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terry hills

March 3, 2019 - 8:43pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in terry hills, Bridal Show, batavia.
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October 29, 2018 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in terry hills, restaurants, news, notify, batavia.

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Let's talk about French fries.

The lowly fry. Can you really kick it up a notch?

Cooking a gourmet fry is actually no secret. Any competent chef can do it. But it's a lot of work.

The new chef at Terry Hills, John Steward, is ready to do the work.

It's a four-day process that consists of blanching, drying, blanching again, more drying, freezing and then frying.

The result is a fry that has a veneer of crunch and a soft, fluffy center, like a perfectly cooked baked potato or a mouthful of savory clouds.

We told Steward we were going to write about his fries and that some people might find that odd. He agreed.

"People will be like 'oh, this guy doesn't know what he's talking about, talking about good French fries,' " Steward said. "A fry is a fry, you know. But at the same time, people feel like, 'oh, why is this fry so good? What's so different?' And that's what we need right now. We need people talking about Terry Hills. So many times I hear that people forget that Terry Hills is a restaurant."

A native of Rochester, Steward, is a new father, current resident of Le Roy and the former sous chef at Farmer's Creekside Tavern & Inn.

Terry Hills isn't his first head chef's job, but it may be his most important. It's a chance, he said, not only to take Terry Hills to the next level but also to better establish his name and provide his staff with the training necessary to help advance their careers. Those are his goals.

They're ambitious for a guy who a little over six years ago started in the restaurant business as a dishwasher and quickly moved through his first kitchen, entirely self taught, to be ready to run a kitchen himself a few years later -- La Luna, in Rochester.

"Yeah, I never went to a culinary college or school," Steward said. "Everything I've learned, I've learned on the job. I've done a lot of research on my own, watched a lot of shows, read a lot. When I first started, I would go to the public market and buy a bag full of potatoes and  sit in my apartment working on knife cuts."

Danielle Rotondo, VP, and co-owner of Terry Hills, said Steward was just what management was looking for -- young and ambitious and eager to take the dining experience for lunch, dinners, and banquets to the next level. He came out on top after three rounds of interviews and several reference checks.

"We want to grow; we want to do more; we want to show Batavia that we're not just a golf course," Rotondo said. "You know we have our golf course, our restaurant, our banquet facility, we have all of that here, and, yes, we want to show that there are some different things out here and there are different ways to do it. Yes, it's Batavia, but we can also go on the edge a little bit and try something else."

To show off how Terry Hills will take it to the next level, a couple of weeks ago the restaurant hosted a chef's menu night for a few dozens guests both to introduce some new dishes and as a kind of soft opening on how things are changing.

It was at that chef's menu night that we tried those crisp, fluffy fries. But Steward also introduced diners to his gnocchi carbonara, like everything that night, made from scratch, consisting of hand-rolled, house-made ricotta in a rich and thick carbonara sauce with diced ham and peas.

Steward also served a dry-aged strip steak, a pan-seared salmon, chicken roulade, to go along with a wedge salad, a Caesar salad, and a grain medley.

Many of these dishes -- particularly, say, the fries and the gnocchi -- take substantial prep time but Steward said there's no reason he and his line staff aren't up to the demands of the extra effort.

"As you're organized, you always have lists going; then it should be executable," Steward said. "There's no reason why it shouldn't be executable."

Steward said what makes a good dining experience is fresh ingredients, scratch cooking, and service. It's his job to oversee all aspects of a guest's experience at Terry Hills now, and he plans to pay attention to those details.

"Even if I go to a diner, or if I go to a finer place, you can see if the food is taken care of, if people care about quality," Steward said. "I think that is what makes a good meal -- making sure you use fresh ingredients, you use the proper techniques, execute the proper techniques. Your execution is what makes a good meal."

He said he expects the care of the kitchen staff to be carried out into the dining room by the servers.

"Nothing frustrates me more when I go to a place, and I ask a server a question about the menu, and the server is like, 'I don't know,' Steward said. "You should, you should. To me, I feel like it's your job to know the menu to know what the chef is trying to cook.

"There's going to be time and money invested to ensure our staff is trained properly."

The one thing Steward didn't change for the night was Terry Hill's famous seafood bisque.

"The only thing I might change is the garnish and change the saltines to oyster crackers," Steward said. "I think a seafood bisque should have oyster crackers."

While upgrading the sit-down lunch and dinner menus for Terry Hills is high on the agenda, Steward said he also plans to revamp the banquet service.

"I'm not knocking the former chefs here, but some of these recipes are outdated," Steward said, "by like 25 years."

That doesn't necessarily mean there will be big changes in menu choices. He already considers Terry Hills the premier banquet facility in Batavia. He thinks a few changes to how things are done will make it even better.

"I understand that like I can completely get everything off the menu," Steward said. "But, again, some of the techniques we're using here again are outdated. No one uses them anymore so. Therefore, we need to update our techniques to make a better product. The quality of the product will improve but still essentially be the same, they will have the same ingredients, but it's just going to be a better product overall because it's done better."

Steward said the chef's that inspire him include: Massimo Bottura, owner of Osteria Francescana in Italy, now ranked the #1 restaurant in the world (Bottura was the subject of the first episode of Chef's Table on Netflix); Thomas Keller, a chef and restauranteur in California; and, Wylie Dufresne, a chef in Manhattan.

"I pride myself working hard, putting in the hours," Steward said. "I think anyone who does that is going to do well in any field."

Steward thinks he can take what he's learned on his own and use that knowledge to help make his line cooks better. He would like to be known as a chef who helps his staff advance their careers.

"I really want to make really good food," Steward said. "In that process, I want to teach the guys that are here, too. As I said from day one, my goal is for you guys, whenever your time is up here, is to walk into any kitchen (and) be the best cook that walks in that kitchen because you've got trained by me."

September 18, 2018 - 9:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in terry hills, batavia, news.

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Batavia City Court Judge Robert Balbick saw the photo we shared this morning from yesterday's sunrise as seen at DeWitt Recreation Area and wanted to share the picture he took about the same time at Terry Hills Golf Course.

June 4, 2018 - 3:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in terry hills, Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic, batavia, sports, golf.

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Today, Terry Hills hosted the annual Jim Kelly Golf Celebrity Classic, a fundraiser created by the Buffalo Bills great to help support several children's' charities in Western New York.

Above Dean Cain, who played for the Buffalo Bills for a short time before launching an acting career that has included a role as Superman, talks with his golf partners for the tournament.

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Dean Cain on the tee.

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Willie Hutch Jones with fans. Jones played for the San Diego Clippers in the early 80s. He's originally from Buffalo and for the past 30 years has been director of the Willie Hutch Jones Educational & Sports Programs in Buffalo. The program's mission: "... to provide every child, at no cost, equal opportunities to engage in the highest quality program and to offer character building activities through academics, sports, and the arts."

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Thurman Thomas

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Thurman Thomas with his golf partners.

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Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, former Dallas Cowboys receiver, signs a Buffalo Bills cap for Luke Gutman.

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LPGA professional golfer Cindy Miller.

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Danielle Rotondo with actor Dennis Haskins.

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Local golfers T.J. Woodward, Ray Tortorice, Tim Woodword, and Matt Meyer, with former Bills player Ed Rutkowski (center).

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Danielle Rotondo with ESPN's broadcasting legend Chris Berman.

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Chris Berman.

 

June 4, 2018 - 3:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in terry hills, sports, golf, news, batavia.

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When Terry Hills Golf Course built the 14th hold more than 30 years ago, the green, on one of the course's signature holes, was mostly surrounded by water. To provide a bridge to the green, two telephone polls were placed across the water.

In the three decades that passed, the weather did its work on the wood, so last summer the bridge was removed.

This year a new bridge was installed, and with Jim Kelly on hand to cut the ribbon, it was officially opened.

Top photo: Mary Brown, Casey Brown, Danielle Rotondo, Jessica Ecock-Rotondo, Ellen Simkulet and Nick Rotondo.

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Below, two photos provided by Terry Hills. First, Tom Brown walking across the telephone polls when first placed over the water. Second, Casey Brown walking across the first beam placed for the new bridge.

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April 20, 2018 - 11:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in CASA, news, terry hills.

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Genesee County's CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) hosted a casino night fundraiser at Terry Hills this evening. The advocacy program provides legal assistance to children in the court system due to neglect or abuse.

The event was sold out.

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January 21, 2018 - 4:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in terry hills, Bridal Show, news.

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Terry Hills hosted its annual bridal show today with 23 vendors and more than 200 attendees.

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June 14, 2017 - 3:00pm

Summer is here. Mini Golf is, too. Terry Hills Miniature Golf Course opens Friday, June 16th! Excitement for all ages as you putt your way over ramps, bridges, dips & other fun obstacles in pursuit of those Hole-In-Ones! Bring Dad this Father’s Day and he plays for FREE (and if you let him win, that’s OK, too).

Make it a day and stop into the restaurant before or after you play for a delicious lunch, dinner or Sunday Brunch! Click here for our menus (Restaurant Hours: Mon-Fri 11-9, Sunday Brunch 10-2). Terry Hills is located at 5122 Clinton Street Road, Route 33, Batavia, NY. (585) 343-0642

June 5, 2017 - 1:36pm

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The Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic is underway at Terry Hills today after Kelly delivered welcoming remarks and shared the rules of the tournament.

The annual tournament benefits the Kelly for Kids Foundation, which provides grants to area nonprofits that assist children.

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January 15, 2017 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bridal Show, batavia, news, terry hills.

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It was a record turnout today for the annual bridal show at Terry Hills, with twice as many registered brides this year, according to Danielle Rontondo.

We actually got there after the peak crowd, but all of the booths were still pretty busy.

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August 12, 2016 - 1:43pm

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Police chiefs from throughout Western New York are in Batavia today for a golf tournament at Terry Hills.

The gathering of the Western New York Association of Chiefs of Police is a social event and networking opportunity, said Batavia PD's Chief Shawn Heubusch, who helped organize the tournament.

Pictured are Doug Richardson, Rob Ruffner, John Applebee, Bobby Lapidus, playing as a foursome, along with organizers Pete Hoffmeister, left, chief in Warsaw, Heubusch, second from right, and Pete Hoffmeister, far right, chief of Arcade.

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June 15, 2016 - 3:00pm

Summer is here. Mini Golf is, too. Terry Hills Miniature Golf Course opens Friday, June 17th! Excitement for all ages as you putt your way over ramps, bridges, dips & other fun obstacles in pursuit of those Hole-In-Ones! Bring Dad this Father’s Day and he plays for FREE (and if you let him win, that’s OK, too).
Make it a day and stop into the restaurant before or after you play for a delicious lunch, dinner or Sunday Brunch! Click here for our menus (Restaurant Hours: Mon-Fri 11-9, Sunday Brunch 10-2). Terry Hills is located at 5122 Clinton Street Road, Route 33, Batavia, NY. (585) 343-0642

June 6, 2016 - 12:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic, terry hills, batavia, news.

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The entire Buffalo Bills football team, along with numerous former and current players and celebrities along with well-heeled business people from throughout Western New York, are at Terry Hills today for the annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Classic.

Kelly, top center, was energetic throughout the morning, joking and posing for pictures and even making a last-minute decision to ride in Pete Zeliff's helicopter for the first-ever Rex Ryan golf ball drop, which carried a 50-50 prize of about $1,500.

The 30th annual event is a fundraiser for Kelly's charity, Kelly for Kids.

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Kelly, Gary Pasco (friend of Zeliff's), Ryan and Zeliff prior to the golf ball drop.

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After the drop, Kelly and Ryan joked and teased each other about the helicopter ride.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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Prior to the start of the tournament, Bills players played miniature golf.

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Chris Berman obliged two of the women with a drink cart by posing for a photo.

May 8, 2016 - 12:16pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael napoleone foundation, derby day, terry hills, batavia, news.

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The Michael Napoleone Foundation hosted its annual Derby Day Fundraiser at Terry Hills yesterday.

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To purchase prints, click here.

December 3, 2015 - 12:00pm

Brunch with Santa - Sunday, December 6th • 10am-2pm
The area's best Sunday Brunch made even better with an appearance from this special North Pole guest! Enjoy your brunch favorites, such as a chef-attended omelet station, hand-carved meats, eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, and seafood-stuffed cod, while celebrating the holidays with Santa and Mrs. Claus! Bring the entire family for this festive holiday treat!* 
$15.95/Adults, $9.95/Children 5-10, 4 & Under Free

Holiday Quick Lunch Buffets -- 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

  • Friday, December 11th
  • Thursday, December 17th 
  • Friday, December 18th 
  • Tuesday, December 22nd
  • Wednesday, December 23rd

Looking for a last minute way to celebrate the holidays with friends, family, or coworkers? Bring them on down to Terry Hills for a fantastic luncheon! Offering soup, salad, sandwiches, potatoes, vegetables, 2-3 hot entrees, seafood-stuffed cod & dessert -- plus coffee, soda, & tea all for only $10.95/person! *Reservations Required for all holiday events. Call 585-343-0642. 

Holiday Gift Card Sale - Purchase a $50 Restaurant or Golf Course Gift Card, and get a FREE $10 Restaurant Gift Card (limit 5 per person). Gift cards can be purchased online or in-house at:  Terry Hills, 5122 Clinton Street Road (Route 33), Batavia.

November 30, 2015 - 12:00pm

Ring in the holiday season with the sounds of Serendipity Swing at Terry Hills! Spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying our exquisite holiday buffet, while listening to Serendipity Swing play Big Band music and Christmas favorites. 

Choose from a delicious buffet selection of soup, salad, two to three hot chef-selected entrees, potatoes, vegetables, our famous seafood stuffed cod, and dessert!

Only $10.95/person! Includes buffet, coffee, soda & dessert.

Regular lunch menu also available.

Reservations Required.
Filling quickly, so don't delay! Call 585-343-0642 now to reserve a spot!

June 1, 2015 - 12:52pm

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The annual Jim Kelly Celebrity Golf Classic is underway at Terry Hills today. The entire Buffalo Bills team attended the morning's events, which included for the players a long-drive contest and a football throwing contest.

Above, head coach Rex Ryan wallops one during the long-drive contest.

Jim Kelly on the anniversary of the Bills' Super Bowl run and the prospect for the Rex Ryan era.

Jim Kelly on Rex Ryan.

Jim Kelly on tournament fun.

Jim Kelly on continuing the tournament.

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Players react to a teammate's errant tee shot during the long-drive contest.

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A player reacts to his own errant tee shot.

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Players participate in the football throwing target contest.

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Actor Dennis Haskins (TV show "Saved by the Bell") with Kathy Leffel. Leffel lives on Clinton Street Road and has for years on tournament day invited her friends over and served brownies from under a tent in her back yard to any celebrity golfers who stopped by. Most years, all the big stars do, such as Dan Marino and Jim Kelly himself. Leffel has sold the condo and will be moving, so this is probably the last year of the brownie party.

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