Apr 24, 2012 10:30 AM WV Food
WV LIVING shares their favorite foods
Ambrae House in Berkeley Springs
On a recent weekend getaway to Berkeley Springs, my boyfriend and I discovered a fabulous little restaurant and bed and breakfast called Ambrae House. Situated on Washington Street, right in the heart of town, it was a dining experience we won't soon forget. After a random set of events that culminated in Mark and I walking into Ambrae for a third time in one day when we walked in for dinner that night, all the owner, Lisa Bowman, and the bartender could do was laugh at us as they recognized the two crazy kids who obviously couldn't make up their minds.
We sat at the bar, and with March Madness basketball on and sweet libations in hand, we perused the menu. And realized we were in for a tough decision because everything sounded so good. Did we want to start with the ahi tuna or fried pickles? Was I in the mood for a grilled chicken spinach salad or the bison burger? Or maybe the portabella mushroom sandwich? Of course, there were the crab cakes or a wrap, too. And don't even get me started on the specials. Ultimately, I went with a glass of the 2008 Entrada Chardonnay (Argentina) and the Grilled Chicken Provolone Panini, with chicken, roasted tomato, provolone, sauteed spinach, and creamy pesto sauce, and a side of fries. And Mark chose a Flying Dog Raging Bitch Belgian IPA to go with his special: Lump Crab Cake and Steamed Shrimp with french fries and coleslaw.
The food was finger-licking good! Everything was served hot and fresh, and the flavors in my panini were perfect. Lisa checked up on us to make sure we were happy we'd come back, and we even made a friend at the bar, a man from the D.C. area who spends a lot of his time at his cabin in Berkeley Springs. The setting was so warm and inviting, the company was friendly, the service was spot on, and the food...I can't wait to go back! And for coming back for a third time in one day, the bartender leaned over and quietly asked, "Can I make you a special drink?" I couldn't be rude and say "no," so a pour and a shake later, I had a delectable looking martini sitting in front of me. I didn't know what it was but I could see it had chocolate and a creamy consistency—what more did I need to know? I took a sip and smiled in utter delight. When I told the bartender it was amazing and asked what was in it, all he said was, "I have four daughters, so I know. Anything with chocolate is good." My heart went out to him right then and there!
If I was in Berkeley Springs every weekend, I'd go back to Ambrae House. It was such a pleasurable experience I would not mind re-creating. But if you're in the area, be sure to head to Martinsburg for a deliciously filling lunch at Habanero Mexican Grill and a bag full of DeFluri's chocolates. And definitely be sure to make a reservation at Panorama at the Peak! That was an entirely different and phenomenal food experience I'll have to share next time.
Happy food trails!