Join recent transplant Joelle Shea as she discovers food in central Pennsylvania for the first time. Get information on the restaurants she tries, as well as recipes and cooking tips.
Last week, I was one third of a party that visited the Mount Hill Tavern, housed in a charming historic building on Colonial Road in Harrisburg, for dinner. We were there on a cold night, so the outdoor patio was closed, but I bet it is fantastic place for cocktails and light fare on a warm fall day. I walked into the building with an empty stomach and great expectations.
The meal started well, with an extensive cocktail and wine list. The husband, who knows of these things, was impressed with their beer offerings. We ordered two appetizers - the curry mussels and flash-fried calamari. Both were flavorful and arrived in a timely manner. I especially enjoyed the coconut curry mussels, which offered the right balance of spicy and sweet.
Let me get the painful part of this post over with quickly - all three main courses were mediocre. Both the cedar plank salmon and chicken marsala were overcooked. The chicken was tough and was served with dry mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach that was burnt to brown. The third dinner was a shrimp scampi that was served with sliced filet over top, which made for a disjointed presentation and flavor.
While we were dining, the couple at the table next to us ordered the salmon and the steak. Her salmon came out almost immediately and his filet mignon took many minutes to arrive. Unfortunately she was nearly finished with her meal by the time his was delivered. There was much apologizing from the staff, but timing and service are also critical parts of enjoying a night out.
So I will go back, but for drinks and appetizers in the bar or on the patio – not for a full evening meal. Is “meh” an acceptable restaurant review?
What do you think of Mount Hill Tavern? Where do you recommend I head next?
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