100 Cricklewood Dr
State College, PA 16803
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Carnegie House

Cuisine: Continental, Catering, Sushi

Carnegie House is a Continental, Catering, and Sushi restaurant where most Menuism users came for a family meal, paid more than $50, and tipped more than 18%.

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  • 11/24/2014

    A diner from Newark, NJ tried it and liked it.

Chatelaine2 photo

Chatelaine2

 Pine Grove Mills, PA
 

The only Restaurant we'll patronize for Thanksgiving

Carnegie House is so quietly elegant, yet relaxing and friendly. First you are greeted and seated before a crackling fireplace, in comfy wingchairs and sofas, with books all around, gentle lighting (but not dim, you can see your companions and the smiling staff!) and a large vase of flowers somewhere nearby. You are offered a beverage ranging from fine wine or cocktail to something soft, and wonderful hors d’oeuvres that foreshadow the specials on the menu. I remember something terrific with mushrooms, and that was last Thanksgiving, nearly a year ago! You get to study a handsome and full menu while you sip and nosh, before you ever get to your impeccable white linen table, and you order while you’re still “on the couch”. When you’ve finished, to your table you go, and a fine meal is brought in. You never have to save your salad fork or dinner fork, or hang onto your knife for the next course, because you will automatically (no asking for it! no waiting!) receive all the gleaming cutlery you require for your next course. Quiet and unobtrusive, but you don’t feel like you’re “at attention” with the waitstaff — you can joke with them and make smalltalk if you wish, and they’ll respond in kind. The dining rooms (there are several) are small and intimate, with perhaps 8 or 10 tables in each. The food is delicious, generous, but not a “groaning board” so you can enjoy a salad or soup, an appetizer, your entree, the crusty bread and butter, and still have room for dessert and coffee or tea. I’ve had excellent scallops as an appetizer there, and we are in the MIDDLE of PENNSYLVANIA, far from the seashore or even the Chesapeake Bay. The Turkey and Chestnut stuffing is almost as good as my mother’s, and she is a fine gourmet with 60+ year’s experience in a kitchen, and I’m not just being loyal! The presentation (plating, the frou-frou call it) is attractive and dignified, and even pretty, but not “precious” so that you roll your eyes at the artistry while simultaneously cringing at the lack of food and substance. Pretty sauce artfully arranged is nice, but put it on some food, please, and not just finger painting on the plate…Jackson Pollock was not a chef, as far as I know!At Carnegie House, you don’t have to wish for more substance and less style. Just sit back and enjoy. It’s Thanksgiving, after all!

P.S. And you don’t have a huge gourmet kitchen to clean up afterwards, while you are drowsy from tryptophan --ah, Bliss! It makes a body thankful indeed. ;-)

Roast Turkey with Chestnut Dressing

Tender, piping hot, with great dark meat as well as white, excellent stuffing with zillions of chestnuts and at least one subtle spice which I couldn’t quite identify at first — I think it was cardamom. This was the 2008 Thanksgiving Special, which came with many dishes, and yet we were not filled to exploding, and had room for our pie. Something (was it our pie leftovers? no, it was our leftover turkey and stuffing, there weren’t any pie leftovers) was delightfully “wrapped” to look like a little turkey, complete with wings. It was unexpected and charming. And I recall loving the gravy, and I’m not usually a “gravy gal”. So we’ll likely make our reservations again this year, as it was lovely and there might be only two of us here for Thanksgiving. That’s too few for roasting a turkey at home. Maybe just a small turkey breast, so we can have leftovers for TURKEY SANDWICHES. Be honest, don’t you love that part of Thanksgiving too? But go to Carnegie House for the meal itself, if you’re in State College and NOT doing the home-cooking thing. I say again, they’ll do the dishes, and you get to take home a tiny turkey, artistically made out of aluminum foil, with your leftovers neatly “stuffed” inside. Now how often do you get to do that?

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Carnegie House is located near the cities of University Park, Pennsylvania State University University Park, State, Centre County, and Penn Saint Univ.
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