Blogs > Eating It Up Locally!

Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Cherry Dining Room at Punderson Manor Lodge

I recently blogged about Geauga Tourism's Scavenger Hunt that Cheryl and I completed. As I mentioned, there were several places we wanted to revisit when we had more time, and today we took a trip to Punderson State Park for lunch at the Cherry Dining Room in the Manor Lodge.

First off, let me just say that if you want to be enamored with your surroundings while you eat, this is the place to go. Not only are you treated to an amazing view of Punderson Lake and the grounds of the park--the dining room is seemingly arranged so that every table is fairly close to the large windows--but the inside of the dining room is beautiful too. The dark wood of the room, the simple and classy table dressings, and the gorgeous (and amazingly stocked) bar really set the place apart. Of course, the fact that it's set in the historic Manor Lodge doesn't hurt. The outside of the building is guarded by gargoyles, and once inside you are able to read about the history of the lodge and visit a quaint little gift shop selling locally made wines (some from Debonne, I noticed) and Amish made treats, among other gift shop fare. I have heard whispers of a local ghost story, too.

This was the view from the dining room when
Cheryl and I visited on the Scavenger Hunt.

This gargoyle sits otuside the entrance to the Manor Lodge.

The Lodge is super pretty, and looks like a great place to stay.

As for the food, I couldn't be more pleased. Cheryl and I perused the lunch menu the previous night and had our hearts quickly set on the bangers and mash--two tasty and plump sausages with creamy mashed potatoes and a helping of seasonal veggies. The menu says the meal is an English house specialty. The sausages weren't greasy, and were full of flavor. The mashed potatoes were absolutely wonderful, and the veggies were the perfect complement to the dish. My only semi-complaint is that I wish there were more! The meal came with a bit of mustard for the sausages, which Cheryl enjoyed but I passed as I do not particularly care for mustard.

We also ordered appetizers to share. We couldn't decide which to get, and both wanted the sweet potato fries, which were dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of Geauga County maple syrup for dipping, and the flat bread bruschetta, which was described as "house-made seasoned flat bread that is grilled and finished with red onion and tomatoes, served with a sundried tomato tapenade." Cheryl ordered the fries and I took the bruschetta. The fries were absolutely amazing. They were deliciously sweet and the syrup was a heavenly topping. My bruschetta was probably one of the better appetizers I've ever had. The sundried tomato tapenade was very reminiscent of sundried tomato pesto, which is by far one of my favorite things ever. We both loved our appetizers so much that we had to force ourselves not to finish them all before our lunch arrived.

Cheryl and I both managed not to stuff ourselves with our meals, and were able to bring half of our lunches home with us for dinner. And considering the reasonable prices, I am absolutely thrilled with the value and quality of my meal today. Add in a friendly staff and the enchanting environment, and I would have to say that the Cherry Dining Room at Punderson is a must-visit. While we were treated to a beautiful fall view, I imagine the scene is equally amazing each season. I know I want to go back for dinner sometime.

--Danielle Capriato

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Anonymous Double Glazing said...

Decorating you dining room is not nearly as complicated or impossible as one might think. I live in a "space-challenged" apartment, with a tiny "cubby-hole" for a dining room, and have had to re-decorate a couple of times when we've changed our lifestyle or circumstances with our family have changed.

January 27, 2011 at 8:04 AM 

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