Tom and I spent time with lots of friends and family in August. Sandy and Eric came to visit, then John, Jackie, Steve, and Amy came. At the end of the month we went to Ohio for Dad’s birthday. But before we went to Ohio, another group of friends came to see us from Ohio. Kris, Kristin, Kaylan and Brenda all took time from their busy lives to spend two days with us in the Laurel Highlands. Because we have had so many visitors, finding new places to go is a challenge. Nevertheless, we managed to find several places to go with this bunch that were new to us. One of the best was the Summit Inn.
The Summit Inn sits on the summit of Chestnut Ridge and we see it every time we head east to Uniontown. The Inn was built in 1907, so it is historic. When we talk to people who are staying there, they mention how historic it is, meaning that it doesn’t have many modern amenities. No elevators and lots of stairs, small guest rooms without television or WiFi. We have tried to talk people who are visiting us into staying there, but everyone seems to prefer modern accommodations.
Dining there, however is a different matter. Everyone agrees the food is excellent. Their crab cakes are said to be the best in the eastern United States. A bonus to dining at Summit Inn is the fabulous view. The Inn has porches that overlook the valley below and sunsets from this viewpoint are glorious.
So I knew that the Summit Inn was a place we needed to go. Fortunately the women from Wedgewood were agreeable. They like good food as much as I do – one of the reasons we are friends! So we made a reservation for the Veranda at the Summit Inn.
Summit Inn has two dining venues: Mae’s Dining Room with white linen and tuxedoed waitstaff and the Veranda which is a little more relaxed. Both share the same kitchen and menu. The Veranda has the advantage of being outdoors and accessible to that breathtaking view.
The evening we went was gorgeous, perfect for relaxed dining and sunset watching. The menu made everything sound delectable and it was difficult to decide. As we often do when this group gets together, we decided to get some appetizers to share. I have never had Brie, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. After ordering our entrees, we realized that no one ordered the famous crab cakes, so we also ordered a crab cake as an appetizer to share. The Brie came lightly toasted with a raspberry topping and crackers. We passed the Brie and crab cake around and everyone tried a bit. Everyone who tried the crab cake agreed it was the best they had ever had.
For an entree I got a chicken pot pie, but served in a flaky croissant-type bowl instead of as a pie. It was delicious and I ate every bit of it. Tom and Kris got salmon with a raspberry glaze. Although the salmon was excellent, he said he would have preferred it without the glaze. Brenda ordered asiago-filled gnochi. Kristin got a shrimp salad that looked wonderful and fresh. All of these were served with warm, homemade rolls that were surprisingly dense (and delicious).
Although we were full, we decided to try a couple of desserts to share. We ordered a chocolate lava cake with ice cream and bread pudding with ice cream. Kris is a big fan of bread pudding. Again, the plates got passed around as everyone tried a little. I thought the bread pudding was okay but Kris really liked it. My preference is, of course, for chocolate, so I liked the lava cake very much.
After an excellent dinner, we went up a few steps to the porch where Summit Inn has rocking chairs set out for viewing the sunset. Even though it was a cloudy evening, we enjoyed watching the sun set and seeing the lights come on in Uniontown. I can’t remember the last time I took time to watch the sunset for an hour. Of course, the company made it especially enjoyable.
We enjoyed our dinner at Summit Inn very much and hope to go back there again before we leave Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the Veranda is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day so we would eat in Mae’s Dining Room. Then again, the evenings are getting cool, so I would have to take a jacket to watch the sunset.