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“Close enough I to walk too!”

Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant
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Ranked #13 of 242 Restaurants in State College
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$50
Cuisines: American, European, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Transit: CATA HP Route
Description: The Carnegie Inn & Spa is a 20 Room, AAA 4 Diamond Hotel operating a magnificant restaurant within it premise. The restaurant has been selected 7 years in a row as the Best Fine Dining and Most Romantic Dining in the area. Please call, or go to our website to make reservations as we use OpenTable. Where Every Occasion is a Special Occasion!
Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Close enough I to walk too!”
Reviewed 23 January 2014

Yes, I live in the Toftrees area and I could if I was starving walk to the Carnegie House to eat . Prepare for a beautiful dinner in an absolutely most beautiful spot in all of State College, Pa. The atmosphere is excellent and the dining room is elegant but unfortunately the food did not deliver the promise I hope for. The meal was okay but the cost was quite expensive. I would recommend this as a good place to go for dinner if you want a nice night out but don't hold your breath if you want to call this one of your favorite places to eat. I suggest the salmon as the main course but I think it is only average and was not very exciting!..Be aware , it is expensive and not worth it...sorry...

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kenneth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this review, 7 February 2014
Dear Kenneth,
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your dining experience. I am sorry the food did not meet your expectations. Feel assured that I have passed your comments along to the chef for her review. We have just recently debuted a new menu and I would invite you to come back and allow us another opportunity.
Feel free to contact me directly.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    69
    19
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    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Port Matilda, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
161 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Changing For The Worse”
Reviewed 31 December 2013

I’d like to say I had the best meal of my life at Carnegie House, and five years ago I would have. But I feel quality and bang-for-buck has gone down tremendously in the last couple of years, which appears to coincide with a change in management and chef. The owner of the small company I work for has taken executive staff here for Christmas dinner 12 straight years and it used to be one of the highlights of the year for my wife and me. It doesn’t fit in that category anymore, and myself and coworker have suggested to the owner that in troubled financial times, Central PA has better options.

Please note that on a given evening, I’d rather sit at the Carnegie House than most places in town. However....one of the joys of eating here used to be sitting in the library and waiting for ones’ seat. Diners would slowly matriculate into the dining room over the course of the evening, staggered. Our past average wait to sit and receive apps was about 45 minute. This year, we sat in the lobby and said we’d be happy to wait for a seat in the library, by the fire. We were told “ok.” This never happened. After a drink and a plate of amuse-bouche delivered to our seats (a nice touch we’ve always enjoyed), we sat. And sat. We were offered another drink several times (the service is quite professional) but just drinking and not eating isn’t a game any of us wanted to play.

For a six pm reservation, we were finally seated at 7:25. And diners weren’t seated over a staggered period of time, but all pretty much at once (six tables within 10 minutes). This is too long, and the system denied us the chance to wait and have a drink in the library, which we’ve been able to do several times. That may sound, to some, a little elitist. But when you’re paying premium for atmosphere and experience, it matters a great deal. This tainted our experience greatly. We showed up at the table hungry, bored, and agitated.

From there, the meal was spotty and just “ok.” The soups (some had lobster bisque, I had potato leek) were out of this world, but they were the only dish that had that “wow” factor one expects from Carnegie. The Stilton Salad, which has been one of the yearly highlights, really started to change two years ago. This year, it was just a wet glop, with an odd texture causes by too much dressing, too many almonds, and lack of Stilton. Seriously, it looked like it was put on the plate with an ice cream scoop.

The entrees were ok. I had Chicken Picata, as did my wife. Two members of our party had the NY strip, and the fifth had the bacon wrapped scallops. My chicken was good. Not something I’ll remember for years (as I did the veal several years ago), just good. My wife felt the same way. The other couples’ review on the steak was similar, which was “there are many places I can get a certified Angus for about $25, for over $40 I expect prime.” The bacon-wrapped scallops were described as “decent.” We all seemed to have a small accompaniment of squash, asparagus, and reasonable greens. Tiny, perfectly cooked. No “wow.”

Finally, the deserts at Carnegie are all top-notch, as is the bread served with the meals. The wine selection is good. Please note I have NO complaints with the food. It was just more along the lines of mid-range, and we were paying for fine-dining. To the general manager, I’m happy to at any time explain why I feel the way I do. The Carnegie always delivered a homerun that was worth the price. Now it’s delivering doubles in a nice stadium. Our bill (gratuity included, and well worth it, the service is the best in town) came to $642 for five people, or almost $130 per person, with two bottles of wine, one cocktail before dinner each, four deserts and three after dinner aperitifs. We’ve paid that and more in the past. But for that kind of money, one expects to be bowled over, not kept waiting an hour and a half for a high-grade but non-distinguished steak. I hope current management reads mine and other kinder comments, because even several of those bowled over by the Carnegie seem a bit miffed by the cost-return factor. I’ve been to many fine-dining restaurants in the past. This experience didn’t live up to the others.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank 111buckhorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this review, 7 February 2014
Greetings 111Buckhorn,

I want to thank you for taking the time to let us know about your dining experience. Without your comments, we would not know where we there might be an issue. I have spoken to the Chef and restaurant manager about your dinner and your concerns and want you to know this is not acceptable in our eyes.

I would ask that you contact me directly so that we might be able to talk directly about your evening and how we can better serve you. Please note, we certainly appreciate your being with us for all these years and certainly hope that you would give us a chance to service you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Very Special Dinner”
Reviewed 6 November 2013 via mobile

It was a Monday evening, the restaurant was not very busy. My sister, brother-in-law, husband and I, had a wonderful, relaxing, special dinner at the Carnegie House. Before our dinner, we sat by the roaring fireplace in a large living room and enjoyed drinks and hors d'oeuvres. The waitress took our order while sitting in these comfortable chairs. When dinner was ready, we were called to our table.

The food was excellent. I had the salmon. My husband also ordered the salmon and thought it was the best he had ever eaten. The wait staff was very, very attentive. ---Wonderful, wonderful, relaxing evening.

The Carnegie House reminds me a little of some European restaurants, where eating is the experience, and takes the entire evening.

Oh, by the way, the lobster bisque was to die for.

Helpful?
Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this review, 7 February 2014
Greetings,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how your dining experience was with us. We certainly appreciate the kind words. We strive to make the dining a truly unique experience, set apart from all the other restaurants. We believe a break from life is truly needed and we are delighted we could make that happen for you.
By the way, the lobster bisque is my favorite as well.
Thanks again and we hope to see you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
39 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great Stay”
Reviewed 22 October 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

I travel for business 100 + nights each year and have never stayed in a more unique and comfortable place as this. The staff treats each guest as royalty - its as if you have a personal servant. Love this place!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank C G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Greetings!
We would like to thank you for taking the time to comment on our quaint little hotel! We really do try to go above and beyond in making each guest feel special. And I can tell you that is somethine we cannot teach, but it is engrained in the character of each of our staff. And we are lucky to have each one of them, knowing they will take care of you our guest.
Thank you again and we look forward to having you stay with us in the near future!
Pete
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Livingston, New Jersey
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Glorious refuge from a busy life”
Reviewed 8 October 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

Book the stay and be pampered! Even without the spa, the kindness of the staff, comfort of the rooms and the tasty and cozy restaurant make this a special place - whether visiting Penn State or passing through for a remarkable weekend.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank morningglory201
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pete W, General Manager at Carnegie Inn & Spa Restaurant, responded to this review, 24 October 2013
Hello and thank you for taking the time to comment on your stay with us. We are delighted you had a wonderful stay and that you chose us on your trip through the state. We do hope that you will think of us again the next time you are coming through or perhaps as a get away vacation spot as there is so much to do in the area...in addition to the spa!
Thanks again,
Pete
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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