Last weekend we went on a relaxing romantic fall getaway to Hocking Hills, Ohio.
While there, we dined at some of the area restaurants. We stayed in Cabins by the Caves but we had the wonderful opportunity to look into other accommodations as well.
We started our trip with dinner at The Lodge at HideAway Hills. The restaurant atmosphere is classy log cabin with an absolutely fantastic deck overlooking acres and acres of woods.
We were so pleased with the welcome we received from everyone including the hostess, our waitress Ceilia, the dining room manager Lyndsey, and we even had the chance to meet a few of the area board members. Everyone was so kind and friendly.
We learned that the Lodge is actually located in a dry county but because they have a brewery on-site they are allowed to sell alcohol. Tired Dad Dave tried the brewed beer and he enjoyed it. I had a couple sips as well and while I’m not big on microbrews, I found it tasty as well.
As far as the food, dinner was absolutely fabulous! We had the Spinach Artichoke Dip which was full of large size delicious artichokes and plenty of spinach which we enjoyed.
Traveling Dad Dave ordered the Half-Rack of Ribs with Mashed Potatoes which he said were a nice combination of meaty yet tender.
I ordered the Maryland Crab Cake with fries. It was unbelievable!
I make crab cakes on occasion at home and I have to admit this crab cake put mine to shame. Tired Dad Dave thought it was so funny that I was raving so much over a crab cake but it really was so full of flavor and it tasted so divine, I couldn’t stop talking about it!
Once we finished up dinner we had to try the dessert. Tired Dad Dave enjoyed the Red Velvet Cake which was presented so nicely with white frosting and some chocolate sprinkles dotting the side.
When our waitress was rattling off the desserts I heard her say Bread Pudding and stopped her there. She then added that it came with caramel sauce. When I heard this I knew I had to try it. Two of my favorite things in life are bread and caramel – so what a perfect pairing for me! I was even more excited when the dessert arrived and the bread pudding was swimming in a pool of caramel.
Once I took I bite, I realized there were small slices of apple in the bread pudding and it was actually Caramel Apple Bread Pudding! Could this dessert possibly get any better?! I don’t believe it could. I’m not a fan of super sweet or sugary desserts and the Lodge’s Bread Pudding was the perfect combination of caramel sauce, soft and thick bread pudding, and thinly sliced apple pieces that it still left room for lots of flavor without being overly sweet.
(I apologize for having no photo of the Bread Pudding. The one I did take came out terribly and just did not do it justice so I decided to let you use your imagination!)
On Saturday, we arrived at the Inn at Cedar Falls for lunch around noon.
We could see it was a popular place because the parking lot across the street was already packed. We went into the restaurant and were surprised that the entrance takes you right into the kitchen. The hostess stand is there and you can get a look at the chefs who are making your dinner and peek at what some of the meals look like. It really was a unique and special touch to have the guests pass through the kitchen first.
Once we were seated in the 1840’s log house restaurant, we looked over the lunch menu which offered everything from a Tomato-Cucumber Wrap to a Peanut Butter & Jelly (or Marshmallow fluff!) sandwich.
I ordered the 1/2 lb. Angus Burger.
Traveling Dad Dave got the Cuban Panini.
We both enjoyed our meals in plaid wing back chairs that were very comfortable. The décor of the restaurant was charming with flamless candles at the table and lovely photos of the Hocking Hills area in all season on the walls.
While we both enjoyed our lunches, we do have to say that we were drooling over the dinner menu. It looked fantastic! A few of the dinner menu choices we thought sounded fabulous included: the Pan Roasted Pork Chops with Pears and Raisins, the Scallops & Gnocchi, and the Butternut Squash Ravioli. If we were there for dinner, I would have to say it would be hard to choose from the delectable selection!
With menu items like those, the Inn at Cedar Falls is a dinner hotspot and we heard that if you must call very early for reservations. And if dinner is even close to as good as it sounds and is as tasty as our lunch sandwiches were, I can see why they are packed!
At lunch we had the chance to talk to Innkeeper Ellen Grinsfelder. She was very warm and friendly and told us all about the history of the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls. The Inn was purchased by her mother and opened in 1987. Her mother hired a local contractor to complete construction and additions. Six months prior to opening, Ellen moved to the area, met Terry – the contractor, they fell in love and were married shortly after. How’s for the perfect story for our romantic weekend getaway?!
The Inn itself is a barn-like structure where nine guest rooms are located. Each room is decorated with antiques and has it’s own private bath. There is a beautiful porch and veranda that overlook a garden, fire pit, and the rolling Hocking Hills.
Other lodging choices also include Woodland Cabins and Cozy Cottages. The five Woodland Cabins are comfortable for up to four guests. Each includes a scenic porch overlooking acres of Hocking Hills, full cooking facilities, as well as the best quality furnishings, antiques, and bedding. The Cozy cottages which are perfect for a couple or single guest. The cottages offer queen or king bed, a large two-person indoor whirlpool tub, a private deck and a small refrigerator.
The Spa at Cedar Falls offers a wide array of packages, treatments, and gift certificates. Just some of the services include a Desperate Housewives Package, a Ionic Foot Bath, Traditional Massage, Reflexology, Hot Stone Massage, Couples Massage, Sugar Body Polish and more.
The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls also offers a varied calendar of events which include everything from horseback riding, canoeing, guided tours, cooking classes, wine tastings, nature hikes.
On Saturday, night we had the pleasure of visiting Ravenwood Castle and Medieval Village which is billed as Ohio’s Most Unusual Inn.
We arrived at 6 pm so it was after dark and while Castle Co-Owner, Patrick Wadsworth, did his best to show us around it was tough to see the Medieval Village Cottages, Fairy Tale Cabins, and Gypsy Wagons. But the website offers a nice collection of photos.
While walking the property, we enjoyed hearing about the wide variety of accommodations. The Gypsy Cabins are primarily for those interested in camping, the cabins and cottages are for couples or families some even allow dogs, and the Castle Rooms offer a romantic escape for two. The current owners took over the property in July of 2009 and are very proud of their unique Bed & Breakfast. They are updating all of the accommodations and have changed the dining options as well.
Guests staying in the Castle rooms are invited to breakfast each morning while those in the other locations may receive a basket of breakfast items delivered to their door. Also, dinner used to be served in a group setting with shared tables, a seating time, and a limited menu. Now Ravenswood Castle is a rival to any fine dining establishment in the area.
After touring the property, Traveling Dad Dave and I had the opportunity to lounge in the Library and enjoy a drink while we waited for our dinner reservation. I walked into the Library and felt at home. The selection of books, DVDs, and VHS tapes for the guest was expansive and included all genres – even children. The furniture was comfortable but I have to confess that I didn’t sit in it much, instead I browsed all the bookshelves.
We spent some time in the Rose-n-Thistle Pub as well which was a fun place to hang out and get to know the other guests. The Pub offered a bar, three fireplaces, tables with large wooden chairs, a flat-screen tv on which we watched some of the Ohio State game, and a nice selection of board games. The selection at the Pub included Scottish Ales, Chocolate Stouts, Ciders, Domestic Beers, a nice selection of wine and more.
Around 7 pm we went upstairs to the dining room for dinner.
The service during dinner was outstanding. Everyone from the hostess, to the server, to the manager, to the co-owner himself, made sure every diner was attended to and comfortable. Our order was taken quickly, meals were delivered promptly, and empty dishes were whisked away before we could set down our napkins.
To start our meals Traveling Dad Dave had the House Salad which he really enjoyed. Instead of a typical boring House Salad this one came with blueberries which was a nice touch.
I had a bowl of Butternut Squash Soup. It was incredible! As I stated in the first post I could have eaten a mixing bowl portion of the soup! Having not tried the other food yet, I told Traveling Dad Dave that every time we return to Ravenwood Castle, I would be happy to only order large bowls of this soup for my meal!
With the Starters being so delicious we were eager for dinner. Tired Dad Dave ordered the Pan Seared Tournedos of Beef Tenderloin with a Shallot Mushroom Demi Glace, Fingerling Potatoes, and Haricot Verts.
I ordered the Fresh Alaskan Salmon with a Lemon Buerre Blanc, Candied Almond Basmati Rice Pilaf, and Haricort Verts.
Don’t those dishes just look and sound divine? I was so happy to hear Ravenwood decided to step away from the limited menu and now were serving these incredibly impressive dishes. Tired Dad Dave absolutely loved his beef and thought it was well cooked and the sauce was the perfect touch. I found my salmon to be full of flavor and loved that it was both crispy, but tender.
We also had to try the dessert – for the full experience, of course! I ordered the Apple Gallette with Bourbon Carmel Sauce and Cinnamon Ice Cream.
Traveling Dad Dave ordered the Chocolate Cheese Cake with Creme Anglaise and Fresh Berries.
He thought it was delicious especially when he combined bites of the cheese cake and slices of strawberries. He won the clean plate award on this one and said he enjoyed it so much he would order it again.
After our plates were once again whisked away, we happily rolled ourselves out of Ravenwood Castle & Medieval Village to wind our way back through Hocking Hills to our cabin for a good night’s sleep.
The Lodge at Hide-A-Way Hills, The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls, and Ravenswood Castle and Medieval Village are all beautiful, creative, restful and romantic places at which to dine and stay while you are in Hocking Hills. If pressed, we honestly couldn’t pick a favorite. They all offered unique experiences and delectable dinners that when we visit again we will make time to return to all three.
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The trip was provided for review. No compensation was received. The opinions are mine and that of my family.