Inn at Millrace Pond is Worth the Journey

We drove 92 miles round trip to dine at the Inn at Millrace Pond and would not hesitate to make the trip again.

We drove 92 miles round trip to dine at the Inn at Millrace Pond and would not hesitate to make the trip again. It is not often that we dine at a restaurant that is quiet, has tables spaced far apart and a piano player/singer on a Saturday night. And yes, the food was very good.

The restored 1769 stone gristmill restaurant located on 23 acres also has a miller’s house and wheelwrights cottage. There are seventeen antique-filled guest rooms, so consider staying the night and have a romantic getaway. The town, which is ten miles from the Delaware Water Gap and near Jenny Jump State Park, was established by German Moravians in 1769. It contains charming stone residences, an antique store, the Land of Make Believe (an amusement park), farms and bucolic country roads to explore.

Executive chef Stefan Sabo, who previously worked as chef de cuisine at the Bernards Inn in Bernardsville, and as executive chef at the Mohawk House in Sparta, has been manning the stoves the past few months. He was director of food and beverage and executive chef at the Double Tree Renaissance in Albany and worked for Hilton Worldwide.

Upon being seated in the quaint upstairs dining room with its stone wall, deep set windows, pine floors and exposed wood beams, we were brought crusty ciabatta bread with herbed olive oil. Appetizers were a delicate and artistically presented modern painting in a bowl of avocado and sour cream soup with slivers of onion, cilantro, feta cheese, sweet corn kernels, diced tomatoes and herbs. Also ordered was a dish, from the sharable section of the menu, of calamari that was bursting with flavor from diced sausage, slivers of garlic, capers, heirloom baby tomatoes and spinach; it wowed us. Entrees were equally impressive. A glass plate served as the base for an impressively staged coriander-crusted Ahi tuna with quiona-mango salad and a balsamic molasses. A special of flat-iron steak served medium rare was juicy and very tender. It was accompanied by al dente string beans and outrageous cheddar-smashed fingerling potatoes, which tasted like macaroni and cheese but better. Order these as a side, if they are available.

Also recommended is the lighter than expected s’mores for dessert, which was presented in a Ball jar. The waitress unscrewed the top and smoke emerged which conjured an image of a campfire; a clever and whimsical demonstration. Digging into the jar, we experienced a scrumptious dessert containing layers of chocolate mousse, graham crackers and a toasted-marshmallow topping. Also ordered was an orange creamsicle-flavored cheesecake topped with strawberries, which was good but not as impressive as the s’mores.

The wine list is very reasonable with many bottles in the $30 range. Generous pours of house wines are $6. A rotating list of craft beers and cocktails are also available.

After dinner we walked down the open staircase, past the wine cellar, to the stream that runs through the mill and the remains of the water wheel, into the casual tavern, where there is a walk-in fireplace, grain chute and stone walls. The Fireside Tavern has a full-service bar and table seating for 50 persons with the same menu as the upstairs dining room.

Inn at Millrace Pond
313 County Road 519
Hope
908-459-4884

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Avocado and sour cream soup with onions, cilantro, feta cheese, sweet corn kernels, diced tomatoes and herbs.

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The inn at dusk.
Photos courtesy of Lowell Saferstein

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