There’s a new restaurant and bar in Happy Valley – and it’s fast becoming a fan favorite.
In August, the Graduate State College Hotel opened the Trophy Room at 125 South Atherton Street.
Food and Beverage Director Brian Walker said the Trophy Room “is a Graduate Hotels exclusive food and beverage concept, featuring classic American fare with a youthful twist.
“Located at select Graduate properties across the country, Trophy Room offers guests and locals a complete dining destination with playful menu items reflecting regional flavors and local influences.”
There are several other graduate hotels in college towns. You can find them in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Evanston, Illinois, and Charlottesville, Virginia, among others.
The trophy room has its share of signature dishes.
“In addition to Trophy Room classics like the Graduate Smash Burger, we pay homage to the Nittany Lion spirit with iconic dishes including Roaring Reuben and Mount Nittany Quesadilla, and cocktails including Ms. State College and Pennsylvania Mule, ”says Walker.
Are you just looking for aperitifs? Well, for starters, there’s a hummus platter, which includes pita bread and veg ($ 7). Graduate Cheese Fries ($ 8) includes cheddar, chives, bacon, and ranch on a bed of fries. Buffalo Fried Cauliflower ($ 11) includes cauliflower with Buffalo sauce, blue cheese, and ranch. The Mount Nittany Quesadilla ($ 10) comes with cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, sour cream, and salsa.
If you’re into salads, there’s a mouth-watering Cobb Salad ($ 9) with chopped romaine lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, eggs, and avocado. There’s also a classic Caesar ($ 9), which includes romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, Parmesan, and croutons, of course. You can add grilled chicken to each salad for an additional four dollars.
The main courses are served with fries. Topping the list is the Graduate Smash Burger ($ 12), which includes a grilled beef patty, American cheese, and Graduate Comeback sauce.
“When it comes to food, the Smash Burger is a hit. Signature dishes are also drawn to guests because they are such a fun way to pay tribute to State College, ”Walker said.
There’s also a classic comfort food – grilled cheese and tomato soup ($ 11). The Grilled Chicken Avocado Club ($ 13) offers grilled chicken, of course, with bacon and avocado. Can’t make it to Beaver Stadium for a basket of chicken? Well, the trophy room offers you chicken fillets and fries ($ 11), accompanied by Comeback sauce. There’s also this Roaring Reuben ($ 14).
There is an extensive cocktail menu. Some of the cocktails include a local theme. There’s Happy Valley Water (strawberry vodka, cranberry juice, club soda, basil and lemon zest), Ms. State College (gin, St. Germaine, grapefruit juice, soda and lemon zest) and Atherton Giggle. Juice (vodka, Bellefonte’s own rum, sour and Big Spring Spirits coconut soda).
If these don’t appeal to you, there’s an Adult Capri Sun (vodka, blue curacao, pineapple and lime), a Beergarita (tequila, Corona beer, lime, salt), Rumor Has It (Holla vodka, curaçao blue, grenadine, soda, lemon juice) and a pink Gameday lemonade (Holla cinnamon vodka, lemonade, grenadine splash and lemon zest).
Ms. State College and the Pennsylvania Mule are the most popular cocktails, says Walker.
There are several popular beers on tap including Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, Blue Moon, Yuengling Lager, New Trail Broken Heels, and Yards GW Porter. There is also a huge selection of bottled beers.
The trophy room also sells wine by the glass and by the bottle. There is a Dark Horse Pinot Grigio, a Dark Horse Chardonnay, a Starborough Sauvignon Blanc, a Dark Horse Rose and a Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon.
As for the name? The trophy room? Where is he from?
“The Trophy Room concept is inspired by the nostalgia to relive its glory days. It’s about celebrating life and embracing the moment. The menu reflects this youthful optimism throughout, ”says Walker.
“The design in the space echoes the concept’s namesake with nods to local traditions and a range of festive accents. Our in-house design team has sought to create a welcoming space for current students, alumni, and visitors. Fun, locally inspired details include iconic PSU white and dark blue color tones, ”says Walker.
So far, says Walker, the community has welcomed the trophy room with open arms.
“We are delighted with the welcome we received from the inhabitants. Our menu and relaxed atmosphere lend themselves well to informal gatherings, reunion weekends and game days. We’re hoping to be a hangout, whether it’s rooting for the PSU or just looking for a practical bite to eat, ”Walker said.
The trophy room is open from 4 p.m. to midnight on Thursday; from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to midnight on Friday; from 7 a.m. to midnight on Saturday; and from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday.
For more information on the Trophy Room or to take a closer look at the menu, visit surgraduatehotels.com/state-college.