State College

‘It’s a very exciting time.’ Centre County restaurant has new look, name, menu

Recent changes at Carnegie Inn & Spa have resulted in a brand-new dining option for Centre County residents. The new Grace Restaurant at the Carnegie Inn is now open, serving dinner every day except Sunday and breakfast on weekends.

Plans for a redesign and for the restaurant to have its own identity were a few years out, Chef Paul Kendeffy said, but the opportunity to start the project early came unexpectedly after a water pipe broke in January.

“It’s a very exciting time for the staff to be in a new space and a new restaurant,” he said.

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The newly redesigned Grace Restaurant at the Carnegie Inn features a fire pit and back patio. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Grace Restaurant, located at 100 Cricklewood Drive, State College, aims to fill a void in the local dining scene that’s evolved over the past several years.

“The past five years (have) seen a dramatic decline in mid- to upscale dining in the area. Certainly downtown has seen the worst of it, with the new high-rise construction pushing out the locally-owned restaurants,” Kendeffy said.

For those who have dined at Carnegie Inn & Spa in the past, they can now expect a larger menu, featuring locally-sourced foods and herbs and vegetables grown right on site. Kendeffy expects to change the menu about six times per year, “to provide the freshest and most seasonal items available.”

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The “Is it an Apple?” desert is on the menu at Grace Restaurant at the Carnegie Inn. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

Summer menu offerings include entrees such as organic heritage chicken stuffed with goat cheese and basil with a raspberry vinegar sauce and broccolini, Pennsylvania-raised pure-bred lamb loin with thyme sauce and grilled polenta and breast of mallard duck with mushroom risotto and roasted figs.

The unveiling of Grace Restaurant not only comes with a new menu, though. The dining room has also been redesigned and Kendeffy said this is likely one of the biggest differences guests will notice, as the new space is both lighter and brighter.

Whether locals and visitors have dined at The Carnegie Inn previously, Kendeffy thinks the new Grace Restaurant offers something to delight every guest.

“We hope to appeal to everyone, as the restaurant offers many different areas to relax and dine in,” Kendeffy said.

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Seared scallops are on the menu at Grace Restaurant at the Carnegie Inn. Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

He added: “Our goal for Grace Restaurant has been the same since day one — not only to be the best we can be for the area but also a nationally-acclaimed restaurant. The staff is committed to reaching for this goal every day and with every customer.”

Those who want a more intimate look at Grace Restaurant beyond the normal, dinner service can do so by reserving a spot at the Chef’s Table. Up to six diners are seated in the restaurant’s kitchen, for a front-row view as their dinner is prepared by Kendeffy. The three-hour tasting experience starts at $145 per person. Call 234-2424 ext. 4 for more information or to make a reservation.

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