A recently renovated and revamped longtime Middletown country club is now open to the public and includes a new restaurant.
Cousins Hatem Shteiwi and Rania Shteiwi said they became business owners of the semi-private Forest Hills Country Club at 791 4th Ave. on April 1 and started upgrade efforts the next day.
“We immediately fell in love with the property because … it has a lot of history and potential to grow and prosper,” said Hatem Shteiwi, who brings more than three decades of restaurant experience to the business.
Repairing and beautifying the country club, which opened in 1918, included renovating the clubhouse, enhancing the pool and restoring a nine-hole golf course, he said.
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“We have invested a tremendous amount of time, money and effort … but it looks completely different than it was before,” Shteiwi said. “We want to help our guests create spectacular experiences and unforgettable moments.”
They also added new restaurant and catering facility, Vue 791 Bistro & Banquets, which seats about 80 people, not including outdoor seating. The banquet hall seats as many as 180.
Prior to their taking over the country club, its kitchen was only serving a limited menu to the clubhouse and pool and handling some occasional banquets.
The menu at Vue 791 features traditional Mediterranean cuisine such as shawarma, falafel, hummus, kofta kebabs, baba ghanoush and baklava. It also offers Italian favorites like pasta, Spanish favorites like empanadas and American classics like New York strip steak and an 8-ounce peppercorn-crusted filet mignon with merlot mushroom sauce.
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There’s also a pomegranate glazed salmon topped with fresh herbs.
“I don’t believe there’s anything like it in Middletown,” said Rania Shteiwi, who serves as an operations director at a hotel management company. “Everything is made from scratch and it kind of hits a little bit of the entire Mediterranean, so there’s something for everyone to like.”
Vue 791 also features a hookah lounge area. The restaurant is open, as of now, on a reservations-only basis.
In addition to making the restaurant open to the public, the Shteiwis also are allowing the public to play on the golf course.
“We want to offer something that everybody can enjoy,” Rania Shteiwi said.
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The Forest Hills Country Club is "part of the history of Middletown" and having the majority of it open to the public makes it "like an entertainment center for the entire community," Hatem Shteiwi said.
A Christmas dinner buffet is scheduled to start at noon Dec. 25. A New Year's Eve party is slated to start at 9:30 p.m. Dec. 31. For more information, call the club at 513-423-4797 or visit www.facebook.com/Vue791Bistro.
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