TÈ is located within an hour's drive from me in Lancaster County and is particularly special because it is one of the few restaurants in the United States that holds both a AAA Five-Diamond Award and a Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star Award.
To further guild the lily, he arranged a stay at the Inn at Leola Village in one of the most unique rooms on the property, the historic "Wine Cellar," which dates back to 1867 and was once part of the original farmhouse which is still there to this day.
The Inn at Leola Village
|The entrance to the lobby at the Inn at Leola Village.|
|The lobby at the Inn at Leola Village features beams original to the property.|
The Inn at Leola Village, listed among the Historic Hotels of America, has received its share of awards and accolades since opening in 1999. It was named Best Meeting Venue by Pennsylvania Meetings & Events Magazine (2017) and recently received the Four Diamonds Award of Excellence (2018). The Inn was also recognized by The Knot as a Hall of Fame Designee (2018) and was nominated as Best Historical Hotel by the Historic Hotels of America (2018).
Sixty-two guest rooms are spread across seven buildings, with four buildings original to the property. Overnight guests can select from several restored antique homes, a restored tobacco barn, and other tastefully appointed accommodations, including my favorite--the wine cellar.
|The "Wine Cellar" suite was once the stone-walled cold cellar of the original restored farmhouse. It includes original wood posts and beams, along with a whirlpool, a fireplace, and a separate entrance.|
|My favorite part of the "wine cellar," is this adorable reading nook.|
|The bar at Osteria Avanti.|
|A room in a restored tobacco barn features a waterfall shower on the second floor.|
|The waterfall shower on the second floor rains into a whirlpool tub.|
|All rooms are spacious, no matter which one you choose.|
|The wedding area.|
|Suites located in the catering hall where bridal parties get ready for the big day.|
TÈ Raises the Bar on Fine Dining
|Intimate and romantic, TÈ restaurant touts a mere six tables, with a staff the size of much larger restaurants.|
TÈ,which means tea in Italian, offers diners a one-of-a-kind experience in an intimate atmosphere. Reservations aren't just recommended, they're mandatory, which is something to keep in mind, along with the fact that dinner is served on Friday and Saturday only.
|Two sandwiches wrapped like little presents came with melted cheese and raspberry sauce for dipping. This set the tone for other little surprises during the course of the meal.|
|The cheese trolley features almost two dozen cheeses from Italy and France. A fromagier is on hand to explain the various selections and to answer any questions.|
Special touches included a stool strategically placed at knee-height so I wouldn't have to sling my purse over a chair, or place it on the floor and a warm finger bowl containing mint and rose petals, which enveloped the table in a lovely aroma.
We opted for the five-course prix fixe menu, which included salad, appetizer, fish and main courses.TÈ has a certified sommelier on staff and each of our courses were paired with Italian wines. Highlights of this incredible meal included yellowfin tuna with deep-fried fennel in a 15-year balsamic reduction, butter-poached halibut cheek with mint in a duck egg yolk, lamb, scallops and pork belly and the grand finale: the dessert mat, which was absolutely wonderful, from the little tortes and cakes, to the chocolate cherries the staff set aflame as we watched.
|Yellowfin tuna with deep-fried fennel in a 15-year balsamic reduction.|
|Butter-poached halibut cheek with mint in a duck egg yolk.|
|We each selected five cheeses and were served candied nuts, bread and fruit alongside.|
|One of many libations served during the course of the meal.|
|The spectacular, over-the-top dessert mat.|
|There's the flying pig again. This is TE's version of milk and cookies, but by the time this course was served, it was 11 p.m. and we were stuffed, so they packed up a few of those chocolate-dipped, anise-kissed biscotti for us to take with us.|
Part of our package included breakfast the following morning, so we headed over to the other onsite restaurant, Osteria Avanti, where I enjoyed a somewhat lighter meal of avocado toast. My husband ordered eggs and scrapple and we both laughed when the flying pig made yet another appearance.
|Avocado toast served at Osteria Avanti.|
|The flying pig makes a final appearance in the form of scrapple.|