Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Out Of The Fire

While we were at the Pirates-Dodgers game a couple of weeks ago, DB~ was flipping through the program and saw an ad for the Wine and Food Festival at Seven Springs this past weekend.  She had always wanted to go to this, so we booked a reservation to stay at the lodge and headed up this past weekend for the Festival on Saturday.

The actual festival will be a subsequent post, but this one is about the restaurant we ate at on Friday night on our way up -- Out of the Fire.  The restaurant is located on the main road (Route 31) on the way to Seven Springs, a few miles before the turn to the resort itself.  It's set back from the road in a tastefully painted green building, but with very little signage.  I practically put the car up on 2 wheels as I pulled into the parking lot "hot".

The day before we went up, DB~ called and tried to make reservations, as she heard from her friend that recommended the place that it gets busy on the weekends.  When she called, the very perky girl on the other end of the line said the only times were either 5 pm or 9 pm on Friday night.  She did say that outdoor seating was first-come, first-serve, so we decided the potential reward outweighed the risk and would chance just popping in.

When we got there, the outside seating was full so we went to the hostess area in hopes that we could put our name in and wait it out.  Walking in, there were empty tables and only 2 other couples waiting in front of us.  There were seats at the high top bar overlooking the grill station.  After we asked to be put on the list, we asked about the grill station seating.

"We don't like to have a lot of menus out in the restaurant.  This way the food comes out on time like it's supposed to," replied the hostess.  OK....that...sort of makes sense.  Kinda.

We were then told it would be a 15 minute wait.  On a Friday night at 7 pm.  In an area where there are no other good restaurants of this potential caliber.  Yeah, we'll gut it out for a whole fifteen.  As we were chatting and checking out the decor, the hostess came over after 5 minutes and seated us.

So yeah....there's no worries about the lack of reservations at this place.  A couple of people called in while we were waiting and the hostess turned them away by saying 9 pm was the only time available.  DB~ wanted to grab the phone and scream "Just come down and wait 10 minutes!!!".

Aside from the odd seating practices, this restaurant was fantastic.

As an appetizer we ordered the baked brie in phyllo dough.  It wasn't as "melty" as when I make it, and we weren't totally enamored by the red pepper and onion compote served with it, but it was still a very good appetizer.

The stars of the night were our respective entrees.  DB~ went with a lemon flavored halibut.  Her sides were some goat cheese gnocchi, an arugula salad, and some delicately seared peach halves.  The halibut was flaky in the middle and slightly crusty on the top.

I went with the filet mignon.  It was cooked perfectly to my medium-well request with the grill seasonings forming a little unexpected crust on the meat.  There was a fingerling and lobster hash drizzled in bearnaise sauce (that I also used to dip the filet mignon in).  My vegetable were some roasted baby carrots, with just ever so much crunch, that were seasoned with a house blend of Italian seasonings.

If you are anywhere close to the Donegal area and want an outstanding meal, head over to Out of the Fire.  It is a very under the radar gem in the Laurel Highlands.

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