In the punishing pace of city living, it’s easy to forget the soothing charms of those who don’t live with a phone permanently attached to their bodies. Unfortunately, sometimes when one ventures to find the peace of country life, city travelers can be confronted by less than idyllic surroundings wherein the comfort, food, setting and service is just as rural indoors as outdoors.
Thankfully, the notable and award-winning Golden Pheasant Inn in Bucks County, Pennsylvania elegantly marries the tranquility of the country with the rigorous demands of high-maintenance urbanities.
Situated next to the Delaware River, the Golden Pheasant Inn was surprisingly spacious for a country Inn, which frankly looked smaller than a D.C. McMansion on the outside. The entire downstairs of the Inn is the dining and bar service, while the upstairs housed four large rooms.
Each of the rooms were beautifully appointed with thoughtful service details on par with the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton or any Park Hyatt. In fact, I found the king size bed in the “Delaware Room” to be more luxurious than the Westin “Dream Bed” and slept wonderfully when I wasn’t strung out on a fully caffeinated, but delicious coffee.
Adding to the warmth and elegance of the room was a remote controlled, real fireplace and a stunning bathroom easily half the size of the rather large guest room. Straight from the pages of Elle Décor or Traditional Home, the basket-weave marble floors wove into the mosaic tiling of the two person, standing shower artfully. As strange as it sounds, the bathroom was so beautiful, I took my coffee in there in the morning, with The Wall Street Journal, and read while I watch the sun rise out of the large, plantation shuttered windows.
Downstairs, to the left of the main foyer is the “Tavern,” with it’s own special menu and with the full dining menu available as well. Beyond the Tavern is, what I refer to, the “dining room with a view. Both exterior walls are opened with French-paned windows giving a fully scenic view of the Delaware River on the one side, and a rising hill and winery on the other side. Then, to the right of the main foyer, is a cozier dining room with less of a view but with equally good food.
With separate “Tavern” and “Dinner” menus, I should note before I delve into their description, the complimentary breakfast served from 830 am to 930 am is delightful. Everyone gets a waffle, with sides of local sausage to die for, and fruit. But not just any waffle: a waffle so large, dense and yet still airy, it absorbed the half-a cup of locally sourced syrup I drenched it in and yet still maintained it’s shape and original taste. What can I say except AWESOME.
From the “Tavern” menu, I was stupefied to find four different kinds of French fries and thus I immediately ordered all four. “I have never had anyone order all four French fires,” my surprised server proclaimed. “Well, that is a mistake!” I playfully chided, “A flight of French fries is not something you find just anywhere!”
Using 100% peanut oil in their fryer, the Golden Pheasant Inn offers sea salt and black pepper fries (3); goat cheese and fresh rosemary fries (5); blue cheese and fresh thyme fries (5); and white truffle oil and pecorino romano cheese (6). I would definitely say the white truffle oil and pecorino romano cheese fries was my favorite, followed closely by the sea salt and black pepper fries, but honestly all four were quite good.
I also tried the Meadow Brook Farms Grass Fed Ground Beef Burger on a Brioche Bun, prepared with Bobolink cheddar cheese (a locally sourced cheese farm) and hickory smoked bacon (15). The beef was spectacular. I loved how flavorful it was, but I enjoyed the Joe Jurgielewicz & Sons Ground Duck Burger (14) more. Made with apricot ginger rum sauce and Old Chatham camembert and a brioche bun, the different flavors on the duck were rich and playful. I really enjoyed how delightful it felt to eat.
As for the “Dining” menu, which you can also order from the Tavern bar, the best thing I ate was the Grilled 16 oz. Lancaster County Porterhouse Steak (40). Served with smashed Terhune Orchards Elba potatoes, smoked Berkshire pork belly, Ewes Blue cheese, White Star Growers cherry tomatoes and a balsamic reduction demi-glace, each element of this dish stood out on it’s own yet came together beautifully.
The porterhouse was juicy and tender, perfectly cooked. I could have eaten it plain. Then you texture in the Terhune Orchards Elba potatoes, which were excellently seasoned, with the smoked Berkshire pork belly, and your taste buds go on a lovely jaunt. Still this wasn’t enough for Chef so he adds blue cheese, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic reduction demi-glace. Maybe, for others, this would be too much, yet it was so delicious all-together. Worth journeying to Golden Pheasant Inn just for this dish.
After all this food, you would think not to order dessert but that would be a mistake. The ice creams are the best I’ve had, even better than the Talenti gelato I am currently obsessed with. I would highly recommend the Bailey’s Chocolate Chip (3 for 1 scoop, 6 for two) as well as the Candy Cane Chip.
Also worth ordering are the Pumpkin Cranberry Cheesecake (10) and the Carrot Cake (9). As a chocolate person, it’s odd I would not recommend the chocolate desserts but they were more European in presentation – which makes sense because it’s a French inspired Inn – thus it was less sweet as the American in me prefers.
Finally, I should note Kevin in the Tavern bar offered me the best Riesling I’ve had in quite some time. From the award-winning Alba Vineyard in New Jersey -- they are presenting their wine to the Super Bowl NFL owners this week -- the Riesling was so excellent I even drove to the winery the next day to get a full tasting and to purchase several bottles of wine.
Such a romantic place, I’m sure the gorgeously appointed Inn brings back many a guest, and after sampling what the Golden Pheasant Inn offers, I assure you, I will definitely be one of them … maybe even to rent out the Inn for a wedding!
The Golden Pheasant Inn
763 River Road, Erwinna, PA 18920