Date of Visit: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.
IMPRESSIONS: In the interests of full disclosure, I need to say that this breakfast was part of our invited trip to the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. We spent the night and were treated to tours, dinner, and tastings at the Inn. In the morning, of course, we got to experience breakfast at their restaurant. I debated whether to make this an actual “review” post and not just a photo journal, but it might be a while before I get to visit again, and I figured why not get this spot on the list? It deserves it.
ATMOSPHERE: The restaurant at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is located in a series of cabins from the 1840’s, all joined together. This creates a charmingly disjointed group of rooms, one after another, with low ceilings, thick wooden beams, broad wood floors, and a definite feel that you’re eating a rustic country breakfast.
As you make your way back to the dining rooms, you’ll pass through the kitchen and see Executive Chef Anthony Schulz hard at work. Say hi.
There’s a very comfortable feel to the two dining rooms. We were in the larger and slightly newer one.
FOOD: The menu is fairly simple, but it covers all of the bases, so you won’t go hungry. We started with a visit to their small granola bar. You help yourself to a bowl of their excellent homemade granola (available in the gift shop, too). Additions include milk, yogurt…
Very good coffee, served in customized mugs. And you gotta love the pottery mugs for cream. Fits the vibe.
The feature of that morning was a breakfast cassoulet topped with morels. The previous day we had gone morel hunting in the woods with innkeepers Terry and Ellen, and then had dinner prepared with the mushrooms. The cassoulet in particular was very flavorful: good eggs, sharp Swiss, and morels added their distinct earthy touch. The sides included good ole bacon and some moist homemade orange muffins. Just the right portions; very fitting for a country inn breakfast.
SERVICE: We had an incredibly sweet server named Joan. Terry told us Joan is one of their long-time employees, so she knows and loves the restaurant well. We overheard another customer ask Joan about the portions of their breakfast, and Joan said they keep dishes on the smaller side while allowing customers to request more. “We never mind if someone asks for more,” she said.
OVERALL: The Inn and their restaurant exemplify what’s so nice about Hocking Hills: cozy, secluded, and close to nature. If you’re staying anywhere in the Hills, or even passing through one morning, it’s worth stopping in at The Inn’s restaurant. You don’t have to be a guest at the Inn itself to eat there!