pies, pastries and tarts. The Galley Hatch has its best-kept secrets in its front lobby with rows of coconut and Boston cream pies, apple crisps, cream puffs, key lime tarts and other such delectable treats.
The Galley Hatch welcomes holiday orders and recommends 48 to 72 hours notice for specialty cakes.
The baked goods are made fresh every day at the Galley Hatch Hospitality Group's Catering facility, which also provides some of the baked goods to Popovers on the Square in Portsmouth, which Tinios co-owns.
"They do everything from boxed lunches for small-business meetings to weddings," Kelly said of Galley Hatch Catering, which has a full liquor license and designs and makes wedding cakes.
Galley Hatch Catering also provides food for the Galley Hatch Conference Center at The Inn of Hampton on Route 1. The center features a ballroom that holds up to 300 people and can be broken into three rooms for smaller groups. The site is ideal for weddings, parties, reunions and large business meetings.
The Pelican Room, in the upstairs portion of the Galley Hatch Restaurant, is another option for functions. With a 75-person maximum capacity, the Pelican Room features a bar and dance floor, making it perfect for holiday parties and rehearsal dinners.
Despite the growth of the Galley Hatch Hospitality Group, the restaurant maintains a feel of a family business with Tinios manning the helm.
"He's here all weekend," said Krissy Champion, dining room manager and function coordinator.
Champion, who started working at the restaurant at age 15 and has been there for 13 years, is one of many staff members who have been there for more than a decade.
"It's a huge family," Champion said.
The Galley Hatch Restaurant and Tap Room opens daily at 11:30 and the Provisions bakery opens at 10 a.m.
AT A GLANCE
Galley Hatch Restaurant, including Tap Room, Pelican Room, Provisions, 325 Lafayette Road, Hampton, 926-6152
Galley Hatch Catering Service, Inc.: 926-1545
Galley Hatch Conference Center: 815 Lafayette Road Hampton, 929-9747
Popovers on the Square: 8 Congress St, Portsmouth, 431-1119