WORTH THE DRIVE: Delicious dishes from Kindred Spirits are highlight of Hocking Hills getaway

Steak is on the menu at Kindred Spirits, the restaurant at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. ALEXIS LARSEN / CONTRIBUTED
Steak is on the menu at Kindred Spirits, the restaurant at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. ALEXIS LARSEN / CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Last year when Food and Wine writer David Landsel wrote about Logan Ohio’s Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, he wrote, “You could drive past the region’s best hotel one hundred times without even blinking — the real magic is in the well-crafted cottage and yurt accommodations, expertly distributed in the surrounding field and forest, all within walking distance of Kindred Spirits, the region’s best restaurant, where (executive chef Matt) Rapposelli has been in charge of the kitchen for about a year now.”

It’s high praise, and praise that I found was quite worthy both of the meals and the lodging during a late August stay there.

The hands-free check-in process, calm, beautiful sweet cabins and many delicious meals at the Inn’s Kindred Spirits restaurant made it a COVID-friendly getaway that I would certainly consider taking again.

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New and existing guests at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills can now book a stay in large, fully-loaded lodges that sleep up to two dozen guests.
New and existing guests at The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills can now book a stay in large, fully-loaded lodges that sleep up to two dozen guests.

Credit: Matthew Lovette

Credit: Matthew Lovette

They recently announced an Inn-Style Thanksgiving Getaway Package, which speaks to the way they make sure guests are taken care of.

A stay on Nov. 25-26 will see the inn staff doing all the work. Check in to either a cozy cottage or yurt on Wednesday night and find extra special treats waiting for you. The deal comes with a $25 restaurant voucher for dinner at Kindred Spirits Wednesday evening before settling in for the night.

The next morning enjoy a full, country breakfast at Kindred Spirits and pick up your Thanksgiving Feast along with everything else you need to enjoy your meal before you leave. Your meal, in ready-to-heat containers will have all of the holiday staples including roasted turkey, Applewood smoked ham, mashed potatoes, herbed brioche dressing, mixed berry cobbler with whipped cream and more. On Friday, before checking out they will give you a $25 gift shop voucher to start holiday shopping without the crowds at the Inn’s well appointed gift shop.

The Inn-style Thanksgiving Getaway for two in a cottage is $699 plus tax and in a yurt for $729 plus tax.

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Whether you make it for the holiday or not, we’re all looking for safe low-risk options to get away and try and enjoy some semblance of pre-pandemic life.

There’s no question that Kindred Spirits represents the best in casual fine dining that Hocking Hills has to offer.

Whether you want breakfast delivered to your cabin door and prefer your eggs with a forest view or head in for a perfectly executed breakfast sammie or omelet, the inn starts executing on food at sunrise.

It is highly recommended to make breakfast reservations to avoid a wait for a table. Overnight guests receive a complimentary breakfast. Outside guests are also welcome to join if they are passing through. All of the restaurant’s menus change seasonally to reflect locally grown vegetables and fruit in season. The ambience of the 1840s log cabin building and delightful scents wafting from the kitchen are worth going in for, but the choice is yours.

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Lunch is available daily Memorial Day weekend through Nov. 1. To-go brown bag lunches are available year-round and are perfect grab-and-go options for a day filled with outdoor adventures.

The restaurant itself is cozy and intimate with seating for 45, so reservations are required for their most popular dinner hour.

The entree meals at dinner are straightforward, working to highlight the main ingredient on the plate. The preparations aren’t fussy but are well executed by practiced hands. The ingredients are fresh and the flavors are bright and lively. And whatever you do, don’t skip the desserts.

Don't skip the desserts when dining at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. CONTRIBUTED / ALEXIS LARSEN
Don't skip the desserts when dining at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls. CONTRIBUTED / ALEXIS LARSEN

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Some of Kindred Spirits past seasonal entrees include bistro steak, grilled and served with a gorgonzola thyme cream, pan seared double airline chicken breast basted with orange marmalade BBQ sauce or grilled center cut pork chop topped with rosemary, bacon and balsamic tomatoes.

The restaurant sources as much as it can locally from some familiar names and some that are probably not as recognizable:

Shagbark Seed & Mill, Athens (grains and beans)

The Candy Cottage, Lancaster (chocolates)

Buckeye Lake Brewery, Buckeye Lake

Little Fish Brewery, Athens

Jackie O’s Brewery, Athens

Devil’s Kettle Brewery, Athens

Brewery 33, Logan

Sweet Thing Gourmet, Bexley (assorted jams)

Wallingford Coffee, Cincinnati

Arrive early and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail while chatting in the tavern, sitting in the fireside lounge or on the rooftop garden.

It’s harder than ever to find places to get away and unplug that feel safe and this was a welcome find to be able to control the number of people we were around while still enjoying terrific food in a magnificent setting. It’s something two months later that I’m still giving thanks for.

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of exciting outdoor spaces, new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.

DAYTON EATS

Turn to us every Sunday in Life & Arts for the latest menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes, and culinary adventures brought to you by contributing writer Alexis Larsen. Bon appetite!

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