Inn saucon valley
Keywords: inn saucon valley, restaurant review spring valley inn trout upper saucon
Description: On a late summer night, dining al fresco while listening to a chorus of crickets in concert with gurgling water fountains, I found myself especially grateful for resurrection of Upper Saucon
On a late summer night, dining al fresco while listening to a chorus of crickets in concert with gurgling water fountains, I found myself especially grateful for resurrection of Upper Saucon Township's Spring Valley Inn.
The inn, closed about half a decade, reopened at the end of July as Ye Olde Spring Valley Tavern. If location is everything, this restaurant has a lot going for it.
Tucked into the crook of a country road that must have been a wagon trail when the building was constructed in the early 1800s, the tavern's setting includes a picturesque outdoor dining area with a pond, fountains and small bridge. That the food is good here as well adds to the appeal.
Co-owners Warren and Donna Walters of Lower Saucon Township and Frank and Kim McCartney of Sewell, N.J. have nursed the old inn back to life. Renovations include a new kitchen, a major cleanup and lots of paint.
All that paint resulted in a new, cheery red and white color scheme for the inn's exterior, including the outdoor pavilion dining area. Inside, much of the interior remains the same, with its bead-board paneling setting a comfortable and homey tone. The bar, with its pressed tin ceiling, feels especially intimate and antique.
A major menu feature is fresh trout from the backyard pond. Trout-focused entrees range from the fish simply sauteed with lemon butter to broiled and stuffed with crabmeat. Additional seafood selections are offered along with steak, lamb and veal.
The tavern menu includes hot and cold sandwiches, from hot dogs and ham and cheese to an artisan grilled cheese (cooper cheese, bacon and tomato) and shrimp salad. In a nod to the backyard, there's also a trout po'boy (smoked trout, lettuce and sundried tomato remoulade).
From the dinner menu, bacon-wrapped scallops ($9), a fine starter, were ample enough for sharing. Crispy, crispy bacon hugged the tender bivalves, bringing smoky notes to the well-executed standard combination.
Trout amandine ($23), the evening's special, paired the crunch of chopped whole almonds with the tender, mild profile of the fresh fish. It was a delicious preparation. Green beans, the vegetable du jour, were standard fare.
Excellent roasted "European" chicken ($24), moist and succulent meat as foil to the crisped skin, was paired with homemade gravy, perhaps the apogee of comfort fare. The coupling further was enhanced by top-notch mashed potatoes, thick with texture and taste of the tuber's essence.
From the tavern's kitchen, blueberry cobbler ($6), while tasty enough, featured soupy blueberries with minimal topping.
Ye Olde Spring Valley Tavern offers the warmth of antique character along with the beauty of a rural setting. With good, food too, who could want for more?
Susan Gottshall is a freelance restaurant reviewer for Go Guide. Gottshall attempts to remain anonymous during restaurant visits. All meals are paid for by The Morning Call.